I don't think it works like that.
Let's begin with what everybody knows, or should know, in order to approach the Bridge of Death, namely, that an Old World swallow needs to beat its wings 43 times each second. Well, OK, to reach the other side you should know it is actually about 7 times each second. I have this on the redoubtable authority of the Stream of Consciousness Blog, but they did give a source, leading to Pennycuck, 1996, which says in no uncertain terms that the wing beat of ANY bird can be calculated according to the very simple formula,
Fortunately, they modified the original and took the moment of inertia out of that, which isn't known for most birds, or it would be much more complicated.
Now what we can take from this is while we could alter the gravity or the air density, it wouldn't look good, and we could alter the wing length, but with virtually no effect (we multiply it by the frequency and get a 1/24th root of something), which means, either we can make the wing area smaller so it buzzes more like a hummingbird, or we make the bird heavier so that it must somehow learn to fly faster. This last seems in accordance with your preferences. Despite this, the frequency would reduce with mass unless the moment of inertia goes down, so the wings are going to have to be rather strange looking in order to improve the rate of flapping by a large factor.
Because the effect of such a whip-cracking would be more like a motorcycle than a thunderstorm, I would humbly suggest that perhaps you give a little more credit to the legend. The bird simply has conductive barbules:
When it desires, it sends a small portion of each of its wings an endocrine signal that causes each feather to emit a hydrophobic compound in its oil, which detaches the barbules. Unlike the photo shown above, however, these barbules are designed to interlace at the start and end along each barb of each feather. A single feather unspools into dozens of meters of highly conductive thread, and the beat pattern of the wing twists this into a continuous fiber with other such threads.
The result is comparable to Georg Wilhelm Richmann's famous kite experiment, where he flew a kite in a thunderstorm and was killed by ball lightning jumping from the silken string, having less good fortune than Franklin. You may also compare the common lightning rocket - though one of those is the size of a man, that is because it is trying to boost up into the storm from below rather than dropping its strand from above.
Is the Thunderbird simply hungry for cooked meat, or is it a mysterious judge of character that makes decisions like a drone operator who might single out a disfavored foreign diplomat for a similar accident? I don't know - it would be best to go back to the native Americans and ask for more data.