Pitcairn began building airplanes for the increasingly popular airmail service in 1926. The following year, the PA-5 Mailwing was introduced. The PA-7 is a 3-place airplane with seating for the pilot in the rear cockpit and two passengers in the front. This example is fitted with a fireproof metal box in the front cockpit used to secure the mail. The metal cowl over the compartment provides improved aerodynamic qualities.
The airplane was originally purchased by the Horizon Coal Company in Pennsylvania. Horizon Coal delivered promotional bags of coal throughout New England as a promotional campaign. The aircraft eventually found its way into the hands of Stephen Pitcairn, son of company founder Harold in 1979. It then underwent an extensive restoration before returning to the air in 1983.
Specifications: Span 33’; Length 21’ 10”. Engine: Wright R-760 Whirlwind 250 horsepower, 756 cubic inch, seven-cylinder radial. Top speed: 145 mph. Cruising speed: 125 mph. Price new: $8,500.
Donated by the Estate of Stephen Pitcairn.
Accession no. 2012G002