Comper moves swiftly
Comper CLA.7 Swift (ex G-ACAG/VH-UVC, c/n S.32/10) with Jay McIntyre and Graham Orphan’s JEM Aviation at Omaka has come another step closer to flight with its registration ZK-UVC allocated on 7 November 2016. The photo of the restoration (above) was taken at Blenheim last year.
G-ACAG was one of 45 built by the Comper Aircraft Company, leaving the factory at Hooton Park, Cheshire, in November 1932. It then spent two years on a sales tour of Europe with Nick Comper before being exported to Australia in September 1934.
Most of VH-UVC’s flying career was spent in the Melbourne area with the Australian Aero Club (Victorian Section), which became the Royal Victorian Aero Club in March 1935, plus private owners but with a final flight being recorded around 1962 with an undercarriage leg failure near Bundaberg. A series of owners then attempted restoration projects on the Comper Swift and in 1997 it ended up in the hands of Rob Fox in Sydney, who purchased the airframe remains and seven spare Pobjoy engines before he decided to sell and the Swift was imported into New Zealand in 2014.
One of the wings was used as a pattern, but with the wood dried out and cracked, including the spars, during 2014 and 2015 new wings were constructed with original metal fittings.
Work on the engines to get three operational 90hp Pobjoy radials continued in parallel with the airframe work. One has been fitted and systems linked to it, including the fuel tank, and during 2016 the undercarriage was connected to the fuselage airframe. First flight could occur this year.
- Report and photography by Geoff Jones.
» Summer success at the Walsh
» The luxury of living in the Ivory Tower
» Comper moves swiftly
» UAV usefulness increasing
» Woodville’s even dozen
» 60th birthday party for ZK-BNL
» New airline MRO facility
» Hands across the Southern Alps
» Praise earned in tough place