Comper Swift

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Comper Swift in flight.jpg
Role Single-seat sporting aircraft
Manufacturer Comper Aircraft Company Ltd
Designer Nicholas Comper
First flight 1930
Produced 1930-1933
Number built 45

The Comper C.L.A.7 Swift is a British 1930s single-seat sporting aircraft produced by Comper Aircraft Company Ltd of Hooton Park, Cheshire.

Design and development[edit]

In March 1929 Flight Lieutenant Nicholas Comper left the Royal Air Force and formed the Comper Aircraft Company to build an aircraft he had designed, the Comper Swift. He had previously designed and flown three aircraft for the Cranwell Light Aeroplane Club: the C.L.A.2, C.L.A.3 and C.L.A.4. The prototype Swift (registered G-AARX) first flew at Hooton Park in January 1930.[1] The aircraft was a small single-seat, braced high-wing monoplane constructed of fabric-covered spruce wood frames.[2] The first Swift was powered by a 40 hp (30 kW) ABC 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 subsequent aircraft being powered by the Pobjoy R. The last three factory-built 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 130 hp (97 kW) Gipsy Major. One of the Gipsy Swifts, owned by the then-Prince of Wales and future King Edward VIII, won second place in the 1932 King's Cup Race while being flown by his personal pilot.[3] Postwar, surviving Swifts continued to compete successfully in UK air races into the mid-1950s.


  • EC-HAM Airworthy, displayed at Cuatro Vientos, Madrid, Spain. Owned by Fundación Infante de Orleans. Formerly G-ABUU, now painted to represent "EC-AAT" "Ciudad de Manila" as flown by Fernando R. Loring for his March 1933 flight Madrid-Manila.[4]
  • G-ABTC Stored, in Cornwall.[4]
  • G-ABUS Stored, believed in France.[4]
  • G-ACGL On display, RAF Museum, Cosford.[2]
  • G-ACTF Airworthy, displayed at the Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden, England[5]
  • G-LCGL Airworthy (replica)[2]
  • LV-FBA Stored, in Argentina.[4] Also, a second Comper Swift flew in Argentina. Parts saved and stored in Buenos Aires after accident in San Justo 1950- Owner Vicente Bonvisutto (Reg.G-AAZE R-232 LV-YEA LV-FCE)
  • VH-ACG (Gipsy engine) Airworthy[5][6] This aircraft was shipped to Oshkosh, USA for the EAA Airventure fly-in, and will be shipped back to Australia after the show.
  • VH-UVC Stored, in Sydney, Australia.[7]

A new plane, registered G-ECTF, and built according to the original plans, with a Pobjoy Cataract engine, is expected to fly in 2015.[8]

Comper Swift, G-ACTF.



Specifications (C.L.A.7 Swift)[edit]

Data from Jackson (1974)[10]

General characteristics


See also[edit]

Related development
Related lists


  1. ^ Meaden (2003)
  2. ^ a b c Riding (2003)
  3. ^ "A Royal aviator", Flight International magazine, 15 June 1972, p.878 (online archive version) retrieved 10 August 2012
  4. ^ a b c d Meaden (Autumn 2004)
  5. ^ a b Meaden (Winter 2004)
  6. ^ Australian Civil Aircraft Register
  7. ^ "Old Timers". Pilot: 46. January 2012. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Aircraft that took part in the Spanish Civil War". Retrieved 2012-04-14. 
  10. ^ Jackson (1974)


  • Boughton, Terence. 1963. The Story of The British Light Aeroplane. John Murray
  • Jackson, A.J. (1974). British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Volume 2. London: Putnam. ISBN 0-370-10010-7. 
  • Meaden, Jack & Fillmore, Malcolm. (Winter 2003). The Comper Lightplanes. Air-Britain Archive (quarterly). Air-Britain. ISSN 0262-4923
  • Meaden, Jack & Fillmore, Malcolm. (Autumn 2004). The Comper Lightplanes. Air-Britain Archive (quarterly). Air-Britain. ISSN 0262-4923
  • Meaden, Jack & Fillmore, Malcolm. (Winter 2004). The Comper Lightplanes. Air-Britain Archive (quarterly). Air-Britain. ISSN 0262-4923
  • Riding, Richard T. 1987. Ultralights: The Early British Classics. Patrick Stephens ISBN 0-85059-748-X
  • Riding, Richard T. March 2003. Database: Comper Swift. Aeroplane Monthly. IPC Media
  • Smith, Ron. 2005. British Built Aircraft Vol.5: Northern England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland ISBN 0-7524-3487-X
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 

External links[edit]