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|Industry||Aerospace / aviation, UAS|
Number of employees
|Parent||Matsushita International Corp|
Swift Engineering was founded as SWIFT CARS in 1983 by David Bruns, Alex Cross, R. K. Smith, and Paul White. Their first car, the DB-1, was a Formula Ford which won the SCCA National Championship in its debut race. The company later built cars for Sports 2000, Formula Ford 2000, Formula Atlantic and CART. Swift chassis won the Atlantic Championship from 1989 to 1992 and British Formula Renault in 1990.
In 1991, Swift was purchased by Panasonic executive and former Indycar racing driver Hiro Matsushita grandson of Konosuke Matsushita-founder of Panasonic, who renamed the firm Swift Engineering. Under his direction, Swift moved up to the CART World Series for 1997, with two cars entered by Newman/Haas Racing and driven by Michael Andretti and Christian Fittipaldi. In CART, Swifts got four wins and 24 podiums from 182 race entries. Tarso Marques was the last driver to race a Swift chassis in CART in the 2000 season.
From 2000 Swift Engineering started to provide vertically integrated, multi-disciplined, product development services including design, development, engineering, testing, and rapid manufacturing of prototypes, demonstrators, and pre-production articles.
In 2018, Swift Engineering started its overseas office forming, a joint venture with Kobe Institute of Computing called Swift-Xi Inc in Kobe, Japan providing data, logistics, and operations of autonomous and robotic technologies.
The first Swift racecar was the DB-1 Formula Ford. The car won its debus race, the 1983 SCCA Runoffs at Road Atlanta. The DB-1 was the third car designed by Bruns and was considered to be a design simplification of Burns's previous design, the Automotive Development ADF. The car was considered a landmark design that rendered prior Formula Ford models obsolete. The DB-1 had the lowest aerodynamic drag of any Formula Ford at the time of its release. Over 100 DB-1s were sold in the 18 months following the car's release. The car won 10 Formula Ford championships over the next 13 years. The closely related DB6 won an additional six championships with the last one in 2008. The success of the car was considered one of the factors that resulted in a slow decline of Formula Ford in the US after 1984.
In 1998, Swift became the sole supplier for the new spec regulation Toyota Atlantic Championship. In 2006, the Atlantic race series became a part of the Champ Car (formerly CART) organization and was renamed the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. Swift built an entirely new car for the series, using 016.a as a chassis code. Swift became the sole supplier of chassis for the Japanese Formula Nippon championship in 2009 with the 017.n chassis (also known as the FN09). An updated model called SF13 was used in 2013. A derivative of the 017.n, the 020.I, was proposed by the company in response to Indy Lights' requirement for a new chassis for the 2014 season.
|1983||Swift DB1||Formula Ford 1600|
|1984||Swift DB2||Sports 2000|
|1988||Swift DB4||Formula Atlantic|
|1989||Swift DB3||Formula Ford 2000|
|1990||Swift DB5||Sports 2000|
|1991||Swift DB6||Formula Ford 1600/2000|
|1998||Swift 008.a||Formula Atlantic|
|2002||Swift 014.a||Formula Atlantic|
|2006||Swift 016.a||Formula Atlantic|
|2009||Swift 017.n||Formula Nippon|
Swift Engineering designed, built, and delivered the runway-independent Killer Bee blended wing UAV and its mobile launch/retrieval system in 2002. Northrop Grumman bought the Killer Bee UAV product line from Swift Engineering, and renamed it as the Northrop Grumman Bat in April 2009. It has been used primarily as an ISR gathering tool, and features a 10-ft wingspan with 30-lb payload capacity.
In 2007 Swift Engineering produced the prototype Eclipse 400 single-engine jet aircraft under contract to Eclipse Aviation. The aircraft was built in secrecy at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and first flown on 2 July 2007. Swift supplies high-strength, low-weight composite parts and assemblies to a number of aerospace industry customers. Engineering consultancy and the design and production of tooling for composite parts are further aspects of the business.
Swift Engineering Inc. joined the Sikorsky-Boeing team in 2015 to support the development of the Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR TD), with design and manufacturing of a significant portion of the airframe structure.
In 2014 Swift started developing the Swift020 fully electric, fully autonomous VTOL UAS. This aircraft is runway independent and transitions to horizontal flight through its autopilot software. the first UAS featuring X-blade technology, made its first fully autonomous flight demonstration in the city of Kobe, Japan on July 21, 2018. It takes off and lands like a quadrotor but transitions to efficient fixed-wing forward flight without additional launch and recovery equipment, vastly reducing operational time and cost. It has a 4-meter wingspan, 2-3 hours of endurance, and a 1.5-kg payload.
In 2018 Swift proposed to design, fabricate, and fly a Swift Ultra Long Endurance (SULE)30-day mission HALE UAS with flight tests including 24-hrs, 48-hrs, and 7-days during the Phase 2 timeline for Nasa. All operations, ground control, safety, reviews, and payload will be included in these test flights and within the proposed 2-year timeframe. Swift HALE completed its first test flight in New Mexico in 2020 with the partnership with NASA
In 2017 Swift Engineering designed, fabricated, and delivered QTY 10, 10-ft Iridium NEXT payload adapter cylinders, structures for a 50 ft. XLUUV unmanned submarine.
Swift Engineering has been nominated and recognized multiple times in the past few years for its program management techniques and its quality management techniques due to the extensive programs Swift has been involved with.