Agnew E. Larsen

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Agnew Emiel Larsen
Agnew Emiel Larsen.jpg
A PA-5 Mailwing designed by Larsen
BornApril 3, 1897
DiedAugust 17, 1969 (1969-08-18) (aged 72)
ResidenceJenkintown, Pennsylvania
OccupationAircraft Engineer
EmployerPitcairn Aircraft Company
Known forPitcairn Biplane and Autogiro Designs
ChildrenFrederick, Adrienne, William
Pitcairn Mailwing ExCC.jpg

Agnew Emiel Larsen (April 3, 1897 – August 17, 1969) was an American aircraft engineer who designed a series of pioneering airmail aircraft, and engineered progressive improvements to rotary wing aircraft that are in use in most modern helicopters currently.[1] Larson invented an inflatable gyrocopter parachute that was featured in Popular Mechanics.[2]


He was born on April 3, 1897.

In 1916 Harold Pitcairn attended an apprenticeship at Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, becoming friends with Larsen.

In 1925 Larsen and Pitcairn approached Cierva about licensing autogiro technology.

In 1927, longtime friend, Pitcairn approached Larsen to leave the Thomas-Morse Aircraft company, to join Pitcairn Aircraft Company as chief engineer.[3] Larson developed the Pitcairn PA-1 Fleetwing, the first of a long series of biplanes for Pitcairn.[4]

In 1930 Larsen won the Collier Trophy along with Pitcairn for the work on autogiro technology.

1947 Larsen merges his company rotawings with the Glenn L. Martin Company.

Larsen died from cancer in August 17, 1969, in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.[1]


Greg Larsen, Agnew E. Larson's grandson is a business development manager for the Hagerstown, MD, Regional Airport founding Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics school for aircraft technicians.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Agnew E. Larsen, Inventor, 73, Dies. Won '30 Collier Trophy for Work on the Autogiro". New York Times. August 17, 1969. Agnew E. Larsen, a consultant on space research with the Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia, died of cancer today at the Homestead Nursing Home in Willow ...
  2. ^ "The inflatable Rotochute". Popular Mechanics. August 1968.
  3. ^ Donald M. Pattillo. A history in the making: 80 turbulent years in the American general aviation ...
  4. ^ William F. Trimble. High frontier: a history of aeronautics in Pennsylvania.
  5. ^ "Larsen's Legacy". Archived from the original on 13 December 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2011.