Shipped to New Zealand for complete restoration in January 2014, Comper Swift S/N 32/10 had an interesting and varied career. Built in 1932 she spent the first two years on an extensive tour of Europe before being sold to Australia where she spent her flying career based in the Melbourne region. VH-UVC's final flight occured in 1962 after an undecarriage leg failure far from home near Bundaberg. She slowly made her way down the eastern seaboard of Australia through a sucession of owners, all of whom had intentions to rebuild the aircraft.
Over the years it was gradually dismantled by sucessive owners but luckliy the various components remained together. In 1997 the current owner, Roy Fox of Sydney, purchased the remains along with 7 spare Pobjoy engines in varying states!
On arrival at Omaka work commenced with the stripping down of one of the wings, the second wing being left intact as a reference. From the beginning it was known that all woodwork would need to be replaced, although perhaps naively, it was hoped that the wing spars would be redeemable.
The spars and other wood (including fuselage wood) was found to be dried out and suffering from excessive compression damage and cracking. As of mid 2014 all required wood was on the premises allowing for some good visual progress from July onwards. Conversely all the metal fittings were in excellent condition and only required blasting and painting. Work on the engines started immediately and these were found to be somewhat challenged in all manner of ways, least of all being typically British and confoundingly complicated for a 90 HP radial engine. As of mid 2014 the bottom end of three engines were ready for final assembly and suitable pistons were being manufactured.
For a full history of VH-UVC, please see the excellent reference work at:
Australian Aviation | Comper Swift (from Pg 8)