My aircraft had a new look kit put on it in 1951. As you well know, that closes in the area where the two rear windows were with metal and adds the two "D" shaped Temco style windows. If I wanted to convert it back to the old look, could I just remove that section and replace the windows or is it more involved than that?

It depends, are you talking keeping the flat shelf (uh, you do have the flat shelf, right?) and putting the older style windows in? That can be done. Or do you mean restoring to original? To do that, you need the slope shelf parts and the 3 formed skins that go around the plexiglas. Those skins are not as simple as they might appear, they have a formed edge on them, recessed for the plexiglas. Also you need the retaining strips for the outside of the 'glas. Sure it can be done, but its a fair amount of work.  --  Jim

From: Jerry Swartz (
Subject: Re: N77759 Side Windows
May or may not have told you, but did find some "Univair" sliding side windows from Thomason Aircraft Products, with the original rubber framing etc. When received, the original Plexiglas was evidently broken in transit, so took them to my friend in the glass business, who replaced the Plexiglas with Lexan. I've used Lexan before on other aircraft, but this is the first in a Swift. I installed one yesterday, which took some tin snip trimming to get it to fit, which is another story, but I found that there sure is a difference between the Lexan window and the Plexiglas window as far as stability is concerned. Lot's of flex in comparison. For instance, with your hand on the center of the window, it will push in, or bend, whereas the Plexiglas would not. I'm hoping that this is not going to cause a problem in flight. Any experience with what I'm talking about??
-- Jerry Swartz

Yes, I have. I have lost several of those windows in flight. Others have had them dent the horizontal stab or wing leading edges, but I've been "lucky" and just lost the window. There are several negatives to using Lexan, it can be "wavey" - somewhat akin to 'sheet" glass in a car as opposed to "plate" glass. And of course, it is more flexible. It also has some advantages. It's a lot stronger, and much easier to work with. Does your glass fit very tightly? Otherwise it may depart the airplane suddenly. Don't be alarmed if "poof" - it's gone! The rubber frames were a little too flexible at first, after they got a few years old and hardened a little they hardly ever were known to lose a window. As far as the FAA goes, AC43.13-1A doesn't say you can't use it, only that ...materials must be equal to its original or properly altered condition....well, is the Lexan equal in this case?

You mentioned tin-snipping, does that mean the frame? That's OK if you kept the sides parallel, the window has to slide up and down freely, and not come out of the frame at any point! Also, some Swifts do not have the slides perfectly parallel, so the window will rock, but there isn't anything you can do about that. If the slides (tracks, or whatever you want to call them) are not perfect, that is a factory defect but it is a little late for warrantee work! Old time Swift owners sometimes put an aluminum strip or a piece of safety wire down the outside of the glass to act as a retainer. See why many of those style windows were discarded? Regardless, I like them because they are "factory". The rubber on mine is hard as rock and I don't think I'm going to lose 'em. If your lexan is a little undersized you might lose yours. You can push really hard on them and see if it's possible to push them out. I lost one once pulling up into a loop and it departed with a "bang" - my first thought was a wing had departed, but within a millisecond I realized what had happened.

If you aren't happy with the lexan, I suggest you bite the bullet, and replace it with plexiglas, but you can lose plexiglas too! You can also "glue" the window into the rubber - this has great potential for making a mess, and ruining the glass but might work if you're careful. Maybe you could "lace" them in by drilling holes and lacing them in with wire or cord. (no, I have not ever done that, just a thought...)  --  Jim

Thanks for your input. The shop did use glue, at least that's what they told me. The triming was done on the frame, in order to get it to slide. It was about 1/4 " wider than the frame that I took out. The track down in the sides of the fuselage must be larger, wider, or whatever, cuz the window really drops down freely once it is clear of the frame around the windshield. I guess, like you, I like the stock look well enough, that I am going to at least try them and if all else fails, I can always put the ones that came with the plane, back in. -- Jerry.

Subject: Re: "D" Windows
From: Bud England <>
From looking at the rubber trim, it looks like I should fit the rubber around the glass, then put it in the window cutout. 'Course, I've never been accused of being too smart. Missed you last week. It was probably the best fly-in I've ever attended. -- Bud

Yes, either way actually. Then there is a locking strip of rubber that pulls in afterward - Mark (Holliday) has a tool that makes it easier. A lot of commercial vehicles used such an arrangement back in the '40's so you can still get that rubber (by the foot) at antique auto supply places. Write Mark and ask him to describe or sketch the tool. -- Jim

From: Gary Williams <>
Dear Jim,  Can you please let me know what is the safe airspeed the Swift is designed to fly with the side windows down. Can only one window be opened at this safe airspeed, or must both be opened simultaneously. Thank-you. Regards, Gary Williams - South Africa

I don't know if there ever was anything published on this subject but I can relate my own experience. One window down seems to operate fine throughout the speed range. The first takeoff I tried one hot day with both windows down scared the heck out of me when the tail shook after lift off. I aborted the takeoff, thinking I had a real problem, like a prop failure. I have since heard from others that they operate routinely with both windows down with no problem. I have even seen a Swift operate with the hatch removed with no problem, other than a slight buffeting. I am leaving shortly for the annual Swift Fly-in in Athens, TN. -- Jim

"D" ADVICE ABOUT "D" WINDOWS... (080300)
Subj: "D" Windows
Jim: I'm ready to put in my "D" windows, but I'm concerned about expansion and contraction. It's really hot down here right now and I'm wondering if the material expands and contracts enough to worry about. If cut to length now, will it still be the right length this winter? Bud

I presume you mean the length of the rubber strip that retains the window. I would cut it just a little short in case it "grows" I have seen several Temco's with a fairly wide gap where the rubber retainer butts up, and that doesn't appear to hurt anything, although I have lost several in flight, as have others! Most of the windows lost in flight were fairly recent installations. If you put them in now, the rubber will take on a "set" by the time you start flying it in a year or two. -- Jim

Subj: Original Globe Rear Windows
From: Bob Runge <>
Hi Jim:
Jim...... I'm talking with LP Aeroplastics about the rear windows. It appears that the clear ones are .060" thick, but the blue tint ones that are more original are made out of .125" stock. The spec on the .125" stock could run min .085" - max. .155". I'm considering getting rid of the "new look kit" and going to the old style windows. It appears that all they did to my new look kit is rivet it right where the windows used to be in the same original seat. I still have the original skins around the window area and the slanted back shelf. Will the indent in the channel where the original windows seat be deep enough for this type of thickness?

The thicker plexiglas won't hurt a thing. If it does stick out a little further, I doubt if you'll notice. I have a set of those windows over at the hangar, I never realized they might be that thick. I will look at them tomorrow and let you know how thick ours are. -- Jim

Subj: Globe Rear Windows
From: Bob Runge <>
Hi Jim:
I have just finished pouring over my airframe logs with a fine tooth comb, and cannot find any entry noting the installation of the new look kit I have on my Swift. I believe it was installed during its conversion to a GC1B from a 1A in 1951, although there is no mention of it being done along with all the other listed work on the 337. I have also scrutinized all the 337's and nothing there either. Must have been another case of the vintage advantage and it just grew there.

Now my question. Rules and regs say owners can replace side windows but not the windshields. I would consider these rear windows "side windows". Left side and right side. And the removal of the new look kit never happened because it was never there according to the logs. And I am just returning something to its original condition that was never changed from original in the first place. In other words, can I remove the new look kit and put these windows in myself? Thanks Jim. Best regards....... Bob Runge

After reading some mail from you previously, I wonder, do you have the "new look" installed? Do you still have the slope shelf? If you have the "new look" kit you will have a flat shelf with a vertical bulkhead at sta. 88.8. You might just have the "new look" style windows, not the whole kit. Can you send me a picture? Just replacing the "new look" style windows would be an owner permitted job. -- Jim

Subj: Re: Globe Rear Windows
From: Bob Runge <>
Jim: Attached are 2 photos. I still have the sloped rear shelf. It appears what I have in place of each acrylic original window is a metal replacement, in the shape of the original windows, with "D" shapes cut in each side. They are riveted in the original, indented channel seats, at each screw hole that the acrylic windows would sit in and are riveted down the center to the original window metal that would be there if the acrylic windows were there. It meets the description of item 601 in A-766 Revision 12.

You don't have a "new look". All you have are some new look style rear windows. It should be fairly easy to reinstall the glass. Do you have the retainer strips? -- Jim

Subj: Re: Globe Rear Windows
From: Bob Runge <>
No Jim, I don't. Some time ago Jim Thomason was kind enough to send me one to make a pattern out of. I gave it my best attempt, but I sure would like to have some originals if you know where I could get some, rather than having to use my pattern to cut some out of .050" stock. You know...... one error compounded.

Those strips are not exactly interchangeable from aircraft to aircraft. But, if you don't mind some double holes, try for some used ones. They are .050 and take a lot of an aluminum sheet! After reading the August #4 GTS Newsletter I remembered something. I measured the thickness of those Globe rear windows we have. They are about .100 thick. We got them from LP last year and they are a light blue. -- Jim

Subj: Bubble Windshield Thickness
From: Ron Williamson <>
I ordered a new windshield yesterday from Aircraft Windshield Co since they are local and still have the active paperwork. There was some confusion about the thickness when I placed the order. They said 1/8 (0.125), but I recalled it was 0.150 or perhaps even 0.165 on the thickness. We agreed on 0.150, but now I'm less certain. Instead of drilling a test hole in the old one to measure, thought I'd ask you before they fabricate one I won't like. -- Ron

The thickness of the STC'ed bubble windshield is .150.  --  Jim

Subj: Skin
From: Larry LaForce <>
Hello Jim. I need to know what the skin thickness is suppose to be in the rear window area with the Temco style windows. Should it be .025 like the upper rear fuselage panels? Thanks....... Larry LaForce

Most were .025. Some late ones used .032, so I suppose you could use either of these gauges.  After reading the August #4 GTS Newsletter I remembered something. I measured the thickness of those Globe rear windows we have. They are about .100 thick. We got them from LP last year and they are a light blue. -- Jim

Subj: Globe Rear Windows
From: (Bob Runge)
Hi Jim:
Got my blue tint rear windows today from L.P. Aeroplastics. They are .128" thick. I had sent them an email asking them to make them in as thin a sheet of .125' stock as they could find. So much for special requests!!!!! NEXT...!!!!!!! Best regards....... Bob Runge

Well, I would rather use .125 than .062! .062 is just too thin (oh too thin as they used to say in the airline biz whenever .020 and .025 aluminum was used) The .125 should work just fine.  --  Jim

Subject: "D" Window Rubber
From: Ed A. Lloyd <>
To: Bud England <>
Hi Bud. I was looking through Denis last newsletter and saw your comments about the rubber around the windows. I offer this for what it's worth. I work in the boat business and on one of my trips to the Mastercraft factory in Vonore, TN., not too far from Athens, I observed the following. The rub rail they install around the perimeter of their boats was immersed in a tub of HOT water and allowed to soak until it became very pliable. Once removed from the hot water, the heavy plastic became super pliable and was easily worked and bent to the contours desired. My bet is, this procedure would work in putting the rubber around the windows in the Swift also. The hotter the water the better. Use cotton gloves to handle the "hot" rubber. Hope it works. Cheers......Ed Lloyd

Subj: Swift Window Rubber
From: Mike Pirowskin <>
Hi Monty,
I enjoy and always learn something new reading your comments in the newsletter. Thanks can never fully express the appreciation we all have for your willingness to share your experience with the rest of us and your love of the Swift. And now for the rubber around the window trick. First, I've never put one in a Swift, but I did help some friends put rear windows in pickups. We put the rubber on the window, then put soapy water in the groove that goes into the frame. Next we ran a thin strong nylon line in the groove. We got the window into position with part of the rubber in the frame. Holding one side of the rope stationary, you push on the glass and at the same time pull the other end at about 30 degrees to the window to pull the lip of the rubber over the frame. The rope gives you leverage. This is a two man job. If you think this would help anyone please pass it along, otherwise, send it to the dumpster. Best regards. Mike, N2349B

Thanks, Mike. Sounds good to me. - Jim

Subject: Re: March #1 GTS Internet Update
Hi Denis, About drilling plexiglas windows, get a Unibit, it drills through the plexi like butter. --  Mark

NEW LOOK OR OLD LOOK... (070501)
Subj: swift on web site
From: Austin Smith <>
Dear Mr. Montigue,
Again i would like to thank u on the awesome service to all of the swifters out there. My question partains to swift N80820 on the GTS homepage under the "classic swift photos, from the Bill Larkins collection." The "d" style window looks out of place. Did the man who owned the swift in '55 install the "new look kit", then put a smaller "d" window in? what's also strange is that it is a GC-1A with a "d" window. was that done often? If u have time, please take a look. I'm in no rush. swift flying, ---Austin Smith

That airplane did not have the "real" "new look kit" in that photo. It had the old Globe slope shelf with some homemade rear windows, patterned after the late Temco "D" windows. That was quite a common mod back in the '50's. Back then, the "new look" was the "in" thing. Today, I think the earlier Globe slope shelf and blue back windows is more popular. Of course, many Swifts now have bubble canopies. -- Jim

Subject: Questions for you
From: Karl Johanson <>
Do you know what size and length the fasteners are that secure the windshields and rear windows? I do not see them called out in the parts catalog and naturally need a bunch of them! I have all new LPG plexi going in and would like to do that this weekend so need to order the appropriate fasteners from Spruce. So many details to cover!

They are 8/32 truss head screws, 5/8" long. Originally they were steel, but stainless steel or aluminum screws can be used. Aluminum screws are hard to find, most of them are WW2 surplus! Jim

From: Porter Houston <>
Subject: Blue Plexiglass
Regarding the blue rear window in Swift. Yes 2069 is the proper color but it's not available in the proper thickness. The only thing you can get is .125thk. The proper thickness is .090-.100. I've checked into it and the only way .090 or .100 is available is to order an entire LOT of 4x8 sheets of plastic. Probably enough plexiglass to do rear windows for the entire fleet. Anyway, I would buy 2 4x8 sheets. Is there anybody out there, hopefully many, who is interested so we can get enough money together to purchase a large quanity of the proper blue plexiglass. I've mentioned it to the Swift parts dept. many times over the past 25 years as an item that should be in stock. Interested parties contact and maybe we can get the stuff made. Porter

From: Jack Gladish <>
Hi Jim, I cracked the right side sliding plexy glass (I leaned on it, like a real dufuss!!!!). What is the thickness of that piece of plexy glass? Must it be exact, or does close count? I know to drill the holes with a unibit. I've got a little play in my trim tab, Vaughn looked at it, and thought most of the play may in the bolts.. He felt going to an oversize could do the trick. Would you know what that size or sizes that might be? Thanks, as always, for your help, I'm hoping to make it up to the BBQ this year, but I'm not going to OSH. Thanks again, take care Jack N33212K

I think the original side plexiglas was .080. If you have something other than the Temco rubber framed side windows you probably can use up to .125. Since you are talking about drilling holes I would guess you have some sort of modified frames. Why don't you just mike the broken glass and replace it with the same thickness? A new AN bolt may help your wear situation, check the existing pin or bolt for wear. It should mike .190. If the holes are worn at the end of the actuating rod, steel washers can be welded or brazed to the rod to restore it to new condition. -- Monty

From: Bud England <>
Subject: windows
I'm not flying yet so things may change, but I'm using the "fuzzy" side of velcro tape. This makes for a firm fit with the windows staying pretty much where you put them. Remember, this is on the ground, but I've got a lot of confidence in it.

From: "Bill Doty" <>
Subject: Window Guides:
In reply to Mark Fischer's problem with window guides, I'll pass on what I used on 80572. I had purchased at a flea market, some time back , a roll of 1-1/2 " wide felt webbing. similar to what you see on (light weight) tie-down straps. I doubled the webbing in half and epoxied it into the slots, for sliding side windows. Seems to work fine and stops the rattles....

From: Dick Aaron <>
Subject: Swift Weather Stripping
I found a Frost King weather strip that worked out very nicely for the front and rear edges of the top hatch. It's self-stick, ribbed (not foam) and light gray which blends nicely with the polished aluminum. Two strips almost exactly fit the width of the channels on top of the hatch opening. If you look on the Frost King website: click on the Window/Door icon (upper left corner): it' the first one, EPDM Rubber. I got it at Home Depot. Mine rattled too without anything in the channels but this was all it took to stop it.

Subj: Various
From: (Doc Moore)
I've removed all my glass and have new windshield and back windows coming from LP Aero. What do most folks use for a sealant on the back windows (the ones that curve up over the top of the fuse). When I removed mine today there was a thin double sided foam tape on the fuse and on the pieces that go on over the glass. Tough stuff! Vaughn told me to use RTV on the windshield but I didn't ask him about the back glass. Thanks, Doc

Clear RTV will work fine on all the windows, just be careful not to get it on the plexiglas. It comes off but it is a hard job. -- Monty

RTV COOROSIVE???(800402)
Subj: Windows
From: Chip Kell <>
Say Jim,
A note worth mentioning is that instead of RTV which is corrosive, I use a product called ALEX plus silicone, used as some kind of home adhesive, it goes on white and dries clear, cleans up with water or Alcohol just like normal RTV. I have used it on several airplanes, seals good, seems to stand up to rain and wind. Most of all it's easy to clean up, because you can see it till it dries.... Best, Chip

Subj: RTV corrosion?
From: John Lindley <>
Here is what I remember about RTV and corrosion. Many years ago when the Swift and I were young, I was working for an electronics company, and we were using GE RTV to protect and seal the wires in the back of high voltage connectors. We were told that the acetic acid in common RTV reacted with the moisture in the air to cure the RTV. (Common RTV smells like vinegar because acetic acid is the acid in vinegar.) When the common RTV was used in deep cavities with little surface area, it could take along time for the cure to complete, and the acid could corrode some of the parts. GE recommended another version of the RTV which had a different curing agent and was not corrosive. Sorry, I don't remember the part number.

For most aircraft sealing applications the surface area is large in comparison to the thickness. Also acetic acid is relative weak, and I don't remember enough chemistry to predict how it reacts with aluminum. My feeling is that the copper wires we were worrying about then turned green much faster than aluminum would be attacked. The worst case would be where the RTV was sandwiched between parts in a thick layer, like as a bedding material between a windshield and the fuselage. My Swift has had a lot of corrosion over the years, but none which I could attribute to RTV. GE should have material data sheets that would answer the question. -- Jack

SIDE WINDOWS...(090302)
Subj: Side windows
From: Doc Moore <>
Am changing the side windows and doing away with the frames. Do you know what folks use mounted to the top of the glass to pull the windows up with? I planned to use the extrusions off my old window frames until I found out they're spot welded to the frames. Guess I could cut the frame and leave the piece on but thought some folks that have done this may have better ideas. Maybe there is a fresh extrusion someplace that would make a good replacement? Would appreciate any help you could give. Doc Moore

The pre-1948 Swifts had side windows like you describe. Bend up a piece of aluminum to approximate the angles of your present frames. I think the factory used .025 but .032 or even ..020 will work. Just a simple right angle will work but if you want to be more elaborate copy the bends of your present frames. It is not an extrusion, just bent in a bending brake. The angles can be attached with 6/32 screws or rivets. I have even seen the angles made out of plexiglass and glued or otherwise bonded to the window plexiglass. -- Jim

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