By Phyllis R. Moses
Feature Article from the December 1999 issue of the
year in September, Swifter Stan price hosts a
We want to share his experiences with other Swifters.
-- Phyllis Moses
September, 1945, Cotton Conder started working at Globe Aircraft on
Aircraft production for general aviation following WWII had slowed to a crawl. The Globe Aircraft came out with the Swift. Cotton considers himself lucky to have been part of this aggressive aircraft company.
Cotton recalls many experiences about those vintage years. His recollection of Globe Aircraft and the production of the Swift in those early days is remarkable. He told us about the struggles they faced as a new aircraft manufacturer - struggles that would ultimately prove to be the downfall of a promising corporation. The first production run filled the initial demand for this airplane; yet because of the exciting outlook for its future, the purchasing agents continued to buy up thousands of dollars worth of parts: engines, brakes, propellers, landing gears and other materials not needed at the time. In the early days, Globe furnished TEMCO parts and assemblies to build the standard model Swift under sub-contract.
Globe's warehouses, as well as TEMCO's, were bulging with excess parts. Cotton said, "If the purchasing agent had stopped buying supplies at the same time sales slowed down, and if the work force had been reduced, then Globe might have survived until sales picked up again. But the sales department's projections for future sales, and the purchasing department's free hand to spend were not coordinated properly."
Before anybody figured this out, all of the operating cash was gone and the creditors were taking a long hard look at Globe's ability to pay their bills.
bright young man joined Globe in 1946. His name was Roy Gowin. Cotton and Roy
worked together to facilitate bringing the Swifts and new owners together.
They were always available when Swift owners needed advice regarding repairs
and maintenance, and Cotton ferried the Swifts all over the
The created the A. & E. flying club, and spent many enjoyable hours flying the Swift. Eventually, they sold it to a Swift Executive, George Newman.
and Roy took care of the hundreds of new planes sitting in storage. These were
trying times for those who watched the great Swift manufacturer, Globe
aircraft, slide further and further into bankruptcy. After TEMCO acquired
Globe's assets, the two stayed on doing whatever was necessary for the
transition. Cotton took over the task of ferrying the stored airplanes to
Cotton remembers those days vividly, "Roy and I were sad to see the Globe plant close; however, we were happy to know someone like Bob McCulloch was enthusiastic about the future of the Swift airplane".
TEMCO built the Buckaroo, based on the Swift design, Cotton got the assignment
to take ten of them to
It's quite an emotional distance between the Globe plant were the original Swifts were manufactured to where they are today; about one-half of them still exist. Most of these Swifts are faster now, and infinitely more valuable. They are, perhaps, more revered than any other type aircraft. The owners admire the beauty of their airplanes, and they appreciate the history of their birth.
says, "There's not another aircraft in the world quite like a Swift; it
was built before its time. It's unbelievable that the 85hp Swift as I knew it,
could become what it is today with up to 210 hp. I ferried them all over the
Many stories are told about the closing of the Globe Swift plant, but still, there is no happy ending.
Cotton Conder, who officiated at the birth of this coveted airplane, and who also was there at the death of the plant, says, 'There was no dramatic end when Globe closed the doors. We all just simply walked away."