Swallow Airplane Swallow

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Swallow Airplane Swallow
Swallow fitted with a Continental R-670 engine exhibited at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, in 1989
Role general purpose biplane
National origin United States
Manufacturer Swallow Airplane Manufacturing Co.
Designed by Lloyd and Waverly Stearman and Walter Beech
First flight 1924
Introduced 1924
Status examples still in service in 2010
Number built over 300
Developed from Laird-Swallow
Variants Swallow TP

The Swallow Airplane Swallow is an American-built general purpose biplane of the mid to late 1920’s.


The Swallow Airplane Manufacturing Co was formed in 1923 to take over the business of the E.M. Laird Aviation Co. of Wichita, Kansas and set up its factory there. In 1924, the New Swallow three-seat biplane was introduced, which differed from the earlier Laird-Swallow in having a cowled engine, split axle undercarriage and single-bay wings. About 50 examples were produced until the design was enhanced in 1926. The initial price was $3,500 reducing to $2,485 in late 1926.

The Swallow OX-5, designed by Waverly Stearman, was introduced in 1927 and was the first Swallow to be built under an official ATC. This used an USA-27 airfoil and cabane N-struts. The Curtiss OX-5 water-cooled engine of the New Swallow was retained. About 250 examples were built.

Whilst in commercial service, many Swallows were fitted with higher powered engines including the 225 hp Wright J-5, and later the Continental R-670.

Operational history

The three-seat Swallow found ready use in the hands of small commercial firms and with the newly-founded regional airlines including Varney Air Lines, who used them to carry U.S. mails on the recently created Air Mail routes. After fitment of more powerful engines, a few have remained in service into the 21st Century. One is available in 2010 at Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to give flights to interested persons.


Source : Aerofiles

New Swallow 
90 h.p. Curtiss OX-5, about 50 built 1924-1926
Swallow OX-5 
90 h.p. Curtiss OX-5, with USA-27 airfoil and cabane N-struts, about 250 built from 1927
Swallow J-5 
225 h.p. Wright J-5, fitted with metal propellor, brakes, larger fuel tank and custom paint. Unknown number built and modified from 1928.
Hisso Swallow 
150 hp Hisso A, unknown numbers built from 1928.

Specifications (New Swallow)

Data from Aerofiles

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 2 passengers
  • Length: 23 ft 10 in (7.26 m)
  • Wingspan: 32 ft 8 in (9.96 m)
  • Useful lift: 753 lb (342 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Curtiss OX-5 piston, 90 hp (67 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 100 mph (160 km/h; 87 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 85 mph (74 kn; 137 km/h)
  • Stall speed: 40 mph (35 kn; 64 km/h)
  • Range: 450 mi (391 nmi; 724 km)


  1. Aerofiles
  2. Ogden, page 561