I'm a local historian in Fort Collins, CO and I'm trying to find out anything I can about the helicopter/plane image in the attached picture. The only thing I know is that it was parked in a early Fort Collins airport.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I believe that's called an autogyro. The rotor operates in "autorotation" I.e. It is unpowered. $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2017 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


It is a Pitcairn PCA-2 autogiro. From the linked article:

This aircraft is a Pitcairn PCA-2 autogiro, S/N B-12 (ATC #410), manufactured in April 1931 by Pitcairn Aircraft, Inc., Willow Grove, PA. It came from the factory with a Wright J-6 engine (S/N 12528) of 300HP. It had a Hartzell steel propeller. It was a three-place craft, weighing 3,000 pounds.

Apparently, the aircraft was owned by Amelia Earhart and sponsored by Beech-Nut packing company.

NC10780 was sold to George Palmer Putnam, husband of Amelia Earhart, of New York, NY on May 7, 1931. This autogiro is the “older” (by a week) sister ship of NC10781 flown through Tucson by John M. Miller.

  • $\begingroup$ That's some mighty fine sleuthing! $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Jun 12, 2017 at 20:33

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