by Steve Whittenberger
November? Are you kidding me? Where did the year go? Did we just pull a Rip Van Winkle? Must be getting old… Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner and the end of another fabulous Swift year is nearly in the books. Seems like we were just completing annual inspections, dusting off the Swifts and getting ready for the year a couple of weeks ago. Sun ‘n Fun, Swift National at Dayton, Oshkosh, fly-ins all over the country and our Swifts flashing in the sunlight and all the great times with our fellow Swifters. How fortunate we are. Lots of stuff in this issue: check out the story of Guilluame Feral and his special Swift and learn how he controls it without being able to use his feet on the pedals. A review of the Canadian Swift Birds brings back a lot of memories….these guys were really good. Watch for a good article by Steve Wilson on the hydraulic pump and a really neat story about a former Swift dealer by Stan Price in next month’s December issue. Please have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!
I hope your part of the country is as beautiful as ours is here in the Southeast US … one on the most fabulous fall seasons I can ever remember … hmmm … maybe that’s not saying much as I can’t remember what I had for breakfast….or can I? Let’s see….!
Board Chairman Comments
by Will Roberson
Last month I reported a bit on my trip to the Swift gathering at Westover, California. I am reminded that next year will be more than one anniversary: Swift’s 70th and Westover’s 30th anniversary. Good show ladies and gents. Stand by for more information on both of these as there may be some special plans in store for 2015. As many of you might recall, we had a special gathering in Texas in 1995….Swift’s 50th … So here we are 20 years later ready for the 70th …and counting. We are told the Red River Swift Wing was not quite ready to bring Swift back to Texas for next year’s National and Swift’s 70th but they are planning to give it a go in 2016 … which will also be significant in that it was the first full year of Swift production and also the 70th year for many of your Swifts. In the meantime… Jerry Kirby and his committee are already hard at work setting up a special rendezvous for the 70th anniversary event and we will hold it in Bowling Green, Kentucky … which promises to be a great venue for us. After all these years our Swifts are still the great aircraft they were built to be … rugged, durable, great performers and beautiful. This event will also be special for me as my Grandfather worked at Globe during those years. Lots of great memories and better yet … lots of great plans for the future. We are a long way from being done with our fabulous Swifts.
Also included in this issue is a report on Swift financials. We cut it down a bit to fit into the space available but the essentials are there. If you want to see the full report just contact Pam at HQ and she can email it to you. In sum, we have some funding in the Escrow account but not nearly enough … ditto for the building fund. As any prudent organization should, we intend to build the escrow account to at least 3 years of reserve to insure uninterrupted operations. We do a lot of juggling to keep the doors open and that is at the crux of our push to increase our accounts. We also have about a third of the funds required to finish the museum building and when it is completed Swift will be a much stronger entity and one of the very top type clubs in America. With strong participation of all of you we will get it done.
Pam tells me frequently that we do get quite a few groups … many of them school groups… to tour our facility… which frankly is getting pretty shabby. If Swift can help increase interest in General Aviation that is all the better because it benefits all of us and the generations to follow. We are counting on the efforts of all Swifters to help out as we pursue our goals. Don’t forget the Swift Brick Program. Christmas is coming up and a Swift brick would be a nice way to honor a relative, friend or yourself as a supporter of Swift. You should have gotten the forms in last month’s newsletter and they are available on the Swift web site as well. Please do all you can to help us reach our goals. Best to you all and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends.
Executive Director Comments
by Pam Nunley
Work Session and Board Meeting — I hope you are making plans to attend our Fall work session here at HQ’s Friday, Nov. 14th. You are also welcome to attend the Board of Directors meeting on Saturday the 15th at 9AM if you like or you can continue with projects here at the airport. In order to have optimal internet/skype service, the meeting will be held at the Comfort Inn conference room here in Athens. They have offered us their best rate which includes a full hot breakfast. Please call the hotel direct ASAP (423-252-8030) please request “Swift Rooms” to get the special rate of $85.00. Please call them right away! We look forward to a very productive weekend.
Fund Raising—Thank you, to those of you who have stepped forward and are participating in our Factory Brick and Replica Brick Fund Raising Programs. With your participation, these programs can make all the difference for your organization. In agreement with Chairman Will’s comments above… What a great way to forever honor someone and support the organization in the process. Your contributions are, as always, tax deductible.
Donations —Many of you have donated parts to the Parts Department this year. Thanks to each of you! Your generosity helps to support our operation here as well as breathing new life into other Swifts. Along those lines, please remember, if you are thinking of giving up your Swift, we are hoping to find a nice Swift to offer in a fund raising raffle next year. Whether you are in a position to donate an aircraft or possibly enter into a partial sale/ donation, please keep the Swift Museum Foundation in mind. Contact us here at HQ’s for more information.
Christmas is just around the corner!! We are preparing a special order for custom Polo Shirts for men and ladies, Denim shirts, ladies Fleece Jackets and youth T-shirts. All embroidered shirts and jackets can be personalized with your colors and N numbers if you like. You just might want to leave this page lying around so it can be found by Santa! We also have Swift clocks, leather jotters, wonderful books by Sparky Barnes Sargent, Swift Tote Bags and more. Give us a call so we can relieve some of that shopping stress and get it
there in plenty of time before Christmas.
Swift Parts — Ready for shipment 16084 Adel Gear Struts, 16085 Adel Gear Bushings, Bolt and Bushing Kits for Adel and ELI gear, 3371 Pulley Brackets (new PMA)
Welcome to our NEW MEMBERS !!!
Andrew Bechtol — Long Beach, CA — N3859K
Christopher Gross —Vienna,Austria — N3866K
Lena Perkins —Woodside, CA — N8508X
The Incredible Swift Journey of Guilluame Feral and F-ATZN (N 96911G)
What follows is an amazing story of the love of flight and the determination, tenacity, vision, hard work and desire to succeed on a near impossible task….ownership, modifications, checkout, training and qualification of a disabled pilot to alter his Swift and then fly it and fly it well. Many of you met Guilluame at Dayton and found this delightful and spirited pilot a joy to be around. We all marveled at his ability, keen wit and found him to be the epitome of Swift spirit. The story reveals what inspired him to buy, alter and fly a Swift and how he did both the mechanical changes and more importantly how he convinced the aviation bureaucracy to sanction and approve his dream. Isn’t it interesting that we met Guillaume at Dayton … the cradle of aviation … and found in him… the same spirit that pushed some of our early aviation pioneers… i.e. the Wright Brothers and many others. What a fantastic new Swifter and friend. Welcome Guillaume!!! This is his story.
How I got Hooked: Until June 2008, the only Swifts I knew were 1) a bird and 2) an aerobatic glider. That year at the French Navy’s yearly meeting in Landivisiau, friend Alain de Valence told me he flew there from Roanne …in his Swift … I was filled with a bit of disbelief. “You got towed all the way” I asked. Hard to believe someone would do that. The next day I finally understood what he was talking about as I saw his beautiful aircraft….a Swift… sitting on the display apron and sparkling in the sun. I orbited around it at least 3 times watching her … not daring to touch her skin. An hour later when Alains’s son Aymeric, a French Air Force pilot, performed a smooth and beautiful display in an immaculate blue sky …. I was stunned by the graceful beauty and elegant maneuvers …. and….I was hooked! Five months later, Pierre Duval told me he had enough space in an aircraft shipping crate from Carson City, Nevada to Rouen to accommodate an Aircoupe along with his Ryan. I told him it was a done deal … but …it won’t be an Aircoupe… it will be a Swift. So in March 2009, Pierre concluded the purchase of N969RG on my behalf and flew it from Diamond Point to Carson City. After many tries and calculations to use a standard size container, it became obvious that if we did not want to dismount the center section, we would need a crate specially built. BANG … $16,000. So the question was…”can you think of someone who would fly it across the ocean for say… half that amount?” Gerard David was the obvious answer … an experienced aviator with 33 crossings to his credit at that point.
Oshkosh, August 2009. Alain’s 32 gallon ferry tank has been installed and the checkout is done. Gerard David is ready to depart but the last oil analysis is not good and the engine must be removed and overhauled.
October 3, 2009…9:10 PM. N969RG’s wheels touch the ground at Toussus-le-Noble’s runway after a very eventful flight from Oshkosh: 31 hours in 4 days, 6 stopovers, a frozen airspeed indicator on final at Narsarsuaq, an inoperative glide indicator, 23 degrees in the
cockpit on a 5 hour leg above the icepack….this then became Gerard’s 34th crossing of the Atlantic in a non-complex aircraft. Only Gerard … age 68 … could do that for free and keep a smile on his face. He is truly an amazing aviator and a great friend.
The Modification: It took me two months and many more dead end sketches to resolve the one pending question: How to accommodate hand controls for the rudder? The answer came in a flash while I was flicking through the red Swift Parts Manual … so simple… The bellcrank! To operate it manually, I need only a vertical lever that goes through the cabin floor and a horizontal rod connecting both. On a tail wheel aircraft … it is necessary to keep control of the rudder and the throttle with the same hand without leaving one for the other. To comply with that constraint, a rotating throttle haft must be fitted at the top of the rudder control lever. It is also important to operate the brakes separately and both at the same time….so … two close brake handles have to be installed on the stick.
“There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip”…so… 13 months later, N969RG, fitted with its complete hand control, rolls out of the hangar. The STC application file is now in the hands of a French FAA approved mechanic who is mandated to process it and get the approval.
September 2011. A cold sweat runs down my back while I’m talking to one of the 4 designated US Engineers who are to work on the STC and send their conclusions to the FAA. “Yes, we do have your file … now you need to lay $15000 on the table before we open it and begin to read.” The final whack comes from Don Bartholomew: “Listen Guillaume, I only had two designated engineers who worked on my bubble canopy STC and it cost me tens of thousands. Had I been aware of that from the start, I’d never have even thought of making that canopy. And if I can add my personal comment… flying a Swift without the use of your legs is not a wise idea… for you really need to have all the controls available all the time: stick, pedals, separate braking and throttle.” Wow. But I responded… “that in fact is the case … I do have them all at my fingertips all the time, Don!” Don then added a helpful comment: “Then make sure the guys in charge of the certification are aware of that and convinced that is the case.” Many thanks to Don and his wise counsel.
Great … I now have a beautiful bird fitted with nice and efficient hand controls and I might have to sell it because of the cost of a highly hypothetical STC. Can you imagine how “happy” I was?
As it turned out my rescuer was Jean Marie Klinka, once Mudry’s Chief Engineer who designed a couple of aerobatic planes among which was the CAP232 … several times world champion. Jean Marie was by then finishing his career at the French Aeronautical Authority in the light Aircraft certification department. His suggestion was to have my s/n 1151 registered in France as a vintage aircraft. Vintage aircraft STCs are processed domestically, by himself. No need to go through EASA (European FAA) and pay a substantial fee. No need either to have the 25 FAA STCs documented for N969RG validated in Europe. A glimmer of hope!
Flight Testing: This was the last step and was performed by Jean-Claude Bordenave and Loic Houede, test pilot and flight engineer, of the official Direction Generale le I’Armement. Both convinced their administrators to send them from Istres, in the South of France , to Les Mureaux…12 miles East of Paris in order to certify the hand control system – free of charge. We took this opportunity to gather several actors who contributed to make this adventure a success: Jean-Marie, Manu …who built the parts of the system, Jean-Louis, Chief Pilot and FI of our Airclub and Claude … a dear friend and President of the Club. Unfortunately, Gerard David could not attend as he was still struggling to survive a chopper accident that left him with very serious burns.
Results: After that memorable day, the STC was issued in a matter of days. Since then, every single hour I have spent flying the Swift has been a fantastic moment. Not only for the well-known smooth and sensual pleasure it gives but also because of the whole adventure and friendly links the beautiful bird has formed to bind together a group of true aviation lovers. Sharing the pleasure of flying my Swift with these other like minded pilots produces an even greater pleasure.
Epilog: The pride of belonging to the Swift family is a fantastic feeling. It has built up here in France as the number of Swift owners has increased from one in 2008 to nine today. My pride increased even more when I visited all the wonderful people at Swift National in Dayton. You have no idea what a pleasure it is to be associated with such a great group of people. My thanks to all of you for making me feel so welcome. Swifters truly are exceptional!
This has been a team accomplishment! I would have never been able to get through this adventure without all the nice friends who stepped in. And the friendship built into F-AZTN (N969RG) is the real big stuff that will remain. As Jean Bodin wrote (as cited by Antoine de Saint Exupery) “il n’est de valeur que d’hommes” or “There is no value but men”. This certainly applies to the esprit we see in our Swift world.
Modification: Hand Control Device (HCD) for Low Limbs Disabled (LLD) Pilot
Description: The HCD system was devised to allow a LLD pilot to operate the aircraft without safety pilot or Flight Instructor. The HCD consists in a combined control for rudder and throttle that is handled by the pilot’s right hand while seated in the left hand station or by the pilot’s left hand while seated in the right hand station. As rudder pedals are not used by the LLD pilot, and additional braking control is installed on the stick. This control provides both symmetrical and differential braking action on the main gear wheels. The tubing of this additional braking system has been designed in order to allow installation either on left hand stick or on right hand stick.
The vertical lever of HCD is intended to be easily and quickly installed and removed (two bolts at the base of the lever). When the lever is removed, hardware of the HCD installation remaining on the A/C do not hamper the movements of valid pilot (s). (Drawings available)
Swift National 2015— Bowling Green, KY — June 10— 14, 2015
Jerry Kirby and some of his committee members were in Bowling Green, Kentucky this weekend to finalize more details for Swift National in 2015. Seems like a long time away but in planning one if these events time goes all too fast. This should be right in the heart of good early summer weather and should be very flyable for most Swifters. The FBO is working well with us and are eager to support us however they can. The hotels are being nailed down and from that Jerry and crew will set up the food vendors.
You will be getting a registration package in January and the goal is to get as many pre-registered as possible. This makes for a smooth flowing event and is essential to good planning to make your stay fun and relaxing. So when you get the registration package… Please… fill it out promptly and get it back to Pam. Lots of great stuff in that part of Kentucky and the Corvette Museum is one of the main attractions along with the Caverns, and other local highlights. Also, the committee is trying to arrange a tour of the manufacturing facility for Corvette.
This will be a special event and reservations for it will be restricted due to space. This will be a first come first served event and one you won’t want to miss. Register early is the key. Mark your calendar….this will be a memorable and fun Swift National. See you there.
June 10 – 14, 2015 June 10 – 14, 2015 June 10- 14, 2015
The Fabulous Canadian Swift Birds
by John Northey
The following article was generously furnished by John Northey the leader of the Canadian Swift Birds. These great Swifters put on innumerable shows for over 30 years… starting at first with a loose coalition of Swifters just doing their thing and later evolving into an organized team that flew hundreds of air shows all over the great US northwest and Canada. As with many ventures time took its toll and the team gradually eased out of the air show business around 2000. A great adventure, a lot of hard work and also a lot of fun. Enjoy this piece of Swift history… it is part of our lore and mystique. Ed.
The “Canadian Swiftbirds Formation Team”— 1975 — 2000
Like many birds, Swifts tend to gather in flocks. Same thing happened with thirteen guys from all walks of life (and with the active participation of their spouses) who in the 1971 to 1975 period came to own stock 125-145HP Globe/Temco Swifts. All had roosted at the Pitt Meadows (CYPK) airport – in the metropolitan area of Vancouver, British Columbia. Like Swifters everywhere, all kinds of trips, fly-outs, tail-chases and other tomfoolery ensued – including some formation stuff by those who had some related experience. It became pretty clear that with only two former airforce members, some formation training was going to be needed. The Lead, as a former RCAF instructor dug out his old formation training manuals, and established a training regimen for everyone.
The noise and sight of flights of “them fighters,” were soon noticed by others. Following the initial 2-plane activity it was not long before flights of 4, 5 or 6 or even more were seen in the distance by organizers of parades, managers of mall openings, armed forces events, aquatic and community fairs, real estate openings, and the like. The requests then came in to do “fly-bys”– which of course required a bit of regulatory agreement and insurance.
Officially, the first of what then became dozens of overflight displays was with the first “Swiftbird” (flight of 10) overflight of Vancouver area Cenotaphs, for Remembrance Day (Veterans Day in the US), November 11, 1975. The group kept things informal and fun with lots of other activities over the rest of the 70’s. When flying formation, however, professional discipline prevailed. That was fun too and a fantastic way to exercise the capabilities of the Swift, and improve skills at the same time. Dozens of practice hours were spent each year.
As time went on and although the whole group continued to fly for fun throughout the Pacific North West (including arrivals in force at many towns in Washington, Oregon, and California — cross border formalities were considerably more welcoming then than they are now), six of the pilots felt that they would like to move the formation challenge up a notch or two. Participation as part of airshows at the “airport days” of the smaller communities outside metro Vancouver would be the focus. All six were full-time employees in demanding fields unrelated to aviation, so “professional air show for fee” was never an option. “Like us, feed us, overnight us, and fill us” became the mandate. It had to be fun – but the airshow act had to be professionally undertaken – and safe. Spouses were encouraged to accompany the pilots everywhere, given that a show then around 1980 could be expected somewhere on every weekend during the summer. Heavy practice could be expected in evenings and weekends during the Spring, as a routine for the summer show was generated and proven. Spouses also took on tasks related to the logistics of moving seven aircraft and 14 people – often without much notice, in heavy or very hot weather. Logistics issues (and friendship) led to the Piper Arrow seventh aircraft as a “freighter”. Smoke oil, extra baggage, and a higher speed to go ahead and prepare parking for a precision group on a crowded line, etc., made things easier.
The “Canadian Swiftbirds Formation Team” began to be advertised on the programs of small town airshows in 1981 – and some not so small. Smoke systems were installed early on and a decision to repaint (over time) to a distinctive common colour scheme was made. As a student of worldwide military schemes , a former RCAF member of the Team adapted the 1950’s RAF Training Command colour and decoration schedule to the stock Swift. By the mid-1980’s all six machines had been repainted and decorated accordingly.
All six started out as stock 145HP GC- I B’s. Early on #6 converted to a Lyc 0-320 and C/S prop, which given the rather adventurist nature of some routines became an advantage for the tail end guy. After 1992 #1 upgraded to Lyc 10-360 and C/S prop – which called for “four clothespegs on the throttle shaft” and very careful practice procedures.
Routines were designed in recognition of the limited power availability for formation position keeping in the stock Swift in high “G” hot airport high density altitudes and tight valley bottoms (where many shows were held). When asked how much power was used, the usual comeback was “ON” or “never look at the tachometer”.
Only change for a show was to top up the smoke tank, throw out anything that was not nailed down, and to keep the fuel to a max of.45 minutes at full throttle. Visit to the rest room was mandatory.
The Show Routines
Over the years to 2000, and to keep interests high, a new show was put together around April in each year. After discussion, honing, and walk-throughs, it would be flown at altitude and progressively closer spacing to see how it all worked over a surrogate runway and show area marked off in fields north of Pitt Meadows. Once the routine was videotaped from the ground and accepted, formation positions would be formalized and fin-mounted numbers confirmed. Given the number of rapid position changes, head-to-head sections, and aerobatic portions it was essential that each pilot always flew the same position for the season (as for other formation teams).
Although the Team flew a dozen or more different formation configurations, the objective was to present an “Aerial Ballet” as close as possible to the show line, and if a large airport, within the airport boundaries. This led to the odd solo or duo head to head in Sections. Working the smoke, the noise of 36 straight stacks, and constant action were essential. Smoke tank was kept small with only 8 minutes duration. The routine was kept to 10 minutes max., with smoke on and off being part of the show. The preferred start was an early T/O in tight formation, and then a later entrance from 1000′ overhead the show line, with a fan break and vertical at Vne down to 100′ along the show line, which provided the energy to handle close-in “G”manoeuvers before splitting up for other things. Landings were by fan low pitches.
By 1987 #6 had retired for health reasons. The period thereafter until 1994 was as a five-plane, with associated amendments to the Show Routine. The unfortunate sickness and subsequent death of #3 reduced the Show to a four-plane for the final six years. At that time the guys and the spouses figured the fun quotient was declining – particularly given the demise of many small town “airfairs” for financial or insurance reasons. Swift insurance and more regulatory involvement also played their parts. The demands on each of the Team members from their increased responsibilities for their employers also indicated that a step back regretfully could be in order.
By agreement the Team decided that it would stand down in 2000. The last performance was in August of that year at the Abbotsford Air Show. However, the remaining members of the original flock have continued to fly and formate together under SFC and FAST. Age and infirmity have taken their toll – but the great memories of the Canadian Swiftbird Formation Team will always be with us.
PS. For 38 years the “Swiftbirds” in various guises have continued to carry out the Remembrance Day November 11th flypasts over 10 Vancouver Area Cenotaphs . In 2014 the bulk of the formation may be Van’s RV’s – but they are Swift members, and SFC-rated.
by Sam Swift
The Swift Museum Foundation, Inc is a non-profit organization under 501 ( c ) 3 government guidance which provides the baseline for our tax status. We are restricted as to what we can do as far as profit and loss and basically our assets are offset by our liabilities. We can raise monies but these are to sustain our organization and provide services for our members who have common goals. We survive on donations, most of which are tax deductible to our benefactors. Fund raising efforts go directly to sustainment of the organization and are strictly governed as to content and intent of use. It is important for our members to understand where we get our monies and what our liabilities and expenses are. The following excerpt was provided by Sam Swift our finance chairman who is also a CPA. The comparison is for all of 2013 and up to the August 31, 2014. A full comparison …year to year …will be available in early 2015. As you can see, our Endowment Fund needs a serious boost (the goal would be nearly $200K) as we don’t have much reserve and most of the assets and not easily converted to cash. We will also need to boost the Building Fund up to around $250-300K to build a suitable no frills museum (Phase 11 of our plan). All in good time but we need to push hard in the near term. (Note: These figures do not include the funds from the sale of N3271 K.)
Swift Financials - 2014
|Assets:||12 Months Ending 12/31/2013||8 Months ending 8/31/2014|
|New Building - Phase I||$210792||$211494|
|Fixtures, Office Equip, Furniture||$114792||$117163|
|GC-1A/B Type Certificate||$100000||$100000|
|Less Accumulated Depreciation||($186721)||($189144)|
|Total Liabilities||(Sales Tax, Payroll, etc.)||$17927||$34525|
|Total Liabilities & Equity||$1136556||$1148200|
This is the basic sheet and there are supplemental sheets for Income/Expenses, National Convention Revenue, Other Expenses, Office Expenses, Facilities and Equipment. If interested in these call email Pam at Hq.