The Swift was designed by R.S. “Pop” Johnson in 1940, despite the fanciful story which has now entered into popular mythology surrounding the Swift’s origin (that a Culver Cadet was obtained as a “template” aircraft). The design was financially 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 (63 kW) 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-1As.
Later that year, the Swift received a more powerful engine of 125 hp (93 kW), making it the GC-1B. Globe, together with TEMCO, built 833 GC-1Bs in six months. Globe’s production outpaced sales of the Swift; as a result Globe was forced into insolvency. TEMCO, the largest creditor, paid $328,000 to obtain the type certificate, tooling, aircraft, and parts allowing them to continue production in late 1947 hoping to recoup their losses. TEMCO built 260 more aircraft before ending Swift production 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 Museum Foundation under the leadership of President Charlie Nelson purchased the Type Certificate, parts and tooling.