Dan Cammack’s Super Swift

There are certain airplanes that, once you get a desire to own one, nothing else will do. The Temco GC-1B, also known as the Swift, is one of those airplanes — just ask Dan Cammack of Dodge City, Kan.

“I have owned a J-3 Cub and Beech Bonanzas, but this is my first Swift,” he said.

Cammack, who has owned the Swift for eight years, estimates he puts about 50 hours a year on the plane, mostly taking it on short trips to visit family and to air shows and fly-ins where people gather around it like it’s a rock star.

When the Swift first rolled off the assembly line in 1946, it became a favorite of men who had flown the high-performance P-51 during World War II, so much so that in some circles it became known as “the poor man’s Mustang.”

Cammack’s Swift originally had a 125-hp Continental engine, but when it was rebuilt in 1991 by the previous owner, it became a Super Swift, boasting a 210-hp Rolls Royce engine, a sliding canopy, a stick instead of a yoke, and P-51 landing gear doors. “Because of the larger engine, it got a weight increase and a change in CG,” he said. “Basically, it looks like a little hot rod.”

Cammack’s contribution was upgrading the avionics, adding a KLN 94 and Garmin 496, which help him fly in instrument conditions. “There’s nothing more that I want to do with the airplane,” he said. “I have it the way I want it. I am done!”

Keeping the plane gleaming takes a lot of elbow grease, he said, noting its finish is a combination of teal used in the automotive industry and polished aluminum.

“When I need touch-up paint I go to the Chrysler dealership,” he said. “About once a year I tape off the airplane with 2-inch masking tape and spend a month in the hangar buffing the aluminum.”

Is it worth it? “You bet,” he smiled.

Comments

  1. Dan Colburn says

    Thanks for the bit on Dan Cammack and his Swift. You should interview Dan’s dad in Littleton,Co. You will then understand Dan’s interest in aviation.
    Howie has built a Kitfox, a RV and is now putting the finishing touches on a Skybolt. He’s an artist.

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