Globe GC-1B “Swift”
United States — single-engine two-seat sport monoplane

Archive Photos

Globe GC-1B “Swift” (N78103) at the 2006 Camarillo Air Show, Camarillo, California (Photos by John Shupek)

Globe GC-1B “Swift” (N3214K, s/n 1207, 1946) at the 2006 Cable Airshow, Cable Airport, Upland, California (Photos by John Shupek)

Globe GC-1B “Swift” (N3214K, s/n 1207, 1946) at the 2009 Cable Airshow, Cable Airport, Upland, California (Photos by John Shupek)

Globe GC-1B “Swift” (N3378K) at the 2006 Cable Airshow, Cable Airport, Upland, California (Photos by John Shupek)

Globe GC-1B “Swift-Miss Texas” (N78238) at the 2007 Camarillo Air Show, Camarillo, California (Photos by John Shupek)

Overview 2,3

  • Globe Swift
  • Role: Civil aircraft
  • Manufacturer: Globe Aircraft Company/TEMCO
  • Designed by: R.S. Johnson
  • First flight: 1942 Globe GC-1A “Swift”
  • Introduction: 1946
  • Number built: 1,521 (including prototypes)
  • Developed from: Culver “Cadet”
  • Variants: T-35 “Buckaroo”

The Globe Aircraft Corporation was originally formed as the Bennett Aircraft Corporation to manufacture aircraft employing the use of Duraloid, a phenol-formaldehyde Bakelite-bonded plywood. In 1941 the Company was reorganized and the name was changed to Globe Aircraft Corporation. The first product of the re-constituted company was a small two-seat low-wing cabin monoplane known as the Swift. The Swift Model GC-1 was awarded an Approved Type Certificate in the Spring of 1942 but it never went into production owing to the restriction of materials.

In 1942 a license agreement was concluded between the Beech Aircraft Corp. and the Globe Aircraft Corp. under which the latter undertook to manufacture 600 Beechcraft AT-10 twin-engine training monoplanes for the U.S. Army Air Forces. This contract was completed in 1944 and to replace it the company undertook sub-contract work for the Curtiss C-46 and other aircraft.

In 1946 a new version of the Swift was produced and two models were in production: the GC-1A with an 85-hp Continental four-cylinder horizontally-opposed engine, and the GC-1B with a 125-h.p. Continental six-cylinder engine. Constructionally the two aircraft are identical although the difference in power-unit results in a change in nose shape. The prototype GC-1A made its initial test flights in January, 1945.

A license for the manufacture of the Globe Swift in Great Britain was been acquired by Helliwells, Ltd. of Walsall, Staffs. The British version was known as the Helliwell Globe. The Globe Swift (also known as the Globe/Temco Swift), first advertised as the “All Metal Swift ”, was a light, two-seat sport monoplane of the post-World War II period.

Design and Development

Designed by R.S. “Pop” Johnson in 1940, the fanciful story of a Culver Cadet obtained as a “template” aircraft has now entered into popular mythology surrounding the aircraft's origins. The design was secured by John Kennedy, president of the Globe Medicine Company, to be built by his new Globe Aircraft Company. World War II interrupted their plans, however, and the 85-hp GC-1A “Swift” advertised as the “All Metal Swift” re-designed by K.H. “Bud” Knox, received its type certificate on 7 May 1946. Two prototypes were built but essentially, the design remained the same as the type entered production. Globe built about 408 GC-1A Swift's.

Later that year, the Swift received a more powerful engine of 125-hp, making it the Globe GC-1B Swift. Globe, together with TEMCO, built 833 Globe GC-1B Swifts in six months. Globe was out pacing sales of the Swift, however, and did not have enough orders to sell all of the aircraft being built. As a result Globe was forced into insolvency. TEMCO being the largest debtor received permission from the “receiver ” to obtain the type certificate, tooling, aircraft, and parts to enable them to continue production in late 1947, in the hope that reviving production would enable TEMCO to recover their loss. TEMCO went on to build 260 more aircraft before shutting Swift production down permanently in 1951.

The type certificate for the Swift was obtained by Universal Aircraft Industries (later Univair) along with all production tooling. Spare parts continued to be built until 1979 when the Swift Association under the leadership of President Charlie Nelson was approached to take over the operation.

Operational History

The Globe/TEMCO Swift has seen many modifications. It began life with an C-85 (85-hp) engine driving a wooden propeller. Within a year the engine was upgraded to a C-125, turning a metal propeller. Performance had been marginal with 85-hp, and only moderate with 125-hp, so many owners have installed more powerful engines, such as 145-hp, 150-hp, 160-hp, 180-hp and even 210-hp. Combined with upgraded cowlings, canopies and propellers, an upgraded Swift can look startlingly modern, and give many of today's best sport planes a run for their money.

The most unusual variant of the series became a separate design, the TEMCO TE-1 “Buckaroo” which was built in a short-run first as a contender for a USAF trainer aircraft contract, and later ended up in foreign service as a military trainer. Several of these trainers have since returned to the civil market.

Specifications and Performance Globe GC-1B “Swift” 3


  • Two-seat enclosed low-wing monoplane.


  • Cantilever low-wing monoplane.
  • Aerofoil sections: NACA 23015 (root); NACA 23009 (tip)
  • All-metal two-spar structure in five main sections consisting of center-section; two outer wings, and detachable tips.
  • Main-spar, at 30% chord, of channel-type construction with metal angle cap-strips and metal web riveted together.
  • Rear auxiliary spar similarly constructed except that cap strips and web are formed as integral unit.
  • Inter-spar shear web-type ribs inboard and outboard of fuel tanks.
  • Shear web-type nose ribs and two auxiliary shear beams between two ribs forming torque box in area of landing gear attachment points.
  • Stressed metal skin.
  • Wing root chord: 6 ft 3 in (1.90 m)
  • Dihedral: 6 degrees.
  • Incidence: 2 degrees
  • Gross wing area: 131.63 ft2 (12.23 m2)
  • Built-in NACA wing-tip slots constructed as separate units and detachable from wings.
  • All-metal Frise-type statically and dynamically-balanced ailerons with stressed metal skin.
  • Aileron area (total): 9.3 ft2 (0.86 m2)
  • All-metal slotted trailing-edge flaps between ailerons and fuselage.
  • Hydraulic operation.
  • Total flap area: 11.59 ft2 (1.07 m2)


  • Semi-monocoque metal structure consisting of front and rear portions.
  • Four longerons, vertical frames and bulkheads and metal skin.

Tail Unit:

  • All-metal monoplane type.
  • Cantilever fin and tailplane with stressed metal skin.
  • Tailplane has 8 degrees dihedral.
  • Fin offset 2 degrees to port.
  • Balanced rudder and elevators have formed metal ribs and metal skin.
  • Leading-edge ribs of blanked sheet with skin riveted to ribs and spar.
  • Controllable trim-tab in port elevator ; rudder trim adjustable on ground.
  • Tailplane area: 13.12 ft2 (1.30 m2)
  • Fin area: 3.62 ft2 (0.33 m2)
  • Elevator area (each): 7.12 ft2 (0.66 m2)
  • Elevator tab area: 0.6 ft2 (0.056 m2)
  • Rudder area: 5.53 ft2 (0.51 m2)

Landing Gear:

  • Retractable two-wheel type.
  • Each main wheel, carried in half-fork on oleo-spring shock-absorber leg, retracts inwards into wing forward of main spar.
  • Electro-hydraulic operation with emergency mechanical lowering gear.
  • Track: 9 ft 9 in (2.97 m)
  • Hydraulic brakes operated by toe pedals.
  • Non-retractable tail-wheel.
  • Twin float or ski gear as alternative.

Power Plant:

  • One 125-hp Continental C125 six-cylinder horizontally-opposed air-cooled engine.
  • Aeromatic constant-speed airscrew.
  • Total fuel capacity: 30 US gallons (113 liters) in two wing tanks.


  • Enclosed cockpit seating two side-by-side with dual controls.
  • Side panels slide upwards for access.
  • Baggage allowance 100 lb (45 kg)


  • Span: 29 ft 4 in (8.94 m)
  • Length: 19 ft 7 in (5.96 m)
  • Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)

Weights and Loadings:

  • Weight empty: 1,110 lbs (503 kg)
  • Disposable load: 600 lbs (272 kg)
  • Weight loaded: 1,710 lbs. (775 kg.)
  • Wing loading: 13 lbs/ft2 (63.5 kg/m2)
  • Power loading: 13.69 lbs/hp (6.2 kg/hp)

Performance (at loaded weight)

  • Maximum speed: 150 mph (241 km/h) at sea level
  • Cruising speed: 140 mph (225 km/h) at sea level
  • Landing speed (with flaps): 48 mph (77 km/h)
  • Rate of climb at sea level: 1,000 ft/min (305 m/min)
  • Service ceiling: 16,000 ft (4,865 m)
  • Range at cruising speed: 512 miles (824 km)
  • Take-off distance: 228 yds (208 m)
  • Landing distance: 127 yds (116 m)


  1. Photos, John Shupek, Copyright © 2009 Skytamer Images. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
  2. Wikepedia. “Globe Swift.” [Online] Available, 21 September 2009
  3. Bridgman, Leonard (ed.), “Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1947”London, Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd., 1947. pp 234c - 235c

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