AEROBATICS AND OTHER FUN THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR SWIFT... (11699)
I'd like to expand a bit on Ed Lloyd's good advice earlier
in this update with my "two-cents-worth" regarding
aerobatics in the Swift. Two of the things I like to do most
in my Swift are aerobatics and formation flying. Both are
not only fun, but challenging and very satifying. It's also
a nice break from my Monday thru Friday airline pilot training
chores in Bonanzas and King Airs. Aerobatics and/or formation
flying is NOT for everyone and it is certainly not a necessary
requirement for enjoying your Swift. No matter what type of
flying we engage in, we all must identify and respect our
own personal limitations and the limitations of what we ask
of our airplanes. Follow that advice and your flying experiences
will be as safe as they can reasonably be. With that said,
on with some discussion of aerobatics...
Swifts are not factory
fresh anymore, no doubt about that. But with respect to their
age, many pleasureable and challenging light aerobatic maneuvers
are still within the Swifts everyday capabilities even in
their "middle age". Do I do aerobatics on every
flight? No... Occasionally in safe and managable conditions?
Yes... It is essential that you remember the Swift is a 50+
year old airplane and anything you do that is gonna routinely
require anything even remotely approaching 4G should not be
done unless you take some extra time and effort to insure
that your Swift is structurally sound beyond ANY doubt. I
do "military style" aerobatics which involve no
negative G and if done correctly, never more than 4G. Basic
loops, aileron rolls, point rolls, cuban eights, wingovers,
almost-hammerheads (HA!), split S, are some examples. No high
G or accelerated stall maneuvers like snap rolls should be
Now if you really have
a need to go out and "yank & bank" then one
good place for advice on how to set-up and maintain a Swift
for repeated semi-serious to serious aerobatics might be to
talk with any of the three members of the Swift Magic Aerobatic
Team. Their Swifts are just as old as anyone else's but is
it a sure bet that they have gone that extra mile to insure
that their airplanes can stand up to the requirements of their
use in a formation aerobatic routine. Still, anyone that has
seen their routine would be quick to tell you just how smooth
it is. They clearly do not abuse their airplanes. Good aerobatics
is NOT necessarily "yank & bank" aerobatics...
Let's leave that to the Pitts types and other aircraft designed
for such punishment.
Another fun thing to do
with a Swift is formation flying. The Swift's light control
response makes it a delight to fly in formation. In some respects
it is even more demanding of concentration and professionalism
than aerobatics. The rewards of a well executed formation
flight are great but so are the responsbilities. It is definitely
fun and it is definitely NOT a casual act.
As many of you have read
in the most recent International Swift Association Newsletter,
the Swift Association Board of Directors has engaged the help
of some very expert Swift formation pilots and have recently
completed the Swift Formation Flying Manual. (In addition
to the Association's literary efforts, there have been many
other books written on the subject of formation flying and
the EAA has produced a video about it.) The purpose of this
very commendable effort is to help Swifters enjoy this part
of Swift ownership in a safe and professional manner. It is
important to stress, if you are new to formation flying, that
it is not something that a person should just go out and learn
on their own. Any "booklearnin" you can do on the
subject is time well spent but if you have the urge to fly
formation and have never done it before, it is essential to
also get instruction from a formation qualified pilot. If
you have had some experience with formation flight but are
not necessarily current, a "BFR" might be in order.
(Biennial Formation Review) An added benefit that will be
offered by the Association is a formation "school"
that would qualify you in the eyes of the FAA to fly formation
in waviered (airshow) airspace in case you want to show off
for more than just a few close friends.
Aerobatics and formation.
They may or may not be your idea of how to spend quality time
with your Swift. Whether you are basically a straight and
level type, want to fly alongside your fellow Swifters, or
like to turn the horizon inside-out once in awhile... To each
his own. But in any case, make sure that both you AND your
Swift are qualified to do it safely or just don't do it. THAT
is the most improtant thing. -- Denis Arbeau
ADVICE FROM SWIFTER RANDY SOHN... (040300)
From: Randy Sohn <Ndper@aol.com>
Subject: Re: April #1 GTS Internet Update
> ANOTHER QUOTABLE COMMENT...
> ...on how Swifts get wrecked during checkouts:
> "They installed right hand brakes on it as that
was a contributing factor
> in the ground loop (the guy with the brakes couldn't
fly and the guy who could
> fly had no brakes!)." John Foster, Swift s/n 3660
Just for the record here, when I do a checkout in the Swift,
I (ey!) get into the left seat (with the brakes) and he gets
into the right and we go fly. We continue like this until
I KNOW he can fly it, THEN we swap seats! started this way
in 1955 and ain't gonna even think of changing it. Best, Randy
(Editor's two cents...
I've done many Swift checkouts. Successfully. Only one was
done with me sitting in the right seat and that was only because
the owner had right side brakes installed before we started
the checkout. Terry McCartney owns that Swift now and a safe
checkout of the previous owner insured that Terry and his
Swift would finally meet someday...)
BY THE NUMBERS...
Subj: Need numbers
From: Nathan Sturman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Monty, I had a bit of time in Swifts twenty-two years ago
but it was all a checkout and some itinerant VFR flying and
a checkout (blind leading the blind). Don't even remember
which aircraft it was clearly and can't find that logbook.
I want to fit a Swift into some short fiction and need some
performance speeds specs etc. What kind of mp setting for,
say, 90 knots on the glideslope. What speed would you prefer
when the controller isn't fussy? And other benchmark power
settings and important operating data to lend a bit of authenticity.
EG Gear/Flaps extended speed etc. Are most fuel injected?
(Mention carb heat or not.?) And landing gear; type of indicator?
I presume you would normally terminate an ILS to a wet runway
with a wheel landing and is that the preferred way to land
them anyway.?? Operation off grass/sod fields? reasonable
runway length? TIA, Nate Sturman Gunma, Japan
I am just a VFR pilot and an old guy, so I still use mph,
not knots when talking speeds in the Swift. I usually fly
downwind at 100 mph, (gear down) base at 90 mph, (flaps down)
and 80 mph on final. I think about 16 inches with full up
trim gives me a nice stabilized approach into a wind. If no
wind, I usually fly close in enough to make a power off final.
I never flew an official "glide slope" approach
in a Swift. With any small Continental engine, you want full
carb heat below 20" mp. The 210 Continental is fuel injected
and does not require carb heat. Originally, the Swifts had
just a single green light for the gear. Most have had visual
indicators installed. (a rod on the gear door) Many have been
rewired for two lights. A 2000 foot runway is a short field
for a Swift with a fixed pitch prop and less than 145 hp.
I operate off a sod runway regularly and have no problem with
the regular 6:00x6 tires. Some Swifts have the little 15:6:00x6.
Making a normal wheel landing, I have no problem making the
first turnoff, 1000 feet down the runway. -- Jim