Savoring the Swift


Pilots often have two dreams: One is to find a derelict airplane in a barn and restore it to an airworthy showpiece; the other is to find someone who shares their passion for aviation.

Paul and Sandy Mercandetti from Knoxville, Tenn., are lucky enough to have had both dreams come true. The couple flies around the country in a 1946 GC1-B Globe Swift model 1-A that Paul found in a shed years ago.

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The ever-popular Swift


When it comes to aircraft production, timing is critical. The history of general aviation is replete with designs that had the misfortune of being introduced at the beginning of the Depression or World War II, and then being lost to a nose-diving economy or a change in resource allocation. If it was a good design, the airplane came back when fortunes changed.

The Swift is one of the designs that went dormant during World War II and came roaring back in the post-war years to become one of the more popular two-place designs on the market. The Swift is a low-wing tailwheel design with side-by-side seating. In some circles, it’s compared to a flying sports car or even the P-51 Mustang.

What grabs you about the Swift when you see them parked in disciplined rows at airshows and fly-ins is the number of subtle variations to the design and finish. [Read more…]