Jul 052011

Three-view of the “Granville Racing Gyroplane” study found in NACA files at the National Archives II in College Park, Maryland. It appears to show a Gee Bee R-1/R-2 Senior Sportster modified into an autogyro. The drawing was clipped from the February 1935 issue of Aero Digest magazine, but no explanatory caption or article accompanied it in the file. Does any reader have more information on this interesting project?

The author stumbled across this drawing of the “Granville Racing Gyroplane” while reviewing NACA files at National Archives II in College Park, Maryland; it apparently originates from the February 1935 issue of Aero Digest magazine, a long defunct publication devoted to aeronautics news. The basic aircraft looks very similar to the the Gee Bee R-1/R-2 hybrid, which was built from the remains of the crashed R-1 and R-2 racers and had its fuselage lengthened to 19′ 9″ while retaining the original 25′ wing span. A four bladed rotor has been grafted onto the aircraft just behind the huge 550 HP Pratt & Whitney Wasp Jr. R-985 engine, transforming it into an autogyro apparently intended for racing. It also appears to have a lengthened canopy to accommodate a passenger/co-pilot. The caption/article that presumably accompanied this drawing was not included with the clipping in the file; if any reader has additional information on this project, please contact the author or comment below. More information on Granville Brothers Aircraft and their classic racers can be found here among many other sites on the web.

Image from NARA Archives II, College Park, MD, RG 255

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