Comper Swift

This Comper Swift was on display at RAF Cosford.

The Comper C.L.A.7 Swift is a British 1930s single-seat sporting aircraft produced by Comper Aircraft Company Ltd of Hooton Park, Cheshire.

In 1923 Flying Officer Nicholas Comper formed the ‘Cranwell Light Aeroplane Club’ (CLAC) for apprentices at RAF Cranwell. The CLAC built three successful light aircraft, all designed and flown by Comper with the majority of the construction work being carried out by the apprentices.

Having gained this experience Comper left the RAF to set up the Comper Aircraft Company. Their first product was the Comper Swift which was produced from 1929 until 1934.

The Swift was available in either red or blue and became one of the most popular racing aircraft of the 1930s. This example, G-ACGL, was built in 1933 and registered to Alex Henshaw of Mablethorpe.

Henshaw won several trophies in this aircraft. The most notable success was the Siddeley Trophy at the 1933 Kings Cup, only a year after he had gained his pilot’s license. He went on to become one of Britain’s foremost competition pilots and record breakers and served as a test pilot flying Spitfires and Lancasters during the Second World War.