enter image description here

Can anyone identify this biplane.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site. It helps to add as much info as possible, good example: aviation.stackexchange.com/q/89796/14897 You can press Edit. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 21:36
  • $\begingroup$ The tail number under the wing appears to read "NC12..." or "N612..." perhaps? $\endgroup$
    – abelenky
    Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 22:15
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    $\begingroup$ @abelenky It’s a C. “A second letter indicating the aircraft's airworthiness category followed the N and preceded the identification numbers. These airworthiness indicators were; "C" for standad, "R" for restricted, "X" for experimental, and later an "L" for limited, (for example, NC1234).”faa.gov/licenses_certificates/aircraft_certification/… $\endgroup$
    – JScarry
    Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 23:46
  • $\begingroup$ I'd tend to think it's a variant of the Laird Swallow with another engine, perhaps NC1236. Here are the 3-figure ids, and here the 4-figure ids starting with NC12. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Nov 9, 2021 at 14:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @mins don't forget the 5-figures ids $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Commented Nov 9, 2021 at 21:32

2 Answers 2


From what I have seen (I put in some screen time), I'd have to agree with mins that it appears to be a variant of the Laird Swallow. There are 5 Swallows on the registration list between 1236 and 1297. The small bit of the third number makes me think that it is a 6 or a 9, and I'd probably guess a 9, which would make it NC1297, assuming, of course, that it had a 4 digit reg number. NC1297 is a Swallow, last registered to Orin Welch Aircraft Co of Indiana. Swallows were manufactured with several different engines, so the odd cowling isn't much of a concern.


Definitely NOT a Laird Swallow, which is far too early a design with to have many of the visible features.

It is instead a Great Lakes 2T-1A sports trainer - a rather well known aerobatic aircraft, of which quite a few are still registered, although most of the survivors don't have an upright inline engine (horizontally opposed replacements being a popular replacement). Their logo is even visible on the fin.

Airhistory.org lists two batches of aircraft with potentially matching registration numbers in the NC12nnn range including NC12845, NC12846, NC12847, NC12848, NC12887, NC12889, NC12890, NC12891 - all of which also match the unknown third digit - and which actually have enough digits to match the smear on the tail - which is clearly not a 3 digit serial.

I have attached an image of a similar aircraft below. Great Lakes 2T-1

and the company's logo: Great Lakes Aircraft Company logo


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