06/30/2012. The origins of the Globe Swift go back to the Bennett Aircraft Corporation which was set up before WW II with the aim of using a new Bakelite bonded plywood for aircraft construction. The company became the Globe Aircraft Corporation in 1941 and designed its first aircraft with extensive use of the "Duraloid" plywood material. Two prototypes of the GC-1 were built (NX17688 c/n 1 and NX17690 c/n 2) and these were fitted with 80 hp Continental A-80 engines.
Globe was unable to put the GC-1 into production because of the onset of war and the company spent the period of hostilities building Beech AT-10s and Curtiss C-46s. When the restrictions on civil aircraft production were lifted, the GC-1 was taken off the shelf and substantially redesigned as an all-metal aircraft.
The GC-1A was a high performance low-wing monoplane with a retractable tailwheel undercarriage and a fully enclosed side-by-side two-seat cabin. With the engine upgraded to an 85 hp Continental C-85 the prototype (NX17640 c/n 1) made its first flight in January, 1945. In the course of development many changes took place, including a revised engine installation, longer engine cowling and extended firewall, but the type certificate was eventually issued on July 5, 1946.
Production of the Swift was subcontracted to the Texas Engineering and Manufacturing Co. (later known as Temco) who built 408 GC-1As (c/n 2 to 409) before going over to production of the GC-1B Swift. This version was fitted with an 125 hp Continental C-125 engine and was outwardly similar to the GC-1A except for the modified engine cowling. In July, 1947, Globe was declared bankrupt with the result that Temco bought the assets of the business, including the Swift type certificate. They continued to build the
GC-1B until 1951.
When production ceased a total of 1,502 production Swifts and three prototypes had been built. Construction numbers of the GC-1B were 1001 to 1527, 2001 to 2329 and 3523 to 3760. Temco also converted a batch of 22 GC-1Bs (c/n 1505 to 1526) to GC-1A standard and issued them with new c/n 3001 to 3522.
In 1949, Temco used the basic Swift design to produce the TE-1 Buckaroo tandem two-seat trainer. The USAF took some interest in the Buckaroo but placed no orders and only twenty aircraft were eventually constructed (including a batch of ten for the Royal Saudi AF). After production of the Swift and Buckaroo had ceased, Temco sold the type certificate to Universal Aircraft Industries ("Univair") which supplied spares for the Swift. Univair subsequently handed over the type certificate to the loyal band of owners who comprised the Swift Association.
During 1987, Piper Aircraft developed an interest in possible production of an updated Swift. Under Roy LoPresti a Swift was modified to become the Swiftfire prototype. This aircraft, registered successively N345LP, N207LP (renamed Swiftfury) and N217LP, had new flush-riveted wing skins, a sliding cockpit canopy and a 425 shp Allison 250 turboprop engine. However, Pipers bankruptcy in 1991 prevented production, but the aircraft is still registered and flown (known simply as Fury), although re-engined with a 200 hp Lycoming IO-360 four-cylinder engine.
12/31/2011. Remarks by Doug Duncan: "Fitted with an 150 hp Lycoming
O-320 engine the pictured aircraft was originally registered as N90345 in 1946. Here's another shot of N131W, this one taken at Santa Monica Airport, Santa Monica, California, almost 40 years earlier than the photo above, showing its originally canopy."