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Cierva C.8 Aircraft Information

Cierva C.8


Manufacturer: Cierva
Designed by: Juan de la Cierva
First flight: 1926
Number built: 6

The Cierva C.8 was an experimental autogyro built by Juan de la Cierva in England in 1926 in association with Avro. Like Cierva's earlier autogyros, the C.8s were based on existing fixed-wing aircraft fuselages - in this case, Avro 552s.

The first example, the C.8R (known to Avro as the Type 587) was a rebuild of the C.6D, fitted with stub wings and paddle-shaped main rotor blades. This was followed by the new-built C.8V (or Type 586) that was eventually converted back into an Avro 552 after testing. The next model was the definitive C.8L prototype (or Type 575).

By now, Cierva's efforts were attracting the attention of buyers. The first customer was the British Air Ministry, which placed an order for a machine in 1927. This was completed as the Type 611, test flown by Bert Hinkler at Hamble and then delivered to the Royal Aircraft Establishment by Cierva himself in Britain's first cross-country rotorcraft flight on 30 September that year. The next example was purchased by Air Commodore James G. Weir, chairman of Cierva, and flown in the 1928 King's Cup Air Race before being used to make demonstration flights around continental Europe.

The two final C.8s were sold in 1928, one to the Italian government, and one to American Harold Pitcairn, who would go on to purchase manufacturing rights for the United States. The C.8W bought by Pitcairn would make the first autogyro flight in the United States at Willow Grove, Pennsylvania in January 1929.

As of 2007, two examples are extant: Weir's machine preserved at the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace in Paris, and Pitcairn's at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.


C.6D fitted with new wings and rotor blades, powered by a 97-kW (130-hp) Clerget engine. (1 converted)
Two-seat model, powered by a 134-kW (180-hp) Worseley Viper piston engine.
(4 built)
C.8L Mk II
Fitted with short-span wings, powered by a Armstrong Siddeley Lynx IV radial piston engine. THE aircraft took part in 1928 King's Cup Air Race. Built in the United Kingdom as the Avro Type 617. (1 built)
Two aircraft built for the Italian government in 1928.
Powered by a 168-kW (225-hp) Wright Whirwind radial piston engine. This version was built for Harold Frederick Pitcairn. Original designation C.8L Mk IV. (1 built)

Specifications (C.8L)

General characteristics

Crew: One pilot
Capacity: 1 passenger
Length: 36 ft 0 in (10.98 m)
Main rotor diameter: 38 ft 9 in (12.09 m)
Height: 14 ft 9 in (4.50 m)
Wing area: 1,235 ft² (114.8 m²)
Empty weight: 1,650 lb (750 kg)
Gross weight: 2,470 lb (1,120 kg)
Powerplant: 1 x— Armstrong Siddeley Lynx IV, 180 hp (134 kW)


Maximum speed: 100 mph (160 km/h)
Range: 255 miles (410 km)
Rate of climb: 550 ft/min (2.5 m/s)

Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. pp. 254.
World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star Publishing. pp. File 891 Sheet 28-29.
NASM website

Cierva C.8 Pictures and Cierva C.8 for Sale.

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Source: WikiPedia

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