The PV.1 was an advanced design for its day with a tube and fabric fuselage and a tail-mounted anti-torque system involving an enclosed fan in the rear fuselage. This design did not fly but the single-seat PV.2 which took to the air in April 1943 was very similar - but with a conventional tail-mounted anti torque propeller. It was probably the first truly rigid rotor helicopter ever to fly.
There is room for one person (pilot), who sits in a conventional seat behind a rounded, glassed-in nose, similar to the front end of an early Aeronca light plane. The fuselage is fabric-covered. There are three blades. Two blades fold back like the wings on a fly to permit storage. Control of the PV-model has cyclic pitch control of its rotor blades. There is the conventional rudder-stick combination, rudder action manipulating a five-foot tail rotor similar to the vertical rotor on the XR-4. The PV-2 helicopter is powered with a four-cylinder, air-cooled Franklin engine, mounted with its crankshaft upright.
Piasecki himself was the pilot for the first flight, made on 11 April 1943. He flew the aircraft several times in public. Once he took off from the driveway of a private home in Falls Church, Virginia, and flew a short distance to a filling station, where he landed and spent an a ration stamp for three gallons of gasoline. The surprised attendant put in the gas, wiped off the helicopter's windshield, and Piasecki took off again, heading for the golf course. A few minutes later he landed right beside the first tee, took his golf clubs out of the small baggage compartment, and proceeded to tee off for a game of golf.
It was then dropped because Piasecki turned his attention to the more ambitious field of large military helicopters; with the PV-3, he returned to the twin-rotor formula which had given rise to his earlier experiment.
Engine: 1 x 4-cylinder Franklin, 67kW / 90 hp