Join a celebration of the earliest rotary-winged aircraft as the Museum celebrates Autogiro day! Discover the world of autogiros, unique aircraft flown with unpowered rotors. Flown as early as 1923, autogiros were among the leading aircraft designs well into the 1930s. Amelia Earhart set an altitude record of over 18,000' flying a Pitcairn autogiro in 1931.
Saturday Sept 29
Special Activity Stations
Helicopter Flight Simulations
Pre-School Reading Program
Special Take Flight Session
Presentations by Jean-Pierre Harrison
And Much More!
The Museum will welcome autogiros from around the Bay Area, and will display them along with traditional helicopters on the Compass Rose throughout the day. Special autogiro-themed events and programs will be held as follows:
|10-11 AM || Autogiro Arrivals (Weather Permitting)|
|10:30 AM-1:30 PM || Rotor Roundup Exhibition and Activities for Kids|
|11 AM-12 PM || Soar With Books-Special Pre-School Reading Program*|
|11 AM-2 PM || Flight Simulators Open-Helicopter Missions Available*|
|11 AM || Autogiros, Helicopters and More! Presentation by Jean-Pierre Harrison|
|12 PM || James Weir and the Development of the Autogiro-Presentation by Jean-Pierre Harrison|
|1 PM-2 PM || Autogiro Departures (Weather Permitting))|
|1:30 PM-4:30PM || Take Flight - Whirlybirds Away|
*Additional fee required-see program web pages or below for additional information.
Soar With Books-Special Edition
Explore the world of vertical flight at pre-school level! Take a short hands-on tour of the Museum's helicopter collection just right for the littlest aviators. Listen to a short reading from a popular children's book and make a craft project that flies just like a real helicopter! Tickets ($1.50/child, free to Family Members) required, purchase at the Gift Shop on the morning of the event.
Rotor Roundup Hands-On Activities
Join scientists and interns from the NASA Ames Research Center and educators from the Hiller Aviation Museum to explore the world of vertical flight! Examine table-sized rotor systems and models of functioning helicopters and autogiros. Build and fly a simple rotor-winged aircraft, test-fly a remote controlled helicopter, and more! All activities included with Museum admission.
Autogiros, Helicopters and More!
Presentation by Jean-Pierra Harrison
Jean-Pierre Harrison has been studying the autogiro (also known as the autogyro or gyroplane) and its development into the first successful helicopters for many years. He is a member of the American Helicopter Society and has had articles and book reviews appear in Vertiflite, the official publication of that organization. Harrison holds advanced pilot and flight instructor certificates and is one fo the few individuals to hold the FAA qualification to teach in gyroplanes. Harrison holds a degree in computer science and presently works with the supercomputing group at NASA Ames Research Center.
Mr. Harrison will present a lecture on the Autogiro from its inception in 1919 to its ultimate development into the amazing Fairey Rotodyne compound autogiro airliner of 1957.
James Weir and the Development of Rotary-Wing Aircraft
Presentation by Jean-Pierre Harrison
James G. Weir was present at the demonstration of the Cierva C.6 Autogiro at Farnborough in mid-1925 and thereafter arranged financing of the Cierva Autogiro Company, Ltd., later that year. Weir was Chairman of the newly formed enterprise and provided the vast majority of the funding required to develop the Autogiro. G&J Weir, Ltd., undertook its own Autogiro development program in 1932 which led to Britain's first successful helicopters in 1938. World War 2 resulted in suspension of the activities of G&J Weir and the Cierva Autogiro Company until about 1943 when development of the W.9 helicopter commenced in response to British Government intent to purchase Sikorsky R-4/R-5 helicopters which were developed with patented Autogiro technology. The W.9 was succeeded by the W.11 Air Horse and W.14 Skeeter, the latter developed into the Westland Wasp/Scout series.
Lectures included with Museum admission.
Take Flight-Whirlybirds Away
Discover how helicopters in a special hands-on workshop for children Grades 1-5, and take home a remote-controlled helicopter! Inspect the cockpits of real helicopters and autogiros, build and fly a simple model helicopter, try a challenging helicopter mission in the Flight Sim Zone, and take home a miniature RC helicopter. A special $50 program fee ($45 Members) applies which includes Museum admission, and advance registration is required.