Comper Swift / CLA.7
Страна: Великобритания
Год: 1930

Одноместный спортивный самолет
Comper CLA.7 Swift
Flight, June 1929
Flight, January 1930
Flight, April 1930
Flight, June 1932
The Gipsy-Engined "Swift"
Flight, November 1932
British Aircraft

Ч/б фото (146)

Comper CLA.7 Swift

В марте 1929 года бывший пилот британских ВВС флайт-лейтенант Николас Компер основал фирму "Comper Aircraft Company" для постройки самолетов собственной конструкции. Прототип Comper CLA.7 Swift выполнил первый полет в Бруклендсе 17 мая 1930 года. Swift, небольшой элегантный одноместный самолет, представлял собой моноплан деревянной конструкции с высокорасположенным крылом, обшивка - из фанеры и полотна. Крыло крепилось непосредственно к верхней части фюзеляжа, пилот размещался в открытой кабине за крылом. На прототипе стоял поршневой мотор А.В.С. Scorpion мощностью 40 л. с. (30 кВт).
   По завершении испытаний прототипа, в 1930 году было построено еще семь самолетов со звездообразным моторами Salmson AD9 мощностью 50 л. с. (37 кВт). На седьмой самолет поставили прототип звездообразного мотора Pobjoy Р в рамках подготовки машины к участию в гонках. Этот мотор выбрали как стандартный (в варианте Pobjoy R) и переоснастили им ранее построенные самолеты.
   Дольше всего эксплуатировался Swift (G-ACTF) с заводским номером S.32/9, построенный в 1932 году - самолет оставался в гражданском авиационном регистре Великобритании и в 2010 году, он находится в коллекции Шаттлуорта. Часть построенных самолетов после эксплуатации в Великобритании продали в третьи страны.


   Comper CLA.7 Swift

   Тип: одноместный спортивный самолет
   Силовая установка: один звездообразный ПД Pobjoy R мощностью 75 л. с. (56 кВт)
   Летные характеристики: максимальная скорость 225 км/ч; крейсерская скорость 193 км/ч; практический потолок 6705 м; дальность 611 км
   Масса: пустого 245 кг; максимальная взлетная 447 кг
   Размеры: размах крыла 7,32 м; длина 5,40 м; высота 1,61 м; площадь крыла 8,36 м2

Flight, June 1929

Single-Seater Parasol Monoplane with 40-h.p., A.B.C. Scorpion II Engine

   THIS light aeroplane has been designed to suit the needs of those buyers who require at small cost a speedy tourer and sporting racer. For club use it is ideal for advanced solo work. When a pilot has passed his dual-control stage, he has to employ, with the present aircraft available, a two-seater 90-h.p. aeroplane which probably is ill-spared from the dual-control work for which it was designed. The solo pupil will, therefore, in nine cases out of ten have to wait his chance for the use of an instructional aeroplane, and then must pay for his solo flying at the higher rate of the two-seater. It should be borne in mind, too, that the costs of maintenance and repair of the larger aeroplanes are very much greater than those of a small single-seater, such as the one now being described.
   The "Comper Swift" has a high top speed of just over 100 miles an hour, a cruising speed of at least 80 miles an hour, and a range of 350 miles. This fact, coupled with the excellent comfort and vision, renders the aeroplane most suitable for long cross-country work. At the same time, its low landing speed of 30 to 35 miles an hour, combined with very carefully designed control surfaces and control system and the inherent stability peculiar to the parasol monoplane, promises great popularity for local flying by solo pupils, and, for the reasons expressed above, the pilot who has passed through his dual instruction stage can keep up his flying practice at a cost to himself which is so small that learning to fly need not come to a dead end after the pilot has obtained his "A" licence, as so often happens when clubs are solely equipped with the large and more costly two-seaters.
   For racing and sporting events this private owner's aeroplane has features which must be the envy of those owning larger, but not necessarily faster craft.
   Those who remember the little C.L.A. 3, the direct forerunner of the "Swift" - and its successes at the early Lympne meetings, know that races were won by this aeroplane partly because of its high top speed and partly because of its manoeuvrability round turning points. These features have been carefully preserved, while maximum vision in all directions has been added, which removes, perhaps, the only real danger of modern racing conditions.
   The high top speed is made possible by clean design embodying a minimum of external struts or fitments. For example, the shock-absorbing system for the undercarriage is actually in the fuselage and there are no external bracing wires or cables.
   The pilot's cockpit places the pilot aft of the monoplane wing, and the forward deck of the fuselage, which runs into the top surface of the wing, is so shaped that the pilot can see every point in the field of vision by a slight inclination of his head. It should be noted that the altimeter and speed indicator are mounted directly behind the rear spar on each side of the fuselage, as shown in one of our sketches – just where the pilot wants these instruments, and not mixed up with pressure gauge, level indicator and revolution counter, which are conventionally mounted on the main dashboard.
   Very simple and rapid "one-man" folding has been provided. To fold, one pin at the wing root is pulled forward, disengaging the front spar, and one pin is removed from the apex of the V-strut. The pilot then walks the V-strut (which swivels round its own attachments on the wing) to a clip at the wing tip. The rear spar being attached to the centre section by a universal joint, the pilot at the wing-tip can twist the wing to any position he likes preparatory to moving it round to a tail support. The same operation is repeated on the opposite side and the aeroplane is ready for garaging, the space required when folded being only 7 ft. 6 ins. by 18 ft. by 6 ft.
   The fuselage construction follows the practice adopted in the C.L.A. 3 and C.L.A. 4, and is a method of construction which has not only stood the service of years, but is also extremely robust for its weight. Built in three separate sections, repairs or replacements of damaged parts is a simple matter, effected at very low cost. It is a wooden girder construction, almost entirely devoid of bracing, diagonal wooden struts being attached to the longeron by means of ply plates or gussets screwed and glued to each side. The accompanying sketch will show the principle of construction. Distortion of the frame is virtually impossible under all conditions of temperature or climate.
   The wings are formed of conventional I section spars, with ribs which are miniature girders built up with glued and pinned gusset joints on the principle employed for the fuselage construction. This is also shown in one of our sketches,
   The tail plane is of symmetrical section, with an incidence adjustment of 4° range.
   The undercarriage and principle of shock absorption is shown in another sketch. The axle is split, each half curving to a pin joint underneath the fuselage. The tops of the main struts are jointed to rocking frames inside the fuselage which carry spools for the rubber cord.
   The controls are of standard type with adjustments provided for the rudder bar. No disconnection of the aileron controls is needed when folding, as the transmission is effected by the contact of levers, which give a pushing action for a movement either way of the aileron lever.
   The main characteristics of the "Swift," which is constructed by the Comper Aircraft Co., Ltd., Hooton Park Aerodrome, Cheshire, are :-
   Span 24 ft.
   Chord 4 ft.
   Wing area 90 sq. ft.
   Weight empty 331 lbs.
   Weight laden 600 lbs.
   Wing loading 6-66 lbs./sq. ft.
   Power loading 15 lbs./h.p.
   Speed range 35-105 m.p.h.
   Cruising speed 80-90 m.p.h.
   Rate of climb 700 ft./min.
   Engine 40-h.p. A.B.C. "Scorpion III.”
   Petrol consumption 40 miles/gal.

   NOTE. - Separate petrol tank in reserve for emergency. Second magneto fitted at small extra cost. Provisional price ^400.
   The Comper Aircraft Co. had intended exhibiting this machine at the forthcoming Aero Show at Olympia, and space had, in fact, been secured. Unfortunately, however, certain delays in laying down the firm's plant, etc., at Hooton Park, have rendered it impractical to get the machine sufficiently forward as regards construction and practical tests in time - especially as the firm wishes to present before the private-owner a job he can see has been thoroughly tried out and proved, and is as perfect in every detail as can be.
   It may interest our readers to know that the Comper Aircraft Co. are also starting construction of a totally-enclosed machine, to meet the requirements of those who wish for more than a single-seater, and it is anticipated that it will sell at a very competitive price.

Flight, January 1930

A Fast Single-Seater with A.B.C. "Scorpion" Engine

   DESIGNED as a low-powered, low-priced single-seater, with a performance equal to that of the modern two-seater light 'plane, the Comper "Swift" is the first machine to be produced by F/Lt. Nicholas Comper since he left the R.A.F. and formed The Comper Aircraft Co., Ltd. That is not to say, however, that the "Swift" is the work of a beginner. Far from it. Before joining the R.A.F. several years ago, Mr. Comper was in the drawing office of the Aircraft Manufacturing Company, and after joining the service he designed, it will be remembered, the series of Cranwell machines, C.L.A. 1, C.L.A. 2, C.L.A. 3, and C.L.A. 4, for the Cranwell Light Aeroplane Club. These machines all showed originality coupled with common sense, and Mr. Comper is one of the few designers who has for many years held the belief that high power is not necessarily required in order to get a good performance out of a light 'plane.
   The C.L.A. 2 was a side-by-side two-seater with Bristol ''Cherub" engine, and at the Lympne Light 'Plane Meeting of 1924 this machine piled up, during the meeting, just under 18 hours' flying and a mileage of 762-5 miles, thereby winning the ?300 Reliability prize offered by the S.M.M.T. for the greatest number of completed laps of the Lympne course.
   The C.L.A. 3 was quite a different type of machine, being a parasol single-seater monoplane with Bristol "Cherub" engine. That machine made its first public appearance at the Lympne race meeting of August, 1925, when it won the International Scratch Speed Race for light aeroplanes, and was favourably commented upon for its high speed and good manoeuvrability.
   Finally, it may be recalled that the C.L.A. 4 was designed and built for the Daily Mail two-seater light 'plane competition held at Lympne in 1926. The design of this machine was based upon the Pobjoy engine, but as that engine did not manage to pass its tests for the Air Ministry C. of A. in time, a Bristol "Cherub" of much lower power was fitted. Although this naturally detracted from the performance, the C.L.A. 4 was still a very nice little machine, and had a very good performance for the power of the engine. Its most unusual feature was that, although a sesquiplane, its top wing was smaller in span and chord than the lower wing.
   Of previous Comper designs, the C.L.A. 3 was that which the new "Swift" most closely resembles, and from which it may, in fact, be said to have been evolved. That the "Swift" represents a very considerable improvement on the C.L.A. 3 is hardly to be doubted, and this improvement is not confined to performance only, i.e., speed, climb, etc. but also includes controllability, comfort for the pilot, and generally better appearance. Concerning the last-mentioned feature, the "Swift" is one of those machines which one comes across occasionally, which do not look especially "pretty" in the 3-view general arrangement drawings, but which are found to have very good lines when seen "in the flesh." The photographs which accompany this article bring out this point rather well. For example, the side elevation of the general arrangement drawings show a fuselage which is very deep in front, and which might be expected to cause the machine to look somewhat heavy and "fat." Yet when one looks at the photographs, and even more when the actual machine is inspected, the appearance is one of slimness and, it might almost be said, daintiness. In other words, such a machine as any private owner might be proud of, and "pride of ownership" is not a quality which the designer of light 'planes for private owners can afford, nowadays, to disregard. The Comper "Swift" starts life well, in that it has a very distinctive appearance and extremely pleasing lines.
   Nothing is so likely to make a pilot dissatisfied with his mount as a poor view. For each "blind spot" in a machine, the pilot is apt to lose a certain amount of confidence, and many an otherwise excellent machine has failed to become popular merely on this count. Knowing this, F./Lt. Comper set himself the task from the beginning, in designing the "Swift," to produce a machine with the best possible view. In a single-seater using a very light engine this is not easy of accomplishment. If the wing is to be on a level with the pilot's eyes, as it should be to get view upward and forward, it means placing the pilot aft of the wing and not under it. To counteract the rearward placing of the pilot's weight, the engine must, being quite light, be pushed forward of the wing a considerable distance, and this results in a fair amount of vertical surface ahead of the centre of gravity. To bring the centre of vertical area aft of the e.g., fairly large tail areas (i.e., fin and rudder) are required, and it will be observed that in the "Swift" these two organs are large in proportion to the small size of the machine.
   When examining the "Swift" with a view to assessing the value of its aerodynamic design, one is impressed by the cleanness of its lines. The fuselage, no wider than strictly necessary, is deep but of almost perfect streamline form except for the coaming of the cockpit. The monoplane wing rests on but a narrow portion of fuselage, and so the portion of wing rendered inefficient in the centre is a very small proportion of the wing area. A single pair of vee struts on each side brace the wing, and the undercarriage is partly housed inside the fuselage, at least the shock absorber portion. The tail is almost pure cantilever, with but a single short stabilising strut on each side. Altogether the aerodynamic design strikes one as having been very carefully thought out.
   Structurally the "Swift” has a great deal of family resemblance with previous Comper designs, the fuselage being a light fabric-covered girder composed of longerons and diagonal struts attached to the longerons with three-ply wood gussets. This construction is light for its strength, and does not require any trueing-up after prolonged use. The fuselage is actually built in three separate units, the front portion carrying the engine mounting, the cockpit portion, and the tail-carrying portion.
   The wing is of equally simple construction, with two spindled-out spruce spars and light girder ribs. The wing is in three sections, of which the very narrow centre-section is built as an integral part of the fuselage, on two of the bulkheads of which it rests. The wings are designed to fold, so that the machine, in itself quite diminutive, will occupy a very small space indeed when folded. The wing covering is fabric. All wing fittings are of simple steel plate type.
   The undercarriage is somewhat unusual, and its arrangement may best be understood by reference to the accompanying sketch. The axles are bent, and the wheels located in a fore and aft direction by rearward-sloping radius rods. The "legs" run to internal members carrying the shock absorbers, which are housed entirely inside the fuselage and thus offer no extra drag. While appreciating F. /Lt. Comper's desire to cut down drag, we think we should have preferred to take the undercarriage "legs" up to the vicinity of the top longerons. This would add a little exposed strut length, but should make for greater stability on the ground.
   The cockpit is very comfortable, and the instruments have been arranged in a manner which facilitates reading of those most frequently required, and which are not "mixed up" with those that only need an occasional glance. The altimeter is mounted on the back of the rear spar, on the port side, and the airspeed indicator in a similar position on the starboard side. The other instruments are mounted on a dash inside the cockpit.
   The petrol is carried in a gravity tank with a capacity of 9 gallons, located in the deck fairing aft of the engine. Actually the tank has a partition which separates one gallon put of the nine from the main supply. Thus when the bulk of the petrol is used up, the pilot turns on the reserve gallon, which leaves him ample time to search out a landing ground before his supply is exhausted.
   The A.B.C. "Scorpion" engine is mounted on special patented vibration-absorbing units, which have been found after extensive use to reduce almost to vanishing point the amount of vibration transmitted to the fuselage structure.
   The dimensions of the Comper "Swift" are: Length, o.a., 18 ft. 9 in.; wing span, 24 ft.; wing chord, 4 ft.; aspect ratio, 6; wing area, 90 sq. ft.; tare weight, 350 lbs.; gross weight (for aerobatic C. of A.), 670 lbs.; wing loading, 7-4 lbs./sq. ft.; power loading, 16-7 lbs. /h.p. It is estimated that the "Swift" will cruise at something like 80 m.p.h. for a petrol consumption of 40 miles per gallon. The machine has not, at the moment of writing, been tested at Martlesham, but it is estimated that a top speed of 105 m.p.h. should be attained, while the landing speed should be about 35 m.p.h. The range at cruising speed should be in the neighbourhood of 350 miles.
   As the Comper Aircraft Co., Ltd., is a comparative newcomer to the British aircraft industry, a few words concerning its composition may not be without interest. Upon leaving the Royal Air Force, Flight-Lieut. Comper decided to form a small company for the purpose of building and marketing certain types of aircraft which he has had in mind for some considerable time, but which could not well be realised while he was serving in the R.A.F. The company as at present constituted includes on the board of directors Flight-Lieut. Nicholas Comper (managing director), Mr. G. H. Dawson (chairman), Mr. Adrian Comper, Mr. A. Moulsdale, and Mr. J. B. Allen.
   The head office and works of the Comper Aircraft Co., Ltd., are situated at Hooton Park Aerodrome, Cheshire, the works having been built during the War for the erecting of American-built Handley Page machines. The Armistice came, and the works were not required, but they will now be put to good use. Hooton Park aerodrome is situated on the strip of land between the estuaries of the rivers Dee and Mersey, and is within a few miles of Birkenhead and Chester. The aerodrome itself is a very good one, and the situation is such that there would be no great difficulty in arranging for testing seaplanes, should the firm decide later to produce this type of machine. The workshops are so arranged that the raw material enters at one end and the finished machines emerge at the other, on to the actual aerodrome. Moreover, the shop space available permits of expansion to almost any extent, so that altogether the firm is in a favourable position to go into quantity production with its machines, of which the "Swift" is the first.

Flight, April 1930



   FLT.-LT. N. COMPER, when he left the R.A.F. and formed the Comper Aircraft Co. with its works at Hooton, near Birkenhead, had already had experience of designing and building very light aircraft, as he designed and built the series C.L.A.1 - 4 for the Cranwell Light Aeroplane Club.
   The idea lying behind the Swift is that high power is not necessary for high performance, and also that there is a market for the very light and cheap single seater, provided it has a good performance.
   The Swift is the first machine from this new factory, and so far gives promise of more than fulfilling the expectations of its designers.
   It is a machine which looks far better than drawings would lead one to suppose, and one that should have a very great appeal to those who wish to own a single seater with a particularly "snappy" performance. There will undoubtedly always be a demand for the single seater, just as there is a demand for the sports model motor-cycle and the Swift, with its top speed of about 105 m.p.h. can certainly claim to be a sports model in the very light class. The small engine, an A.B.C. "Scorpion," will make it an economical machine to run and whether for merely sporting purposes or for those who wish to get in sufficient flying hours to qualify for their "B" licence, it should prove a good proposition.
   Among the many points of good design are, firstly, the attention which has been paid to the pilot's view, and though the means of obtaining this appear at first sight somewhat unorthodox, they are very successful. Then, secondly, the undercarriage has been designed to give a minimum of drag, and all the shock-absorbing mechanism is carried inside the fuselage so that the part of the compression leg which is usually outside in the slipstream, and is rather large, is, in this case, a normal thin strut, and therefore offers very little resistance.

Flight, June 1932

The Gipsy-Engined "Swift"

   ORIGINALLY designed for, and fitted with, the A.B.C. "Scorpion" two-cylinder engine of some 35 h.p., the "Swift" monoplane produced by the Comper Aircraft Co., Ltd., of Hooton Park Aerodrome, Cheshire, has undergone development in the direction of more and more power, accompanied by a corresponding increase in performance. First came the "Pobjoy Swift," made possible by the passing in fine style of the very light little Pobjoy "R" engine of 75-80 b.h.p. That type quickly "made history." On one of them Mr. Butler flew to Australia in record time, continuing his touring afterwards and piling up an impressive mileage. On another Mr. Taylor twice flew across the Andes mountans, clearing this little "obstacle" with plenty to spare.
   Yet another variant of the "Swift" is to appear soon. Designed specifically for the King's Cup Air Race (one has been entered by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales), this is fitted with a de Havilland "Gipsy III" inverted engine, and doubtless will in time find many uses other than racing.
   No photographs of the Gipsy-engined "Swift" are available at the moment, but the general appearance is well shown in the scale drawings. The "Gipsy III" is somewhat long and deep for such a tiny little machine, and at first one is apt to regard the "Pobjoy Swift" as the better looking of the two types, although doubtless familiarity will soon accustom one to the altered appearance. The "Gipsy Swift" is not, of course, intended to supplant the "Pobjoy Swift," but will be an alternative type, both being available to the buying public.
   Generally speaking, the "Gipsy Swift" does not differ materially in design and construction from the "Pobjoy Swift" other than in the matter of engine and installation. The wing dimensions remain unaltered at 24 ft. (7,32 m.) span and 90 sq. ft. (8,36 m2.) wing area. With the heavier engine, etc., the gross weight goes up to 1,130 lb. (514 kg.), which brings the wing loading up to 12.55 lb./sq. ft. (61,5 kg./m2.). The power loading is, however, low at 9.42 lb./h.p. (4,28 kg./CV).
   For obvious reasons it is not possible to give definite performance figures at present. That the new machine will be considerably faster than the Pobjoy-engined model is to be expected, the power having been increased by some 50 per cent, and the frontal area and overall drag coefficient probably remaining substantially as before. Owing to the fact that the wing loading has increased, the rate of climb, which was always very spectacular in the "Pobjoy Swift," will very likely be but little altered, and we should imagine that it is mainly in the matter of speed that the new type will score.
   When the "Swift" is fitted with the "Gipsy III" engine the tare weight of the machine becomes 730 lb., which leaves a disposable load of 400 lb. It is intended that the normal weight of fuel and oil shall be 180 lb. (22 gallons of petrol), so that the useful load, i.e., pilot and luggage, etc., becomes 220 lb. For a pilot of average weight this leaves a very good margin for luggage, and the machine should enable the private owner who wishes to use the machine for touring at high speed to take with him enough "spare clothes" for even fairly extensive tours.
   As both the machine and its new engine are thoroughly well tried out, the reliability of the combination should be satisfactory, and the only subject left for speculation is the speed. That we shall probably not know until the end of the King's Cup Race on July 8-9. Everyone will wish His Royal Highness every possible good fortune in the race.

Flight, November 1932

British Aircraft

The Comper Aircraft Co., Ltd.
Hooton Park Aerodrome, Cheshire

   ALTHOUGH other designs are on the way, the Comper Aircraft Company has at the present time but two aircraft types actually on the market, the "Pobjoy Swift" and the "Gipsy Swift." A modified version of the "Pobjoy Swift" is the commercial "Swift."
   The original "Swift" was designed for the A.B.C. "Scorpion," and was offered for a time as an alternative to the "Pobjoy Swift." Now, however, the "Pobjoy Swift" is regarded as the standard machine. It is a small single-seater specially intended for the private owner who wants good performance. It is mainly of wood construction, with a relatively few steel fittings at highly stressed points. The fuselage has a curious fin back to which the wing halves are attached, and consequently the view straight ahead is obstructed. The angle is, however, so small that this is not important, and the pilot can, by leaning his head slightly to one side or other, look straight ahead.
   The monoplane wing is strut braced and has a neat folding arrangement which does not require jury struts to brace the wing in the folded position.
   A very neat undercarriage is fitted, using Goodyear airwheels as standard. The shock-absorbing system is housed inside the fuselage.
   Main data of the Comper "Pobjoy Swift" are as follows :-
   Length 18 ft. 4 in. (5, 6 m.)
   Wing span 24 ft. (7,3 m.)
   Wing area 90 sq. ft. (8,36 m.2)
   Tare weight 540 lb. (245 kg.)
   Weight loaded (Aerobatic) 780 lb. (354 kg.)
   ,, ,, (Normal) 985 lb. (447 kg.)
   Cruising speed 120 m.p.h. (193 km./h.)
   Landing speed 40 m.p.h. (64 km./h.)
   Range (standard tankage of 15 gallons = 68 litres) 380 miles (611 km.)
   Take off 60 yards (55 m.)
   Pull up 80 yards (73 m.)
   Initial rate of climb 1,400 ft./min. (7 m./sec.)
   Service ceiling 22,000 ft. (6 725 m.)
   The "Gipsy Swift" is similar to the standard “Swift" in almost all its details except engine installation. It will therefore suffice if we tabulate its main performance figures, which are impressive :-
   Max. speed 165 m.p.h. (266 km./h.)
   Cruising speed 140 m.p.h. (225 km./h.)
   Landing speed 50 m.p.h. (81 km./h.)
   Initial rate of climb 1,400 ft./min. (7 m./sec.)
   Ceiling 20,000 ft. (6 092 m.)
   Range (on 22 gallons = 100 litres) 400 miles (644 km.)
   A commercial model of the "Pobjoy Swift" is intended for feeder line air mail work, survey or communications. Its tare weight is 540 lb. (245 kg.) and its disposable load 530 lb. (241 kg.), giving a gross weight of 1,090 lb. (495 kg.). When the tankage is 15 gallons (68 litres) the range is about 380 miles (611 km.) and the pay load 225 lb. (102 kg.).
   If the tank capacity is increased to 25 gallons (114 litres) the range is increased to 630 miles (1 000 km.) and the pay load decreased to 115 lb. (53 kg.).
ABC Scorpion engine
WITH the "Swift," Mr. Comper has proved that high performance can be obtained with low horsepower. Although the engine is an A.B.C. "Scorpion" of 38 h.p. only, the machine has a top speed of more than 100 m.p.h., and cruises at 85 m.p.h. on a very low fuel consumption.
The unmarked prototype Swift being flown, minus spinner, for the benefit of Flight’s photographer at Hooton Park in January 1930.
The Scorpion-engined prototype Swift being flown by Sydney St Barbe at Brooklands on April 17, 1930.
IN FLIGHT: The larger photograph gives a good idea of the clean lines of the "Swift," while the smaller inset illustrates the good view.
SIDE VIEW OF THE COMPER "SWIFT": Mr. Dawson, Junior, standing by the nose of the machine, gives a good idea of its small size
The unmarked prototype at Hoot on in January 1930.
The Comper "Swift" is an extremely neat little machine, and with an engine of 40 h.p. has as good a performance as the more powerful two-seater light 'planes.
Two views of the prototype Swift, showing the installation of the 40 h.p. ABC Scorpion and the neat, simple cockpit with the altimeter and ASl positioned at eye level in the wing.
THE COMPER "SWIFT": On the left a view into the cockpit. On the right the mounting of the A.B.C. "Scorpion" engine, with the cowling removed.
The prototype Comper Swift, G-AARX.
Flying Officer Snaith, on the Comper "Swift" taxying into the machine park after giving an excellent display of flying (as seen above).
The prototype Comper Swift, G-AARX, photographed at Castle Bromwich circa 1930. Built at Hooton Park in 1929, 'RX was powered by a 35 h.p. ABC Scorpion engine.
The last of the 1930 batch of Swifts, ZK-ACG, seen at Hooton prior to shipment to New Zealand. A Salmson A.D.9 later replaced the ABC Scorpion.
Pobjoy engine
G-AAZD, the aircraft in which F B Chapman flew as far as India in 1935, in his attempted flight to Australia.
Another Skegness visitor was Comper Swift G-AAZD, snapped there in April 1933, the year that it was exported to Egypt. Both cars and aircraft appear to be making use of the petrol pumps, situated on the road that ran along the eastern edge of the aerodome. G-AAZD ended its flying career at Witney, where it crashed in July 1938.
SIMILAR to the standard "Swift," except for the engine, which is a Pobjoy radial, geared. With this engine the "Swift" has a performance resembling that of a single-seater fighter, the climb being more than 1,000 ft./min. First public appearance.
THE FORD TYPE 4-AT-E: Fitted with three Wright J.6 "Whirlwind" engines this machine carries 11 passengers and 2 pilots. Standing under the wings of the Ford are two Comper "Swifts," that on the left being the "Scorpion" version, while that on the right has a Pobjoy engine.
Ford 4-AT-E G-ABEF was assembled at Hooton by Compers in October 1930, and is seen here in company with Swifts ZK-ACG and G-AAZF.
DIGNITY AND IMPUDENCE: The Comper Swift (Pobjoy R) sheltering under the bow of Hadrian at Croydon just before Flt. Lt. N. Comper set out for Italy.
SCENES AT THE START: 4 - The Comper Swift was naturally a centre of interest, being second only to Mr. Webster's Rambler.
A COMPER SWIFT (POBJOY): Being demonstrated by Flt. Lt. N. Comper, with engine the Swift has a performance like a small fighter.
THE POBJOY ENGINE IN A COMPER "SWIFT": Actually these photographs show an earlier model, but the "R" type will be fitted with a similar cowling.
In 1930 Swift G-AAZF was fitted with the prototype Pobjoy P engine, and the following year flew in the King’s Cup race, powered by the prototype Pobjoy R. ’ZF was scrapped at Coley's Yard at Hounslow in 1937.
SORELY TRIED AND NOT FOUND WANTING: The diminutive Comper "Swift" flown by Sqdn.-Ldr. Robb did not succeed in getting a place, but it did get in sixth, which was a very creditable performance indeed in view of the fact that the Pobjoy R.I engine is an entirely new type. The engine gave no trouble whatever, a fact which promises well for the future of the Pobjoy R.I. The "Swift," incidentally, was favourite on the "Tote."
Swift G-ABJR seen at Stag Lane during its short ownership by Air Taxis. It crashed at Brooklands on January 28, 1934, in the inexperienced hands of C. R. Shillingford.
SIDE BY SIDE: Two of the Comper "Swifts" (Pobjoy "R" ) started level. JR was flown by Mr. Mayers, and TC by Capt. Maxwell, who secured third place in the race with a speed of 129.25 m.p.h.
Swift G-ABMY was sold in Tanganyika as VR-TAF in June 1932.
Lt. C. Byas, R.N., seated in his "Swift." The comfortable position which the cockpit allows the pilot should be noted.
A Comper "Swift" ("Pobjoy R") in full flight at Heston.
Butler's Flight to Australia: The Comper "Swift" with 75-h.p. Pobjoy "R" engine.
Swift G-ABPE spent a year in Kuala Lumpur before passing to D. F. W. Atcherley. 'PE was written off after crashing in a field in St Albans in April 1947.
SOME OF THE PERFORMERS AT HANWORTH: A large variety of aircraft types was demonstrated, ranging from the Comper "Swift" (Pobjoy) to the Hawker "Hart" (Kestrel) and Fairey "Firefly III" (Kestrel).
G-ABLI in varied company. Note the single porthole behind the pilot’s cabin - was this prior to the Karachi flight or afterwards? Recognisable among the aircraft in the photograph are Cierva C24 G-ABLM (withdrawn from use December 1934); Puss Moth; Dessoutter (either G-ABFO or G-ABRN); Hendy 302 G-AAVT; Junkers F.13ge G-ABDC (sold in Sweden December 1934) and Comper Swift G-ABPE. Can anyone name and date the occasion?
WIRELESS CONTROL: The Comper "Swift" G-ABPY has been fitted with a Standard receiving set in the small compartment so that the pilot (Flt. Lt, Turner Hughes) can be given, from the ground transmitting station, directions as to which aerobatics manoeuvre to carry out next.
Swift G-ABPY flew with Cobham's National Aviation Day Display and was flown out to India by Richard Shuttleworth.
Comper Swift G-ABRE at Hooton in October 1931.
Arthur Butler in G-ABRE.
Arthur Butler's finest hour: his arrival over Sydney Harbour Bridge on completion of his record flight to Australia from England in November 1931, made in less than ten days.
BUTLER IN AUSTRALIA: This photograph, which arrived in England by the Australian Xmas Air Mail, shows Mr. C. A. Butler landing at Hargrave Park, Sydney, in his Comper "Swift" (Pobjoy engine) after his record-breaking flight from England.
G-ABRE 'somewhere in Australia' after his successful England-Australia flight.
C. A. Butler's special record-breaking Swift, G-ABRE, about to leave Heston for Lympne on October 28, from where it left for Darwin. The national press made much of the fact that Butler made the record flight in carpet slippers.
Victor Smith leaves Croydon in Comper Swift G-ABRE on December 15, 1932 on the first of three attempted flights to the Cape in this aircraft. He was forced down at St Malo and crashed the following day taking off to return to England. A second attempt was made on February 7, 1933 but ended at Oran with a landing accident. The third attempt, leaving Lympne on March 9, ended about 150 miles from Cape Town when Smith ran out of fuel after strong headwinds. G-ABRE was the Swift used by C. A. Butler on his record flight from England to Australia in November 1931.
AN UNSUCCESSFUL RIVAL: Mr. Victor Smith, the young South African airman sets out from Croydon on December 15 to beat Mrs. Mollison's Cape record. He had hard luck, however, and was forced down at St. Malo, while, when taking off for England on December 16, he crashed, damaging his Comper "Swift," but fortunately without hurt to himself.
Comper Swift G-ABTC, after some years of inactivity, is now flying in the hands of Peter Channon at Redhill.
Peter Channon's blue Comper Swift, G-ABTC, is based at Land's End, Cornwall. Outside of the UK, a Pobjoy-engined Swift survives in the Argentine and a Gipsy Swift is still airworthy in Australia.
Swift G-ABUA was originally owned by Miss Fidelia Crossley, daughter of Sir Kenneth Crossley, and was sold in Java in November 1934.
THE START: Capt. Dancy "dropping the flag" for Miss Crossley who flew her "Swift" into third place in the Heston-Cardiff Race. Next to her in the line, Mr. Jackaman's Monospar looked very resplendent.
ON THE STARTING LINE: Mr. Reynolds has his red flag up in readiness to send off Miss Fidelia Crossley in her Comper "Swift" (Pobjoy "R").
Comper C.L.A.7 Swift.
THE A.A. HOLD ON: Sterling work was done by the A.A. Air Squad in securing the aeroplanes from the force of the elements.
Comper Swift G-ABUS, in an all-black colour scheme, was raced a great deal by owner Tony Cole during the Fifties. First sold to Shell Mex in 1932 the Swift is now - 60 years later - owned by Capt Roger Bailey and is awaiting restoration in Herefordshire.
A COMPER "SWIFT" TRAVELLER: Mr. M. Lacayo in the Comper "Swift" (Pobjoy "R" engine) in which he set out from Heston on April 21 on a two months' tour of the Continent to demonstrate the qualities of machine and engine.
Comper Swift
Flt. Lt. G. H. Stainforth, who came in third in the London-Newcastle Race, is here seen in the cockpit and also taking off in his Comper "Swift" (Pobjoy).
Comper Swift G-ABUU, with John Pothecary piloting, photographed near Shoreham on July 10, 1977, by Gordon Bain.
На снимке хорошо видны особенности самолета Swift: небольшие размеры, высокопоставленное крыло, колеса основных опор шасси в обтекателях.
Comper Swift
Mr. Lowe's Comper Swift has been improved in appearance by the fitting of an N.A.C.A. type of cowling designed and made by Mr. Cross, of Romford.
Mr. Lowe's Pobjoy-engined Comper Swift embodies a number of alterations as compared with the original of some years ago. A Gipsy-powered version is also racing.
Comper Swift G-ABWE was owned by Stan Lowe from September 1935 until June 1938; previously it had belonged to Richard Shuttleworth. Lowe raced WE extensively, and the ugly cowling covering the Pobjoy engine was added in an attempt to squeeze extra speed from this popular racing aircraft. WE was sold abroad in 1940.
S.T.Lowe's mount for the 1937 King's Cup was G-ABWE, hideously modified with faired-in wing struts, close-fitting wheel fairings and streamlined engine cowling.
Georges Reginensi - and his Comper "Swift" (Pobjoy) - was a visitor to Buc when the Tourists arrived.
Pobjoy Airmotors’ director, I. C. Maxwell, took delivery of G-ACFD, but in September 1934 he sold it to French aerobatic pilot G. Reginensi and the aircraft became F-ANIY. It is seen here at Buc, in France, on July 30, 1933.
Alex Henshaw’s Swift G-ACGL, in which he won the Siddeley Challenge Trophy in July 1933 with an average speed of 128 m.p.h. The aircraft survived until 1942.
Flt Lt R. P. Pope took delivery of the last British-registered Swift, G-ACML, in 1934.
The late Bill Woodhams, one-time owner of the Scarlet Angel, at one with his aircraft as he formates on the AIR PORTRAITS camera aircraft over the Warwickshire countryside in November 1968.
The Comper Swift G-ACTF, which flew throughout the war in civil guise and is shown here in a post-war photograph.
Photograph of The Scarlet Angel was taken on September 12, 1981, from John Greenland's Fairchild 24, HB-EFB over Booker.
Bill Woodham's flying 'TF in 1970.
Competing in the 1950 King's Cup Air Race. Wolverhampton. 1950.
As G-ACTF after restoration at Christchurch in 1948.
With sliding hood and wheel spats for 1950 Daily Express race.
The Spanish aircraft designer J. Rein built Swift, EC-AAT, seen here in the ferry markings EC-W12.
Registered PK-SAQ, the Swift was modified with a longer nose.
SITTING DOWN: The Comper "Swift," piloted by Mohamed Hasek, lands over an obstruction.
G-AAZD competing in the 1934 Oasis Rally, after sale in Egypt as SU-AAJ.
Swift G-ACAG was sold in Australia in December 1934 and became VH-UVC. It was airworthy until the late 1960s.
VH-UVC at Moorabbin in 1962.
VH-UVC with ‘Mickey Mouse' logo on the fuselage.
VH-UZB at Fishermen's Bend, Victoria, when owned by Fred Betts of Geelong.
Picture was taken in India in 1933. The photograph shows Ali being assisted by two RAF officers.
Alban Ali’s Scarlet Angel, VT-ADO, photographed in India at the time of the Viceroy Trophy Race during Ali’s attempt to fly from India to Heston.
The Scarlet Angel with its original registration painted on for the occasion at Wycombe Air Park, May 26, 1981.
WITH THE POBJOY R.: The Comper "Swift," designed by Flt. Lt. N. Comper (note the Indian registration letters)
As VT-ADO awaiting collection at Hooton in August 1932.
Deja vu - well, nearly. The picture at left was taken at Heston in 1933 and shows Alban Ali in front of an unknown Swift. The picture was used as the frontispiece of his book and the registration letters added later. Right, Ali stands in front of the real Scarlet Angel at Wycombe Air Park, May 26, 1981.
One of the most famous of all Comper Swifts, G-ACTF, the former Scarlet Angel VT-ADO. It is seen here during a thorough overhaul at Baginton at the time that it was owned by the Proctor Flying Group, based at Baginton. Today TF is owned by Alan Chalkley and is currently in store.
Two Swifts were exported to Switzerland, becoming CH-351 and CH-352. Later they were allocated the marks HB-EXO and HB-OXE, but only HB-EXO was taken up, as CH-352 was sold in France as F-ANHO. CH-351 is seen here at Dubendorf, Zurich.
The unique photograph shows Charles Bell in front of the two Argentinian Swifts, R222 and R232, at Mendoza. R222 was delivered to Comper agent Cyril Taylor in January 1932, later becoming LV-FBA. It still survives. R232 was re-registered LV-YEA and its fate is unknown.
FAR FROM HOME: A British-owned Comper "Swift" ("Pobjoy") over the entrance to Hong Kong harbour.
AERODROME RACING: Realising the fascination of watching aeroplanes racing around a course on the aerodrome, Sir Alan Cobham has included this item in his programme. Here are seen a Southern "Martlet" and a Comper "Swift" fighting for first place.
The circus comes to yet another town. In this formation, led by H.P. W.10 G-ABMR, are two Gipsy Moths, Comper Swift, Desoutter, Tiger Moth, Airspeed Ferry and a Southern Martlet.
Comper Swift
THE COMPER "SWIFT" (POBJOY ENGINE): These photographs show the machine which belongs to Mr. Selfridge. That used by Mr. Taylor in his flight was similar. The installation of the Pobjoy is shown on the left, while the photograph on the right shows that although the machine is diminutive, the pilot can take with him a fullsize suit case when he goes touring.
THIRD HOME: Miss "Delia" Crossley, who finished third, in her Comper "Swift" (Pobjoy).
DAVID CHALLENGES GOLIATH: Mr. C. A. Butler hopes to beat the existing record for a flight to Australia. He has chosen a Comper "Swift" with Pobjoy engine, the smallest aircraft ever to attempt the flight to Australia.
He made the record flight flying in his carpet slippers!
Lord Lonsdale with Councillor E. Wilburn examining the Shell-Mex & B.P. Co.'s Comper "Swift" (Pobjoy) after the opening of the Doncaster airport.
Scruticappers or handineers Capt. Dancy and Mr. Rowarth. They are inspecting the latest version of cowling on Tutt’s Pobjoy-engined Comper Swift.
THE KUALA LUMPUR FLYING CLUB: Our picture shows the recently erected Club hangar with three of the Club "Moths," together with another "Moth" and Comper "Swift," privately owned respectively by Dr. (Miss) Robertson and Mr. Birch, both members of the Club.
A FINE ATTENDANCE: Sywell from the air, showing the large number of aircraft which attended the All Women's Meeting. In the left foreground is a Comper Swift (Pobjoy) and two Redwings (Genet). Formations of three of each of these aircraft were a feature of the meeting.
The aeroplanes lined up for the two heats of the Folkestone Aero Trophy Race. Six Comper "Swifts" took part.
Salmson engine
Comper Swift light aeroplane single-seater (50-h.p. Salmson engine)
Production Swift G-AAZC, seen here with Salmson A.D.9 and raked fin and rudder.
A MACHINE WHICH LIVES UP TO ITS NAME: The latest Comper Swift (50 h.p. Salmson), a fast handy little one-seater and the property of Mr. Gordon Selfridge. Selfridge's, it may be of interest to note, have ordered eight Comper Swifts - two with Salmson engines and six with the new Pobjoy engine.
Swift G-AAZD in similar form like G-AAZC. Both aircraft were later modified to Pobjoy standard.
Gipsy engine
PRINCE OF WALES' KING'S CUP ENTRY: The Comper "Swift," with de Havilland "Gipsy III" engine, generally resembles the standard Pobjoy-engined "Swift" except for the nose of the fuselage. A brief description of this machine, and scale drawings, was published in our issue of June 3, 1932.
Gipsy-engined Comper Swift G-ABWW, April 1939.
One of three Gipsy-engined Swifts produced by Comper, G-ABWW was powered by a 130 h.p. D.H. Gipsy Major and made its public debut at the 1932 King's Cup Race.
The Comper "Swift" which he entered for the 1932 King's Cup Race, and in which Flt. Lt. Fielden gained 2nd place;
FASTEST TIME: Flt. Lt. Fielden in his Comper "Swift" ("Gipsy III") awaits the signal to go. He put up the fastest time in the race, with a speed of no less than 162.25 m.p.h.
The Comper Swift G-ABWW entered by the Prince of Wales waits for timekeeper Reynolds to drop his flag. The Swift came second.
The winner taxies in: Mr. Lowe about to notice the difference between horizontal and vertical rainfall.
SCRATCH: Flt. Lt. G. H. Stainforth, who made the fastest time in the race with the Coupe Deutsch "Swift" ("Gipsy Major"), starting in Heat 6 in the King's Cup Race.
F/O. H. H. Leech waiting for Mr. Reynolds to drop his flag at Brooklands. Messrs. Dancy and Rowarth, the handicappers, are standing behind the Comper "Swift" (Gipsy Major), but although Leech got the fastest time in the race he did not beat their allowance sufficiently to win.
THE FAST MACHINES: The last three entrants in the races were considerably faster than the rest of the machines. Here we see Capt. Dancy (with the flag) and Mr. Rowarth starting Mr. Cook in his Gipsy "Major" engined Comper "Swift."
THE TWO COMPER "SWIFTS" ("GIPSY III") Fielden and Styran getting away on Friday morning.
Fitted with a 120 h.p. Gipsy III, G-ABWH was initially purchased by the British Air Navigation Company Ltd for the 1932 King's Cup. The following year it was fitted with a sliding hood and shipped to America to compete in the Roosevelt Field Air Races as NC27K.
"GIPSY III's" AT SKEGNESS: Mr. Styran's "Swift."
The Swift at Roosevelt Field, still with British markings
G-ABWH in the UK, showing its enclosed canopy.
Types of competing machines: Comper Swift.
THE COMFORTER: Capt. W. L. Hope derives comfort from an empty pipe when flying in the race. His "greenhouse" is shown in the open position.
THE PRINCE OF WALES' ENTRY: The "Gipsy Swift" taxying in after securing second place.
Richard Shuttleworth’s Gipsy Swift, G-ACBY, photographed in India at the time of the Viceroy Trophy race in 1933.
Ready for the start of Folkestone Aero Trophy Race. The nearest machine is Mr. MacGilchrist's "Swift" (Gipsy III), on which Mr. Styran won the race.
Well known at races are the Comper Swifts (Gipsy III).
The second and first pilots home, Messrs. A. Henshaw and S. T. Lowe, face the weather with the former’s Gipsy Comper in the background.
The Monospar is being demonstrated by Mr. Seth-Smith while the interested spectators engulf Mr. Lowe's Swift
THE PRINCE OF WALES' ENTRY: The "Gipsy Swift" is being groomed.
Fitted with a 120 h.p. Gipsy III, G-ABWH was initially purchased by the British Air Navigation Company Ltd for the 1932 King's Cup. The following year it was fitted with a sliding hood and shipped to America to compete in the Roosevelt Field Air Races as NC27K. The photograph shows it at Croydon with American markings.
At Jandakot, Western Australia, restoration of Doug Muir's Gipsy-engined Comper Swift has reached the undercoat stage. The Swift was built in 1932 and joined British Air Navigation at Heston as G-ABWH. In December 1933 it went to the USA as NC27K, but returned to the UK in August 1935. It went to Australia in 1939, stopped flying in the Sixties and was derelict by the time Muir bought it at Kalgoorlie in 1971. The airframe has been rebuilt and a Gipsy Major I engine has been installed. Muir plans to paint the aircraft in the Prince of Wales’ colours.
VH-ACG in the 1964 Ansett air race, at Parafield, South Australia, 1964.
VH-ACG at Kalgoolie Western Australia, 1965.
Gipsy Swift G-ABWH was sold in Australia and became VH-ACG.
VH-ACG, named ‘Marco Polo' and operated by Morris Air Services.
UNDER THE SHADOW OF THY WING. Flt.-Lt. Comper, Miss Johnson, Mr. Everard, Miss Spooner, and Mr. Franklin, beneath the "Swift" at Leicester
Lady Bailey tries the cockpit of the Swift under the eye of Flt.-Lt. Comper.
YOUTH AND EXPERIENCE: Mr. A. Henshaw (in white flying suit), though one of the youngest pilots in the race, flew his Comper " Swift" (Pobjoy) into seventh place, and also won the Siddeley Trophy as a representative of the Skegness and East Lincolnshire Aero Club.
Arthur Butler in the cockpit of G-ABRE.
SECOND MAN: Flt. Lt. E. C. T. Edwards in his Comper "Swift" (Pobjoy) waiting to get away in the final. He flew a remarkably fine race, winning each of his heats and ultimately running into second place.
A TIGHT FIT: Flt. Lt. Pope housed his parachute in the luggage locker of the Comper "Swift."
No. 20, Capt. W. L. Hope, and No. 21, R. O. Shuttleworth, are both flying Swifts.
Mr. S. T. Lowe who, with his Comper Swift, won the Portsmouth - Shoreham - Portsmouth race which replaced the Isle of Wight event.
Mr. A. Henshaw, who came in first in both races, but was unfortunately disqualified for cutting a corner in the first. He has recently taught his father (standing behind the machine) to fly, and now the two are seen together at all meetings.
Mr. A. J. Styran (left) looks cheerful after his victory as does Flt. Lt. N. Comper, who, besides coming in second on a "Swift" (Pobjoy), is designer also of both machines.
THE COMPER SWIFT: The first production batch of Swifts going through the Hooton works of the Comper Aircraft Co.
Butler's Flight to Australia: The special drinking-water supply on this machine.