Juan de la Cierva

United Kingdom



Juan de la Cierva was born in Murcia, Spain. He was one of the pioneers of rotary-wing flight, and was responsible for successfully introducing the flap hinge as a method for making rotary-winged aircraft controllable. He went on to develop many successful autogyros, or gyroplanes, with many companies purchasing licensing rights for the many patents that he developed.

He was killed in an air crash at Croydon, United Kingdom, on December 9, 1936.

Note: This is an interim biography pending the availability of a more complete version


Milestones associated with Juan de la Cierva
January 10, 1923 First flight of a rotorcraft with an articulated/flapping blade (Cierva C.4)
January 17, 1923 First controlled flight by an Autogiro (Cierva C.4)
March 31, 1924 First flight of the Cierva C.6 series Autogiro
March 24, 1926 The Cierva Autogiro company is formed
May 19, 1927 First flight of a rotorcraft with lead-lag hinges (modified Cierva C.7)
September 18, 1928 First crossing of the English Channel by a rotorcraft (Cierva C.8L-II)
March 5, 1932 First flight of a 'Direct Control' Autogiro (modified Cierva C.19 Mk V)
March 31, 1933 First flight of the Cierva C.30
December 9, 1936 Juan de la Cierva dies
February 16, 1961 The first Cierva Lecture is given