Boeing-Stearman Model 75

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Model 75 "Stearman"
Boeing Stearman N67193.jpg
Boeing Stearman N67193 in USN markings
Role Biplane Trainer
Manufacturer Stearman Aircraft / Boeing
Introduction 1934
Number built 10,620+
Unit cost

The Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 is a biplane used as a military trainer aircraft, of which at least 10,626 were built in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s.[1] 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 USAAF, the USN (as the NS & N2S), and with the RCAF 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, sports planes, and for aerobatic and wing walking use in airshows.

Design and development[edit]

WAVE in a Boeing Stearman N2S US Navy training aircraft.
US Navy N2S-2 at NAS Corpus Christi, 1943.
US Navy NS-1s of the NAS Pensacola Flight School, 1936.
Boeing Stearman E75 (PT-13D) of 1944.
Boeing Stearman (PT-13) of the Israeli Air Force.
US Navy N2S ambulance at NAS Corpus Christi, 1942.
Boeing Stearman PT-17, Museum of Historical Studies Institute of Aerospace in Perú - Lima.

The Kaydet was a conventional biplane of rugged construction with large, fixed tailwheel undercarriage, and accommodation for the student and instructor in open cockpits in tandem. The radial engine was usually uncowled, although some Stearman operators choose to cowl the engine, most notably the Red Baron Stearman Squadron.

Operational history[edit]

Post-War usage[edit]

After World War II, the thousands of PT (primary trainer)-17 Stearmans were auctioned off to civilians and former 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 engine and a constant speed propeller. An iconic movie image is a Stearman cropduster chasing Cary Grant across a field in North by Northwest. Christopher Reeve and Scott Wilson are shown flying 1936 built variants in the 1985 movie The Aviator.


The US Army Air Forces Kaydet had three different designations based on its power plant:

with a Lycoming R-680 engine. 2,141 total all models.[2]
PT-13 Initial production. R-680-B4B engine. 26 built.
PT-13A R-680-7 engine. 92 delivered 1937-38. Model A-75.
PT-13B R-680-11 engine. 255 delivered 1939-40.
PT-13C Six PT-13Bs modified for instrument flying.
PT-13D PT-13As equipped with the R-680-17 engine. 353 delivered. Model E-75.
With a Continental R-670-5 engine. 3,519 delivered
PT-17A 18 PT-17s were equipped with blind-flying instrumentation.
PT-17B Three PT-17s were equipped with agricultural spraying equipment for pest-control.
PT-13 with a Jacobs R-755 engine, 150 built.
PT-18A Six PT-18s fitted with blind-flying instrumention.
Canadian PT-17. This designation was given to 300 aircraft supplied under Lend-Lease to the RCAF.

The US Navy had several versions including:

Up to 61 delivered. powered by surplus 220 hp (164 kW) Wright J-5 Whirlwind.[3]
Known colloquially as the "Yellow Peril" from its overall-yellow paint scheme.
N2S-1 R-670-14 engine. 250 delivered to the US Navy.
N2S-2 R-680-8 engine. 125 delivered to the US Navy.
N2S-3 R-670-4 engine. 1,875 delivered to the US Navy.
N2S-4 99 US Army aircraft diverted to the US Navy, plus 577 new-build aircraft.
N2S-5 R-680-17 engine. 1,450 delivered to the US Navy.
Stearman 70
Original prototype, powered by 215 hp (160 kW) Lycoming radial engine. Temporary designation XPT-943 for evaluation.[4]
Model 73
Initial production version. 61 built for US Navy as NS plus export variants.[3]
Model 73L3
Version for Philippines, powered by 200 hp (150 kW) R-680-4 or R-680C1 engines. Seven built.[5]
Model A73B1
Seven aircraft for Cuban Air Force powered by 235 hp (175 kW) Wright R-760 Whirlwind. Delivered 1939–1940.[5]
Model A73L3
Improved version for Philippines. Three built.[6]
Stearman 75
(a.k.a. X75) Evaluated by the 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 versions of the 75.
Stearman 90 and 91
(a.k.a. X90 & X91) Productionised metal framed version becoming the XBT-17.
Stearman XPT-943
The X70 evaluated at Wright Field.
American Airmotive NA-75
Single seat agricultural conversion of Model 75, fitted with new, high lift wings.[7]


Brazilian Air Force model A75L3 and 76.[11]
Royal Canadian Air Force received 300 PT-27s under Lend Lease.[12]
 Republic of China
Republic of China Air Force received 150 PT-17s under Lend-Lease,[13] and 20 refurbished aircraft post war.[14]
Colombian Air Force[10]
 Dominican Republic
Imperial Iranian Air Force[15]
Israeli Air Force purchased 20 PT-17s.[16]
Mexican Air Force[15]
Nicaraguan Air Force[citation needed]
Paraguayan Air Force[10]
Peruvian Air Force[citation needed]
Philippine Army Air Corps[11]
Philippine Air Force[15]
 United States
US Army Air Corps/US Army Air Forces[11]
US Marine Corps[citation needed]
United States Navy[11]
Venezuelan Air Force[11]


A considerable number of Stearmans remain in flying condition throughout the world, as the type remains a popular sport plane and warbird.

  • Two PT-17s remain in active service for display (serials FAC-62 and FAC-1995).
  • 3 PT-17s are on display at the Air College.
United States
  • A Stearman Model 70 (N571Y): The original prototype of the Model 75 is in the final stages of restoration at Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum.
  • A PT-17 (A75N1; s/n 41-7960; c/n 75-1519; N53129) is in regular use at Mississippi State University as a research aircraft and glider tow-plane.[17]
  • A PT-17 (s/n 41-8022; N49760) is on display and available for flights at Flying Adventures, Johnson Aeronautical, St Petersburg Clearwater International Airport in St Pete, Florida
  • A PT-17 (s/n 41-8786; c/n 75-2345) is on display at the New England Air Museum, Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks, CT.[18]
  • A PT-17 (s/n 41-25254; c/n 75-2743; N41EE) Kaydet is presented as a USN N2S-3 (a.k.a. "Yellow Peril") and is flown regularly at the Military Aviation Museum in Pungo, Virginia.
  • A PT-17 (s/n 41-25623; c/n 75-3130) is on display in the hangar deck of the USS Yorktown (CV-10) at The Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • A PT-17 (s/n 42-15687; c/n 75-3876) is on display at Vintage Flying Museum, Meacham International Airport, Fort Worth, Texas.[19])
  • A PT-27 (s/n 42-15804; c/n 75-3993; RCAF FJ943) is flown on behalf of the No. 1 British Flying Training School Museum where it commemorates its service with the No. 1 BFTS during World War II from early 1943 to mid 1944. This particular aircraft was one of 300 given to the Royal Canadian Air Force under Lend-Lease and served in Canada from June 1942 to December 1942.
  • A PT-13D (s/n 42-17800; c/n 75-5693) is on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. This aircraft is from the last batch of Kaydets produced (contract numbers 75-5009 through 75-6026) and was donated to the museum in 1959 by the Boeing Aircraft Company which purchased the Stearman Company in 1934.[20]
  • A N2S-3 (BuNo 92468; c/n 75-6707) in which George H. W. Bush once flew as part of his navy training is on display at the Pacific Aviation Museum, on Ford Island, Pearl Harbor.[21][22]
  • A N2S-3 (BuNo 38278; c/n 75-7899) is on display at the Tri-State Warbird Museum in Batavia, Ohio.[23][24]
  • A N2S (BuNo 15923) is on display Carolinas Aviation Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • An annual gathering of surviving Stearman biplanes known as the "Stearman Fly-In" takes place during the first week of September at the Galesburg Municipal Airport in Galesburg, IL.[25]

Specifications (PT-17)[edit]

Line drawings for the N2S/PT-13.

Data from United States Military Aircraft since 1909[26]

General characteristics


See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ National Museum of the United States Air Force gives the figure 10,346 but this includes the equivalent airframes in manufactured spare parts.
  2. ^ NMUSAF fact sheet: Stearman PT-13D Kaydet. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  3. ^ a b Bowers 1989, pp.252-253.
  4. ^ Bowers 1989, pp. 251–252.
  5. ^ a b Bowers 1989, p. 253.
  6. ^ Bowers 1989, p. 254.
  7. ^ Taylor 1965, p. 178.
  8. ^ Bowers 1989, p. 268.
  9. ^ a b Núñez Padín, Jorge (2000). "BOEING STEARMAN N2S KAYDET". Fuerzas Navales (in Spanish). Jorge N. Padín. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Andrade 1979, p. 159
  11. ^ a b c d e Andrade 1979, p. 158
  12. ^ Bowers 1989, p. 265.
  13. ^ Bowers 1989, p. 262.
  14. ^ Bowers 1989, pp. 260–261.
  15. ^ a b c d e "Boeing-Stearman Kadyet". Military Factory. 2013-06-20. Retrieved 2014-05-17. 
  16. ^ Nordeen 1991, p. 27.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Stearman PT-17 (Model 75) 'Kaydet'"
  19. ^ "Boeing PT-17 Kaydet". Vintage Flying Museum. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  20. ^ United States Air Force Museum 1975, p. 21.
  21. ^ "2012 Annual Report" (PDF). Pacific Aviation Museum. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  22. ^ Shupek, John. "Hawaii Aviation Museum Guide". Skytamer Images. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  23. ^ "Restored Aircraft". Tri-State Warbird Museum. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  24. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Stearman Kaydet, s/n 38278 USN, c/n 75-7899, c/r N224DF". Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ Swanborough and Bowers 1963, p. 443.
  • Andrade, John. U.S.Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909, Midland Counties Publications, 1979, ISBN 0 904597 22 9
  • Avis, Jim and Bowman, Martin. Stearman: A Pictorial History. Motorbooks, 1997. ISBN 0-7603-0479-3.
  • Bowers, Peter M. Boeing Aircraft since 1916. London:Putnam, 1989. ISBN 0-85177-804-6.
  • Nordeen, Lon. Fighters Over Israel. London: Guild Publishing, 1991.
  • Phillips, Edward H. Stearman Aircraft: A Detailed History . Specialty Press, 2006. ISBN 1-58007-087-6.
  • Swanborough, F.G. and Peter M. Bowers. United States Military Aircraft since 1909. London:Putnam, 1963.
  • Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1965–66. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1965.
  • United States Air Force Museum. Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio: Air Force Museum Foundation. 1975. 
  • Stearman, Lloyd. Stearmans, You Gotta Love Them. Lap Records, 2005. (NTSC Format)

External links[edit]