The Pitcairn Mailwing family was a series of American mail carrier and three-seat sport utility biplane aircraft produced from 1927 to 1931.
|PA-8 Mailwing in flight|
|Role||Mail carrier and sport|
|National origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Pitcairn Aircraft Company|
|Designer||Agnew E. Larsen|
|Primary user||United States Post Office Department|
|Developed from||Pitcairn PA-4 Fleetwing II|
The Pitcairn Mailwings were developed to carry air mail for the United States Post Office Department. Of simple and robust construction, they had relatively benign flying characteristics.
They were constructed using chrome-moly steel tube and square-section spruce spars with spruce and plywood built-up ribs. The fuselage was faired using wooden formers and covered with fabric. The tail sections were built up from steel tube and fabric-covered. The Pitcairn Mailwing had a ground-adjustable fin and in-flight adjustable tailplane.
The undercarriage was of outrigger type with Oleo-Spring shock absorbers and disc brakes on the mainwheels. All versions looked very similar and changes were minor, with several fuselage extensions being the most obvious.
The mail was carried in a fireproof metal-lined compartment forward of the pilot's cockpit. The Mailwings were flown extensively by the U.S. Air Mail service from 1927 until the end of dedicated Air-Mail routes.
Pitcairn also built the same aircraft in sport versions for private use. These aircraft had the mail compartment removed, and a side-by-side two-seat cockpit was fitted.
Data from: Aerofiles : Pitcairn
Data from Jane's all the World's Aircraft 1931, Aerofiles: Pitcairn
(Partial listing, only covers most numerous types)