The Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 is a biplane formerly used as a military trainer aircraft, of which at least 10,626 were built in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s. Stearman Aircraft became a subsidiary of Boeing in 1934. Widely known as the Stearman, Boeing Stearman, or Kaydet, it served as a primary trainer for the United States Army Air Forces, the United States Navy (as the NS and N2S), and with the Royal Canadian Air Force as the Kaydet throughout World War II. After the conflict was over, thousands of surplus aircraft were sold on the civilian market. In the immediate postwar years, they became popular as crop dusters and sports planes, and for aerobatic and wing walking use in air shows.
Design and development
in a Boeing Stearman N2S United States Navy training aircraft
Boeing Stearman E75 (PT-13D) of 1944
Boeing Stearman (PT-13) of the Israeli Air Force
Boeing Stearman PT-17, Museum of Historical Studies Institute of Aerospace in Perú - Lima
The Kaydet was a conventional biplane of rugged construction, with a large, fixed tailwheel undercarriage, and accommodation for the student and instructor in open cockpits in tandem. The radial engine was usually not cowled, although some Stearman operators choose to cowl the engine, most notably the Red Baron Stearman Squadron.
After World War II, thousands of surplus PT-17s were auctioned off to civilians and former military pilots. Many were modified for cropdusting use, with a hopper for pesticide or fertilizer fitted in place of the front cockpit. Additional equipment included pumps, spray bars, and nozzles mounted below the lower wings. A popular approved modification to increase the maximum takeoff weight and climb performance involved fitting a larger Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior engine and a constant-speed propeller.
Data from:United States Navy aircraft since 1911, Boeing aircraft since 1916 8,584 Model 70s, 75s and 76s were built, with additional "spares" bringing the number up to the sometimes quoted 10,346.
The U.S. Army Air Forces Model 75 Kaydet had three different designations, PT-13, PT-17 and PT-18, depending on which type of radial engine was installed.
- Initial production version with Lycoming R-680-B4B engine, 26 built in 1936
- PT-13A Model A75 with R-680-7 engine, 92 delivered from 1937 to 1938.
- PT-13B R-680-11 engine, 255 delivered from 1939 to 1941.
- PT-13C Six PT-13Bs modified for instrument flying.
- PT-13D Model E75 with R-680-17 engine, 793 delivered
- Version with Continental R-670-5 engine, 2,942 delivered.
- PT-17A 136 PT-17s modified with blind-flying instrumentation.
- PT-17B Three PT-17s modified with agricultural spraying equipment for pest control near army bases.
- PT-17C Single PT-17 conversion with standardized Army-Navy equipment.
- Version with Jacobs R-755-7 engine, 150 built. Further production was cancelled as the engines were needed for other types of trainers.
- PT-18A Six PT-18s modified with blind-flying instrumentation.
- USAAF paperwork designation given to 300 D75N1/PT-17 aircraft supplied under Lend-Lease to the Royal Canadian Air Force.
- Up to 61 Model 73B1 delivered, powered by 220 hp (160 kW) Wright J-5/R-790 Whirlwind radials
- Known colloquially as the "Yellow Peril" from its overall-yellow paint scheme.
- N2S-1 Model A75N1 with Continental R-670-14 engine, 250 delivered.
- N2S-2 Model B75 with Lycoming R-680-8 engine, 125 delivered in 1941.
- N2S-3 Model B75N1 with Continental R-670-4 engine, 1,875 delivered.
- N2S-4 Model A75N1 with Continental R-670-4 and -5 engines, 457 delivered of 579 ordered, including 99 PT-17s diverted from U.S. Army orders.
- N2S-5 Model E75 with Lycoming R-680-17 engine, 1,450 delivered.
- Stearman 70
- Company designation for prototype, powered by 215 hp (160 kW) Lycoming radial engine, designated XPT-943 for evaluation
- Model 73
- Initial production version, 61 built for U.S. Navy as NS plus export variants
- Model 73L3
- Version for the Philippines, powered by 200 hp (150 kW) R-680-4 or R-680C1 engines, seven built
- Model A73B1
- Seven aircraft for Cuban Air Force powered by 235 hp (175 kW) Wright R-790 Whirlwind, delivered 1939–1940
- Model A73L3
- Improved version for the Philippines, three built
- Stearman 75
- (or X75) Evaluated by the U.S. Army as a primary trainer, the X75L3 became the PT-13 prototype. Variants of the 75 formed the PT-17 family.
- Stearman 76
- Export trainer and armed version of the 75 with a gun ring and one or two fixed forward firing machine guns.
- 5 built for Venezuela.
- 15 built for Brazil.
- 15 built with cameras for Brazil.
- 16 built for Argentina and three for Philippines as BT-1.
- seaplane version of 76D1 for Argentina
- 24 built for Philippine Constabulary as BT-1 armed advanced trainer, and 24 built for Cuba.
- Stearman XPT-943
- Designation assigned to the X70 evaluated at Wright Field
- Stearman Kaydet
- Name used for aircraft in Royal Canadian Air Force service
- American Airmotive NA-75
- Single-seat agricultural conversion of Model 75, fitted with new, high-lift wings
A considerable number of Stearmans remain in flying condition throughout the world, as the type remains a popular sport plane and warbird.
- 75-6488 – B75N1 registered as VH-EYC, airworthy, owned by Steven Bradley, Southern Australia 5134
- 75-8314 – E75 Registered as VH-USE, airworthy, owned by Raalin, Western Australia 6208
- FAC-62 – PT-17 airworthy
- FAC-1995 – PT-17 airworthy
- T5-1556 – PT-17 is airworthy with Erling Pétur Erlingsson in Hafnarfjörður, Capital Region. It is the oldest airplane in Iceland. It was brought to the country in 1941 by the aircraft carrier USS Wasp and damaged in an accident in 1943.
- 75-647 – PT-17 airworthy with R. J. S. Jenkins in Ardmore, Auckland.
- 75-2055 – PT-17 airworthy with R. B. Mackley in Milford.
- 75-2100 – PT-17 airworthy with Classic Aircraft Sales Limited in Blenheim.
- 75-2724 – PT-17 airworthy with B. L. Govenlock in Hastings.
- 75-3132 – PT-17 airworthy with the Antonievich Family Trust in Pukekohe.
- 75-3655 – PT-17 airworthy with M. P. Cantlon in Mount Maunganui.
- 75-4245 – PT-17 airworthy with the Strome Farm Trust in Drury.
- 75-5064 – PT-13D airworthy with the Stearman Syndicate in Drury.
- 75-5907 – PT-13D airworthy with Stearman 03 Limited in Mount Maunganui.
- 75-8025A – N2S-3 airworthy with M. J. Dean in Mount Maunganui.
- PT-17 is on display at the Instituto de Estudios Históricos Aeroespaciales del Perú, Miraflores, Lima.
- PT-13 on display at the Fundación Infante de OrleansCuatro Vientos, Madrid.
- PT-17 on display at the Fundación Infante de Orleans in Cuatro Vientos, Madrid.
- 75-5436 – PT-13D is airworthy, registered as HB-RBG, and based at the Fliegermuseum Altenrhein. Built in 1943 and restored to airworthiness in 1989 after sustaining considerable damage during an emergency landing in the grounds of the Stadler Rail factory in Altenrhein due to engine failure.
Boeing-Stearman Kaydet at the Air Zoo
- Model 70 is airworthy at the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum in Hood River, Oregon. It is the original prototype of the Model 75.
- 37-0099 – PT-13A is on static display at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.
- 41-7960 – PT-17 is airworthy at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi. It is used as a research aircraft and glider tow-plane.
- 41-8786 – PT-17 is in storage at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
- 41-8882 – PT-17 on static display at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona.
- 41-25254 – PT-17 is airworthy at the Military Aviation Museum in Pungo, Virginia.
- 41-25284 – PT-17 is on static display at the Hill Aerospace Museum in Roy, Utah.
- 41-25588 – PT-17 is airworthy at the Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, California.
- 41-25623 – PT-17 is on display at Patriots Point in Charleston, South Carolina.
- 42-15687 – PT-27 is on display at the Vintage Flying Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.
- 42-16365 – PT-17 is on static display at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia.
- 42-16388 – PT-17D is on static display at the March Field Air Museum near Riverside, California.
- 42-16691 – PT-17 is on static display at the Castle Air Museum in Atwater, California.
- 42-17591 – PT-13D is on static display at the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, California.
- 42-17724 – PT-13D is on static display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. It was used in 1944 to train members of the Tuskegee Airmen.
- 42-17763 – PT-13D is on static display at the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Valle, Arizona.
- 42-17800 – PT-13D is on static display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. This aircraft is the 63rd to last aircraft built and was donated to the museum in 1959 by the Boeing Aircraft Company, which purchased the Stearman Company in 1934.
- 3514 – N2S-3 is airworthy with Neil Alan Raaz in Colleyville, Texas.
- 3558 – N2S-2 is under restoration to airworthy at the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, California.
- 5369 – N2S-3 is on static display at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida. It was flown by George H. W. Bush during his initial training as a naval pilot.
- 7591 – N2S-3 is airworthy at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, Florida.
- 7718 – N2S-3 is airworthy at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Houston, Texas.
- 15923 – N2S is on static display at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina.
- 29981 – N2S-4 is on display at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
- 38278 – N2S-3 is airworthy at the Tri-State Warbird Museum in Batavia, Ohio.
- 38490 – N2S-5 is airworthy at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Houston, Texas.
- 43197 – N2S-5 is under restoration to airworthy condition with the Commemorative Air Force Utah Wing in Heber City, Utah.
- 61064 – N2S-5 on static display at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia.
- 92468 – N2S-3 is on static display at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was flown by George H. W. Bush during his initial training as a naval pilot.
- N2S-3 is on display at the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum in Hood River, Oregon.
Data from United States Military Aircraft since 1909
- Crew: 2
- Length: 24 ft 9 in (7.54 m)
- Wingspan: 32 ft 2 in (9.80 m)
- Height: 9 ft 8 in (2.95 m)
- Wing area: 298 sq ft (27.7 m2)
- Empty weight: 1,931 lb (876 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 2,635 lb (1,195 kg)
- Fuel capacity: 46 US gal (38 imp gal; 170 l)
- Powerplant: 1 × Continental R-670-5 7-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 220 hp (160 kW)
- Propellers: 2-bladed fixed-pitch propeller
- Maximum speed: 124 mph (200 km/h, 108 kn)
- Cruise speed: 96 mph (154 km/h, 83 kn)
- Service ceiling: 13,200 ft (4,000 m)
- Time to altitude: 10,000 ft (3,000 m) in 17 minutes 18 seconds
- Wing loading: 9.9 lb/sq ft (48 kg/m2)
In popular culture
An iconic movie image is a Stearman cropduster chasing Cary Grant across a field in North by Northwest (the airplane that chased Grant was actually a Naval Aircraft Factory N3N Canary; the plane that hits the truck is a Stearman).
A heavily modified PT-17 variant was used as the Tornado in the Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Film.