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December 20, 2013

Swift.” “Anyone thinking about buying a classic or antique airplane needs to get in touch with the type club for that aircraft,” he added. “They know more than anyone the nuances of their particular aircraft, more than any run-of-the-mill mechanic.” He notes that the Swift is one of the most modified airplanes on the market, so if you acquire a Swift, expect to spend a good deal of time going through its logbooks and noting all the documentation for STCs. One of the more popular modifications is an upgrade in horsepower. The first Swifts rolled out of the factory with 85-hp engines under the cowl. The Mercandettis, for example, decided they wanted more power, and installed a 210-hp Continental engine, but decided to keep it under the standard cowling. “When you look at the airplane from a distance, it pretty much looks like it did when it originally rolled out of the factory,” said Paul Mercandetti. “There are a number of other modifications we did, such as new instruments and radios. We rewired the entire airplane and rebuilt all

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the hydraulics.” It took the Mercandettis approximately five years to get their airplane into the condition it was seen at SUN ’n FUN. “We basically rebuilt it,” Paul recalled “It took some time to get the parts to complete it.” The work was done under the supervision of Jeff Thomason, an A&P based in South Carolina. The Mercandettis have been flying their Swift for about nine years. Paul estimates they have put about 600 hours on the airframe since its restoration. Much of that time comes from activities with the Swift Museum Foundation. “Sandy and I teach formation clinics for the Swift Museum Foundation and we have a large number of owners who fly formation across the country,” he said. When asked how they determine who gets to be Pilot in Command when they fly together, Paul replies he usually demurs to Sandy, who, because of her work schedule, doesn’t have as much opportunity to fly the Swift as he does. SwiftMuseumFoundation.org

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Profile for General Aviation News

Dec. 20, 2013  

The December 20, 2013 issue of General Aviation News

Dec. 20, 2013  

The December 20, 2013 issue of General Aviation News