MARCH 1931
AMERICA'S first commercial Autogiro, built by Pitcairn Aircraft, Inc., was flown to Detroit from Pitcairn Field at Willow Grove, Penna., on February 12 and delivered at that city to the Detroit News, its purchaser. The craft, "Detroit News No. 2.," was flown by Frank Byerly, News pilot, accompanied by C. James Faulkner, 'giro test pilot for Pitcairn Aircraft.
      Elaborate plans for introducing the new machine to the Detroit public were carried out with perfect precision by the newspaper and city officials. The machine made its first appearance on Sunday afternoon, February 15, before a record crowd of nearly 200,000 spectators, including scores of aeronautical experts, city and state officials, gathered at the Detroit Airport to witness the novel craft go thorugh a unique demonstration.
     Excitement ran high when the Autogiro appeared in the sky, flying rapidly, and when in full view of the waiting thousands is came to a stop in mid-air and settled slowly straight down to earth. Before the amazed crowd had comprehended the full meaning of this unusual maneugver in a heavier-than-air machine the '[giro ran forward a bare 15 yeards and literally sho upward, circling the field. Then, for contrast between the new and the old, the "Detroit News No. I," a cabin monoplane, was taken up and 'giro and airplane flew side by side.
     The whole performance of the'giro during the long demonstration, and difference between it and the conventional airplane, were broadcast to the crowd through amplifiers by Ty Tyson, announcer for Radio Station WWJ. Mayor Murphy of Detroit, the first to be given a flight at the airport--and who was so entuusiastic over the new experience that he immediately requested another ride after the first--also spoke to the crowd describing his sensations, praising the new invention as marking "an epoch" in aviation, and congratulating the News on its enterprise. Other passengers the same afternoon were William E. Scripps, president of the Detroit News, his son W. J. Scripps, and H. V. Sattley, secretary of the Mayor's Airport Committee. After the demonstration, thousands passed through the hangars to view the 'giro more closely.
     Negotiations for purchase of the Autogiro were made by WIlliam E. Scripps, president and James V. Piersol, aeronautics editor of the News, following several trips to the Pitcairn factory for demonstrations. So impressed were they by its possibilities over the normal airplane that they placed their order some months ago for the first ship to be delivered.
     The News Autogiro is a standard Pitcairn PCA-2, powered by a Wright 300 H.P. J-6, painted in the Detroit News colors, red and ivory, with the anme on the sides and underbody of the ship0, and call letters WWJ of the News radio station painted on the veritcal fin.
     In the forward cockpit special arrangements have been made for mounting a large Farichild aerial camera on a swivel mount and an auxiliary raised seat has been provided for a photographer when operating a camera. Mr. William Kuenzel, head of the News photographic department, who made a number of flights in the 'giro before it left Pitcairn Field, expressed himself as tremendously impressed with the.............
Collection of Melissa D. Scripps, 1-15-04

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