The versatile, compact, and simple swash-plate drive mechanism has been adopted for a variety of applications to give a reliable method of converting reciprocating motion to rotary motion. Historically, designers have concerned themselves only with the kinematics of swash-plate drives. This paper describes an analysis which combines swash-plate drive kinematics with hydrodynamic-bearing theory so a performance evaluation of the complete mechanism can be made. The predicted operating characteristics have been verified by tests on full-size models. Operating experience has shown the properly designed swash-plate drive system is a competitive method for converting reciprocating motion into rotary motion. A comprehensive bibliography of swash-plate drive literature is included.