Celebrating 77 Years of Swift Spirit!
The 2023 Swift National fly-in is just over the horizon, and will be held from September 27 through October 1 at the Swift Museum Foundation (SMF) facility at McMinn County Airport (KMMI) in Athens, Tennessee. Planned activities include safety and maintenance forums, formation training, a local fly-out, and much more. Make plans now to attend; it’s always a joy to see these beautiful airplanes flying!
Last year, the Vintage Aircraft Association President Susan Dusenbury was the keynote speaker during the banquet, and recently emphasized the following perspective about the group: “The positive impact of aircraft specific organizations (commonly known as Type Clubs) and the role that they play in the vintage aircraft movement cannot be understated. The member-centric Swift Museum Foundation, through their diverse programs of member participation and aircraft support, certainly ranks as one of the most successful and prestigious Type Clubs in the realm of vintage aircraft.”
From the newcomers to the old timers, members of the SMF group share a passionate and enthusiastic camaraderie. Newcomer Danny Pitts of North Carolina owns a 1946 Globe GC-1B, and shared, “the Swift gives me the joy of flying, as well as providing the challenge of getting involved in Swift formation flying. This is such a great organization and the support, expertise, knowledge, and parts they have available for an old airplane like this is just fantastic!”
Dave Carpenter has flown his Swift to 40 consecutive Swift National fly-ins, and his wife, Debbie, has frequently accompanied him. Debbie commented, “To me, the Swift group is more of an airplane family. I feel like we could be anywhere and if there was another Swift person there, that we could call them and they would help us in any way they could.”
The positive impact of aircraft specific organizations (commonly known as Type Clubs) and the role that they play in the vintage aircraft movement cannot be understated. The member-centric Swift Museum Foundation, through their diverse programs of member participation and aircraft support, certainly ranks as one of the most successful and prestigious Type Clubs in the realm of vintage aircraft.
Inside the Swift Museum
The Swift was originally manufactured by the Globe Aircraft Company and then the Texas Engineering & Manufacturing Company (TEMCO), with more than 1,500 built. The Swift Museum facility, which will be open during the fly-in, showcases the evolution of the Swift from the first prototype to stock models and highly-modified 1946 to 1951 models. Remarkably, the first and last production Swifts are in the museum, along with a T-35 Buckaroo USAF trainer. The Johnson Rocket is also on display, as there is an apparent and intriguing connection between it and the Globe GC-1 prototype. These aircraft are handsomely exhibited in all their stunning, polished-aluminum or painted glory, in a spacious hangar.
Top-Notch Raffle Prizes
The SMF annual fundraising raffle helps fill the crucial need to keep replacement parts available, and just a $50 online donation at swiftraffle.com provides a chance to win one of these impressive prizes: A grand prize of $30,000 Ly-Con engine credit or $20,000 cash; a Garmin Aera 660 GPS (value $849) ; an Appareo Stratus 3 (value $749); an Apple iPad Mini (value $499); and a Briteline flight bag (value $234). Winners will be drawn September 30, and those selected need not be present to win. (Purchasers must be 18 years of age or older to enter; details are available at swiftraffle.com.)
Last year, 1,834 tickets were sold, with proceeds funding the flightworthy causes of producing new landing gear struts and other highly sought-after parts. Any and all support of the 2023 SMF raffle is appreciated, and as SMF Chairman Paul Barnett commented: “One must take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime within the lifetime of the opportunity! So please head on over to swiftraffle.com or call us at (423) 745-9547 for your chance to win, and become one of the generous people who help keep the beloved Swifts flying well into the future.”