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Comper Swift takes to the air at Camden


old man emu
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A rare Comper Swift (VH-AGC) took to the air at Camden today (19/9/08) after being in mothballs for some time. The aircraft was formerly based in Western Australia.

 

The aircraft was trucked to Sydney and re-assembled at Camden Airport. The first flight was made in 8/8 blue with winds light and variable. The Gypsy Major sounded really good (not like the sound of a Tiger at all).

 

After an extended groundrun, the aircraft jumped into the air, but observers on the ground immediately picked that there was a rigging problem. The aircraft had a tendency to roll to the left. The pilot gingerly climbed out over Narellan and made a wide circuit over Harrington Park and Cobbitty. After being lost to sight for some time, the aircraft was seen on base for runway 11. The pilot made a fast approach and landed the aircraft nicely.

 

After adjustments to the rigging, the aircraft was refueled and departed runway 06 for Bankstown.

 

Old Man Emu

 

 

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You have to look along the fuselage. The Comper Swifts were originally built for air racing, so I suppose it was a case of "Go Fast - Turn Left".

 

Most were fitted with Pobjoy 3 cylinder engines, but AGC is one of the few that were fitted with a Gypsy. Actually this aircraft is a real rare bird.

 

Old Man Emu

 

 

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Yes - very rare - I had heard of them but knew nothing about them. After talking with people down there when I saw it I looked up on the net and found this potted history on Wikpedia - I guess AGC must be one of the two with the Gipsy 3 :

 

In March 1929 when Flight Lieutenant Nicholas Comper left the Royal Air Force he formed the Comper Aircraft Company to build an aircraft he had designed, the Comper Swift. The Prototype (registered G-AARX) first flew at Brooklands on 17 May 1930. The aircraft was a small but graceful single-seat, braced high-wing monoplane of wooden construction. The prototype was powered by a 40 hp (30 kW) A.B.C Scorpion piston engine. After successful tests seven more aircraft were built in 1930 powered by a 50 hp Salmson A.D.9 radial engine. Trials with Pobjoy P radial engine for use in air racing resulted in all the following aircraft being powered by the Pobjoy R. The last three aircraft (sometimes called the Gipsy Swift) were fitted with de Havilland Gipsy engines - two with 120 hp (89 kW) Gipsy Major III and one with a 130hp (97 kW) Gipsy Major. Postwar, surviving Swifts continued to compete successfully in UK air races into the mid 1950's.

 

 

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From "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft is Australia and New Zealand" David Eyre, Child & Associates Publishing Pty Ltd, 2nd Edition 1988:

 

"Beause of the interest in racing in the 1930s a few Swifts were fitted with Gypsy Major in-line engines, increasing the power from 75 to 130HP. The first of these, G-ABWH, afer an interesting history which included racing in the USA as N27K, appeared in Australia.

 

First registered in July 1939 as VH-ACG (c/n GS32/2), it crashed on the fairway of the Great Lakes Golf Course in Sydney on 18 December 1950. It was eventually rebuilt in Adelaide in 1963 and was flown in the 1964 Ansett Air Race from Brisbane to Adelaide. Subsequently it was placed in storage, but in recent years (pre 1983) has been restored to airworthy condition an is based in Perth.

 

VH-UVC (c/n S32/10), built in 1932 and fitted with a Pobjoy radial engine, was first registered in October 1934, but was retired and placed in storage in 1968, where it remains."

 

ANYONE KNOW WHERE VH-UVC IS?

 

Wingspan: 7.32 m (24 ft); Length 5.6 m (18ft 4 in); height 1.61 m (5ft 3.5 in); wing area 8.36 m^2 (90 sq ft)

 

Speed:

 

Max: 165 Mph (144 kts); Cruise: 140 mph (122 kts)

 

Empty weight: 276.74 Kg (610 lb); MTOW 512.57 Kg (1130 lb)

 

Old Man Emu

 

 

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Comper Swift

 

Just joined this forum and you are correct Arthur. UVC is slowly on it's way and it will join ACG in the hanger as a pair.

 

good to hear from you!

 

Roy Fox

 

 

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Comper Swift.

 

I have a vivid memory of a Comper Swift doing a barrell roll around my DHC-1 (Chippie), on my first solo nav. just north-west of Rutherford Aerodrome. Let me assure you that it does make an impression, especially when you have no forewarning. The aircraft was reputedly the one flown by Arthur Butler from England to Australia. At the time I knew of it, it was fitted with a Gypsy MINOR. 90 Hp engine (I believe) and the original fitment engine was a Pobjoy Cataract 5-cyl GEARED radial, which was of lesser power than the Minor. The aircraft is very small, and the propellor has the appearance of a schneider trophy racer. It has no flaps and has a quite high approach speed (around 80 Kts) Nev..

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...
VH-UVC (c/n S32/10), built in 1932 and fitted with a Pobjoy radial engine, was first registered in October 1934, but was retired and placed in storage in 1968, where it remains."

ANYONE KNOW WHERE VH-UVC IS?

 

Wingspan: 7.32 m (24 ft); Length 5.6 m (18ft 4 in); height 1.61 m (5ft 3.5 in); wing area 8.36 m^2 (90 sq ft)

 

Speed:

 

Max: 165 Mph (144 kts); Cruise: 140 mph (122 kts)

 

Empty weight: 276.74 Kg (610 lb); MTOW 512.57 Kg (1130 lb)

 

Old Man Emu

I found this link, It's a Vh-UVC but it was made in 1936, and it's not a radial engine... Must be another one or something...

 

Photo Private De Havilland DH-82 Tiger Moth VH-UVC

 

 

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