Some thirty years ago I wandered my way out to the local strip where I had a hangar full of training aircraft, to get my first glimpse at the “new” Stearman on the field. I found it; it was sitting on the grass right in front of my big silver hangar and even from a distance I could see that there was something odd about it.
They departed from the rag and tube design and tooled the aircraft in all aluminum. This was a radical departure from competing aircraft of the time. With its tail dragger stance, riveted stressed skin, and retractable main gear the Swift became a pilots dream come true, and in May of 1946 the first Globe Swift, GC-1A, was type certificated.
Not content to simply note enemy positions and movements from aloft, the “Mad Major” made some rather startling modifications to his little bird and took the fight to the unsuspecting Germans and their tanks.