Comper Swift

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Tiger Tim

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Sorry, but to my eye the Swift looks like a typical wood and fabric design of the era with neat folding wings. Am I missing something?
IIRC there’s a lot of metal fittings and hardware joining all that wood, possibly enough to not rely on glue in places. As an airplane I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with building that way, that’s really how it all started and I was surprised to learn that Stampe built their SV-4 that way too, but not necessarily conducive to making a singular example.

To be clear the Swift remains high up n the list of airplanes in my fantasies. Very high. Just that if I was to ever decide to build one it would be more like a Pietenpol or Gipsy Moth or even Jodel on the inside, relying on plywood sheet, gussets and glue rather than mechanical fastenings and metal fittings.
 

flitzerpilot

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Agreed, there are a very high number of metal parts holding a Swift together. About 20 years ago the full set was being offered, finished and bent where necessary, for £5000, which was higher than I could afford back then. My 'version' used a one-piece fuselage with glued joints and a highly modified Currie Wot wing, with deeper spars and the chord increased from 42" to 48". Wing section was modified therefrom to eliminate the reflex of the Clark YH and basically create a Clark Y, albeit with a slightly finer thickness ratio. Only one wing was so modified.
 

cluttonfred

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Hmmm, can anyone think of another example of a small, wood and fabric, parasol design without too many fiddly metal bits? ;-)

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Chilton

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Agreed, there are a very high number of metal parts holding a Swift together. About 20 years ago the full set was being offered, finished and bent where necessary, for £5000, which was higher than I could afford back then. My 'version' used a one-piece fuselage with glued joints and a highly modified Currie Wot wing, with deeper spars and the chord increased from 42" to 48". Wing section was modified therefrom to eliminate the reflex of the Clark YH and basically create a Clark Y, albeit with a slightly finer thickness ratio. Only one wing was so modified.
I was quite happily planning to build a Swift and buy the metal kit form Paul Prince I think it was, but the drawings only show the Pobjoy installation and none of the Gipsy installation could be found short of going to Australia to measure the surviving aircraft. Probably for the best really....
 

flitzerpilot

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My intention back then was to re-create the 'Scorpion Swift', albeit with a VW motor for financial reasons - although a Mosler flat-twin would probably have been more authentic. Also my wings were intended to be 'fixed', not folding, again for simplicity and lightness. But watching a Pobjoy Niagara-powered Swift at Sywell take-off, briefly accelerate straight and level before entering an apparently effortless roll-off-the-top, convinced me that the design potential, even in facsimile, was worth incorporating a geared engine which could turn a big, efficient propeller, such as driven by a Pobjoy R.

Just about the time when my attention was diverted onto other design paths, a 60 hp.Pobjoy P was advertised for sale. But it was soon snapped up and I've not heard since whether it wound up in another project.

The Fred and Piet are not in the same performance class, sorry Matt.
 

Tiger Tim

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watching a Pobjoy Niagara-powered Swift at Sywell take-off, briefly accelerate straight and level before entering an apparently effortless roll-off-the-top, convinced me that the design potential, even in facsimile, was worth incorporating a geared engine which could turn a big, efficient propeller, such as driven by a Pobjoy R.
Pobjoys are, I assume, in fairly short supply* so how about dusting off your pseudo-Swift drawings and considering cribbing the FWF from the Platzer Kiebitz or one of the modern Suzuki conversions for a Gypsy Swift. Gypsy spelled that way on purpose because it could be a nice little solo traveller with character for days.


*unless someone has the guts to develop a vertically offset PSRU to replace the nose case on a Rotec.
 

flitzerpilot

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Tiger Tim,

Not a bad idea, but I actually gave all my Swift 'variant' drawings and sketches to Paul Prince years ago but he subsequently became seriously ill and since that time had forgotten all about them. No matter because I now have a full CD of the original Swift drawings. The dilemma is then whether and by how much to follow the original or whether to ignore most of it and design an externally authentic lookalike.

Despite the light tare weight of the prototype Swift, some of the structure seems to be overbuilt, to my eye however. I don't include the rear spar in that as it has to carry the folded weight of the wings, but my simplified Swift did not have that feature, although I admit it's one of the valuable aspects of that super design.

There was a move in the UK to put Pobjoy engines back into limited production a few decades ago, but there weren't enough takers to invest in the project.

I'm currently still involved with uncompromisingly retro biplane design.
 

cluttonfred

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The Fred and Piet are not in the same performance class, sorry Matt.
Hehe, I never once thought they were, just pointing out that there are other examples to follow in terms of simpler construction unless someone is dead set on an authentic Comper replica.
 

challenger_II

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The FRED, and Piet references were for structure, never end design. The idea is to have a simplified, yet strong, wood structure, over the original Comper method. Can't speak for Matt, but I have been greatly enthusiastic over a lighter-built Swift.

My intention back then was to re-create the 'Scorpion Swift', albeit with a VW motor for financial reasons - although a Mosler flat-twin would probably have been more authentic. Also my wings were intended to be 'fixed', not folding, again for simplicity and lightness. But watching a Pobjoy Niagara-powered Swift at Sywell take-off, briefly accelerate straight and level before entering an apparently effortless roll-off-the-top, convinced me that the design potential, even in facsimile, was worth incorporating a geared engine which could turn a big, efficient propeller, such as driven by a Pobjoy R.

Just about the time when my attention was diverted onto other design paths, a 60 hp.Pobjoy P was advertised for sale. But it was soon snapped up and I've not heard since whether it wound up in another project.

The Fred and Piet are not in the same performance class, sorry Matt.
 
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