View Full Version : Comper Swift - Some original drawings / plans found

7th Oct 2013, 21:50
I have been sorting through a late uncle's belongings and have found a bundle of about 150 original sheets of engineering drawings for the Comper Swift C(LA)7. Of these, only four are blue print copies rather than original pencil drawings. On some sheets, there is just one drawing whereas on other sheets, a number of smaller drawing are squeezed on.

These drawing are in poor condition (water damage to one edge) but are clear and legible on the whole. They date from 1930 to 1934 from what I can tell.

A number of the drawings are amendments to earlier versions. Some of them have old pieces of sellotape on them which makes me think that these were the working drawings for when the Swifts were being built.

The drawing are fragile and I am reluctant to separate them all from one another as I may cause damage.

How important are these drawings and what would be best for the drawings (they do need TLC), for the Comper Swift community and for early 1930's aero-history ???

I look forward to reading your views and opinions (and answer any questions) to help me take the right step with this lovely piece of aeronautica.

Some photos can be seen here: Comper Swift engineering drawings - a set on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lukeheaton/sets/72157636303509785/)

Thank you for your interest.

8th Oct 2013, 01:51
I'm surprised you haven't had any replies yet. I'd suggest you get in touch with the Shuttleworth Collection, who have a Comper Swift and a library that would probably welcome a donation of this kind. WW

dubbleyew eight
8th Oct 2013, 02:22
Luke please keep these drawings safe!

Paul Wells in scotland has digitised an incomplete set of drawings and makes them available on CD.

It is quite possible that you have drawings there which will help to complete the information available.

Paul posts here on pprune but I cant remember his monica.

I'll have a hunt for it so expect another reply...

dubbleyew eight
8th Oct 2013, 02:26
I've sent a pm to "Bral"
hope he sees it.

8th Oct 2013, 03:02
It is really important that Paul aka Bral can scan these as he has the most compleat set of drawings. My comper VH-acg has some peculuarities which we would like to check out

Also VH-UVC is about to go to N Zealand for a full restoration and any more drea4awings would be appreciated.


8th Oct 2013, 07:49

dubbleyew eight
8th Oct 2013, 08:13
can you imagine the frustration of looking for years for a pobjoy engine.
for surely one must have a pobjoy engine before looking to build a Comper CLA7 Swift.
then finding that bloody SCION had stumbled upon what appeared to be the entire australian collection of them. ...and bought the lot. what was it ten of them in bits???

g'donya SCION at least they are not being scrapped.

if anyone knows of a pobjoy engine in great grandpa's old back shed, for heavens sake tell us about it.......

dubbleyew eight
8th Oct 2013, 08:43
does luke's find add any new drawings?

I am restoring two austers now, but back when I was looking actively for pobjoys I discovered that Walter had made them under licence.

if Walter had made them they must have had a set of drawings...

after a long search I made contact with the production manager and asked whether the drawings still existed in an archive somewhere.
he said that he could remember where two old retired workers lived and he would ask them.
you'll love the answer....

allied bombers targetted the factory on one of their raids. there were two waves of bombings. the first wave dropped high explosive bombs which destroyed all the jigs and machinery. the second wave dropped incendiaries which burnt all the rest to ashes.

the little pobjoy engine was years ahead of its time in much of its thinking.
admittedly the early grease lubricated valves were 1930's thinking but the last model made was quite modern in its engineering.

if I was to build a swift I would halve the thickness of the rear spar. that would need calculating as to loads but it may be the flutter fix needed.

dubbleyew eight
8th Oct 2013, 10:28
this was a comment I posted on rec. aviation.homebuilt back in 2009 before the trolls destroyed usenet.

I thought I had cracked the problem when I discovered that the Pobjoy
R was made under licence by Walter as the Walter Mira.
an email to Walter caused some searching among the old retired
employees and one was able to confirm that the tooling and all the
drawings were destroyed in WW2 when the factory was the target of an
allied bombing raid.

I found the pictures in google image searches.
google image on "walter mira engine"

8th Oct 2013, 14:42
Thanks for the interesting messages and, don't worry, I will be very careful with the drawings. I think they may be tracings rather than the pen on cloth originals.

I live near Derby and Paul is over in Staffordshire so we can easily meet up and sort through what's here. We'll then be able to see if any of the lot I have do fill in the missing gaps.

Next step is for Paul and I to meet up, drawings in hand.

blue up
8th Oct 2013, 16:07
There were a couple of Pobjoy engines on Ebay UK last year. I mentioned them somewhere on here but nobody replied. Did anyone get them?

Paul Wells. Did I buy a VW 1835 from you at Manch airport a few years ago?

9th Oct 2013, 04:59
if anyone knows of a pobjoy engine in great grandpa's old back shed, for heavens sake tell us about it.......

well me old grandad did have one:ok:......unfortunately i dunno what he did with it:{ i still have the original service manual though........ very interesting engine!

14th Oct 2013, 14:27
Paul has been across to visit and now has the drawings for copying! Fingers crossed that Paul can retrieve fresh information from these very fragile documents.

(Paul, Thanks for coming over and it was great to meet you. Good Luck! Luke)

14th Oct 2013, 23:12
Hi Paul,

You have found out all that already and you've only had the drawings a few hours! Fabulous. I am sure more will be revealed as you unpick the drawings.

All the best,


dubbleyew eight
15th Oct 2013, 02:42
photographing under glass, some pointers.

you will be troubled by reflections on the glass.
you need two lights to illuminate the drawing under the glass.
these lights should be placed opposite each other at 45 degrees to the camera to drawing axis. this way the reflections of the lights themselves are never seen by the camera.
you need the area around and behind the camera to be totally dark.

this is probably a job best done in a darkened room at night.

the setup I have described is basically the geometry of a lithographic camera like this agfa gevaert repromaster. a superb camera in its day btw.

15th Oct 2013, 09:01
Might be worth bouncing light source on ceiling or off a large sheet of polystyrene foam. Also less likely to cause heat damage to originals. Apologies if I am telling somebody to suck eggs etc. Alan

blue up
18th Oct 2013, 11:43
Bral. That engine worked a treat!


Running Fred Video by foggythomas | Photobucket (http://s82.photobucket.com/user/foggythomas/media/2005_1011Image0022.mp4.html)

Tupperware Pilot
8th Nov 2013, 15:27
Bral, well done for the update, I saw some of them when I popped round to Phil's today. It's interesting to see one of the mods that Phil designed himself (due to missing plans) is almost the same as the ones now found!!!
His Swift is now being painted!
Swift 2013 - a set on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tupperware_pilot/sets/72157634639527276/)