Page TWO

Subj: Windshield Cracks - there's always something!!!
From: Jeff Wimmer <>
Hi Jim & Denis:
Got N78276 back from the paint shop on monday - Everybody that has seen her so far just drools! (Film going in for developing today - will get to Denis in a few days.) I flew her back from the shop on monday, and she seems to have picked up at least a few miles per hour. Will let you know more when I get a little more experience. Yesterday during the calm before the storm (got about 4" of snow last night) I took her for a short flight to begin to get reacquainted. As I was flying, all of a sudden I noticed two small cracks on the pilot's side lower edge of the windshield. One about 1" long maybe 5" or 6" to the left of the center. And another about 1/2" long maybe midway between the center of the aircraft, and the end of the windshield on the pilot's side. When closely examined, there seems to be a slight deformation in the plastic at the end of each crack. I can't say whether they were or weren't there when the plane went in for paint - so I haven't said anything to the paint guy yet. Maybe they were, and I just never noticed them. Maybe they happened when the canopy was installed last January, as there may have been some stress put on the windshield when the gull wing canopy was installed. The history of this windshield is that it was installed when I bought the plane in June of 2001, and yes, the holes for the screws were drilled very oversized to give it room for expansion and contraction. The canopy was installed in January of 2002. If they stay the way they are, I can live with the cracks, especially with that nice new paint job that I don't want to mar by changing it. What I don't want to have happen is for the cracks to get any worse.'s the question: In your experience, what is the best thing to do, or NOT to do? I went straight to my mechanic when I noticed the cracks yesterday, and his advice (given to him by people who maintain helecopters which apparently get LOTS of cracks in the plastic) is to take a very fine sewing needle, heat it red hot with a propane torch, and pass it thru the windshield at the end of the crack. Later the small hole can be filled in with some clear plastic silicone, if necessary. He says that works better than stop-drilling which can leave rough edges which can start new cracks, and the hole is smaller. I asked him whether I should just wait and see if they grow before doing that. He thought that was a good plan of action, and suggested that I either measure the cracks, or mark the ends with a grease pencil. Your thoughts? Best regards, Jeff Wimmer

BTW - I just got my Vintage Airplane today -- nice article! Of course, we Swifters had seen it in the Internet newsletter. That idea of a hot needle and some clear plastic filler sounds good to me. I have not used them, but I understand there are repair kits now for repairing plastic windshields. I had a car which had a rock chip in the windshield and the dealer repaired it for about $50 and you could not see any sign of the repair. I think they use a plastic filler and polish it out. It seems to me I have seen those windshield repair kits advertised in Trade-A-Plane. Maybe someone will read this and give more info. I've always just stop drilled cracks, then replaced the windshield before the next annual. Cracks almost always are from too small screw holes or screws that are too tight. Of course, if whoever who trimmed and installed the windshield left some stresses in will tend to crack. If there is vibration or a blow to the windshield, it will crack further. I would relieve pressure by loosening the retaining screws. You don't want them tight at all. I think there are repair kits for completely filling holes. -- Jim

From: Jeff Wimmer <>
Went thru my Trade-a-Plane (First November Issue) cover to cover, checked the classifieds too. No ads for windshield repair kits that I could find.....Maybe somebody out there in Swift electronic-newsletter-land will know what is available, or will have researched this issue further. -- Jeff

From: "Doc Moore" <>
Subject: Pin Ups
Hi Denis: I just keep pluggin' along and eventually, one of these days, it'll be flying again. I've got the wings on, the outboard tanks plumbed, etc. Am still hanging control surfaces. Its all coming out better than I expected. Finished my upper hatch and am now cleaning the window rails and re-doing them. Have replaced all the side window glass, polished and painted the window metal, and the windows are ready to go back in as soon as I do the upper tracks. Found out that the soft side of Velcro makes a great channel liner for the glass to slide in. Buy the stufff at Wal Mart with the adhesive backing, cut it in 3/4" strips and put it on the inside side of the channel. Gives .080 glass a snug fit but they still slide okay. -- Doc

Subj: One Piece Windshield
From: Doc Moore <>
I installed a replacement one piece windshield that I obtained from LP Aero. I have no record except a log book entry for the one piece unit I removed. Would you happen to have a copy of an STC for the one piece? I apologize for bugging you for paperwork so much but I'm close to flying and am trying to get my paperwork in order. Thanks, Doc

The STC for the bubble windshield is SA4-403; held by Aircraft Windshield Co. 3762 Catalina St. Los Alamitos, CA 90720. I have no idea if they are still there. If they are defunct and not supplying the STC, the FAA may grant a field approval. I don't have a copy of the STC in my files. They also hold STC SA4-761 which I believe is a version with a modified windshield frame. Curiously, the address on the second STC is 3842 Catalina St. Many of these windshield were installed in years gone by without the owners bothering to buy the STC and no 337 was ever executed. Now the STC holders have gone broke and the paperwork is not available. See a moral here? Maybe if Denis publishes this some California reader knows if the STC is still available. Jim

(Editor says... Doc found that the address above is no longer current. According to Doc, here is the most current address: Aircraft Windshield Co 10871 Kyle St., Los Alamitos, CA 90720-2410 Phone:(562) 430-8108 )

Subj: Side Windows
From: Bob Price <>
I am about to install new side windows (the ones that move up and down). I do not have any experience with riveting..could I use pop rivets or small bolts or other fasteners? The existing windows have "bucked" aircraft rivets. Also, are seals located at the bottom of the frame still available? Thanks Jim!......... Bob P

It sounds like you have some modified windows based on the original design. I don't think Swift Parts has any parts for the original windows. If the windows are riveted in the frames it is nonstandard and nonstructural so small screws or pop rivets might possibly be used. -- Jim

Subj: Blue Glass
From: Dorothy Golding <>
Hi Jim;
Duane would like to know where he can get the blue glass for the plane he is working on it is supposed to be .090 but he does not seem to be able to locate that thickness. He can find 1.25 in town. -- Dorothy

We have gotten the original type blue glass thru LP Windshields in PA. You may have to order thru Aircraft Supply (800) 569-9397 You want to get the glass formed because if you use flat sheet it will craze prematurely. The originals used a light blue, LP seems to think the FAA requires a dark blue which you can hardly see through. I had to sign a release the last time I got some. I don't know if you can get or even want the .090 thickness. It seems to me we got .100 or .125 for Mick Supina's airplane. -- Jim

From: Jeff Wimmer <>
Subject: Re: Janaury #1 GTS Internet Update
I really MUST look at my data plate on the aircraft to see what year it thinks it is. According to the FAA records, it is a 46. According to the serial numbers on the site, it COULD be one of those with a funky number in the year of manufacture. I hunted around on the site.....but couldn't find the explanation for the different rear windows - I probably read about it in the 50 years of the Swift. Was it the Globe manufactured birds that had the wrap-around one piece windows? Do ALL the Temco Swifts have the 2 small rear windows? Thanks for any info!!! Regards,Jeff

All the Swifts manufactured prior to s/n 3561 had the "Globe" style rear windows. The Temco Swifts after s/n 3551 had the "new look" D windows and the flat shelf. But there are exceptions! The first Swift with the flat shelf was N78225, s/n 2225. In addition the Temco factory converted many Swifts to the flat shelf, some before they were ever sold. And if a Swift was repaired or refurbished by the Temco factory in the late '40s it probably got the "new look" installed too. For example, N80866 s/n 269 had the "new look" rear windows and flat shelf installed by Temco in 10-48. When Temco sold the type certificate and all the spare parts for the Swift to Vest (Univair) in the 50s one of the most popular sales items was the "new look kit". There were two kits available. The S-130 had the flat shelf and D windows but retained the "A" frame turnover structure. The S-131 had the Temco heavy bulkhead turnover structure. I remember "back when" it seemed really cool to have the later "new look" and I ordered an S-130 kit from Univair and installed it in N80539 in the '60s. You do get a little more interior room with the flat shelf, but nowadays I think the Globe rear windows look better. I don't think I'm alone on that because I know of many Swifts that have been converted back the earlier style. Of course, the canopy equipped Swifts mimic the outline of the Globe rear windows. -- Jim

More from Jim on s/n 2225...

N78225 was one of the Swifts manufactured in 1946 as a Globe Swift but made by Temco. I believe all or most of the s/n's prior to 2225 were sold in 1946. N78225 was retained by Temco as an experimental airplane to try out new modifications, and was fitted with a spin chute for some time. The patches from the removal of the spin chute can be seen on N78225 to this day. N78225 was made originally with the slope shelf and Globe rear windows but was changed over some time before the Spring of 1948, it was on the front cover of Flying Magazine in May, 1948. I think all of the 2000 s/n's had the slope shelf and Globe style rear windows. I have a Temco factory photo from 1948 which shows N78296(?) at the Temco plant and you can plainly see the bigger Globe style back windows as well as some other Swifts, new, but with the older style back windows. A similar photo can be seen on the Swift site. Click on Globe Temco Swift History - then Globe and Temco Factory Photos - on Page 2. the first photo is very close to the one I'm refering to. -- Jim

Subj: rear windows
From: Mark Oltjenbruns <>
Hi Jim ,
It looks like its time to replace the rear plexiglass windows , I have a hairline crack about 1 1/2". I found some plexiglass .118 thick thats almost an exact smoke tint match . I see that Mark Holliday says use a unibit for drilling .The question is how do I bend it ? some say an oven or use a heat gun . I can make a form to match the bend of the window . Any suggestions appreciated. Happy New Year , Mark Oltjenbruns Swift 78311

It will actually go in without being pre formed, but if you do that it will craze prematurely. I suggest you bend it to the approximate curvature and heat it in an oven or if you can't find one that big, a big box with a heat lamp. If you were using the regular light blue tint I would suggest Aircraft Supply (800) 569-9397 but I understand you want the gray tint. If you use a form, I believe they cover the form with felt or some soft fabric. -- Jim