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HISTORY OF THE STEARMAN

The two-seater biplane was introduced by Stearman Aircraft Division of Boeing in Wichita, Kan., in 1934 and became an unexpected success during World War II. Despite its almost obsolete design, its simple, rugged construction made it ideal as a trainer for novice pilots for the U.S. Army Air Corps (PT-13/-17) and Navy (NS/N2S). They were not called "Stearmans" during the war, however. The Army called it the "Kaydet" and the Navy referred to the aircraft as the "Yellow Peril".

 

The aircraft has fabric-covered wooden wings and an over-built welded-steel tube fuselage, also covered in fabric. Between 1936 and 1944, Boeing built 8,584 Kaydets, in all versions, plus the equivalent of 2,000 more in spares.

 

In addition to sales to the U.S. Navy and the Army Air Corps, the trainers were also sold to Canada, China, the Philippines, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil for both military and civilian uses. Many of which were still in service until the early 1990's. After WWII, their slow, low-level flying capabilities made them particularly suitable for crop dusting and spraying, and thousands of aircraft began new lives in agricultural services. This is largely considered the reason so many Stearmans survived long enough to gain a following of enthusiasts who began to see their historical value and restore them back to the original military glory. More than 2,000 Stearmans are flying in the world today.

Stearman Model 75 Trainer

 

First flight:    Nov. 26, 1934 (Model 73)

Classification:    Trainer

Dimensions: Wingspan -32' 2", Length -24' 3" 

Gross weight:    2,717 pounds

Top speed:    164 mph

Cruising speed:    96 mph

Range:    505 miles

Ceiling:    11,200 feet

Power:    220-horsepower Continental R-670-5 piston radial engine (PT-17)

Accommodation:    Two crew

Fuel Capacity / Burn:   46 Gals / 13 Gals per hour