Boeing-Stearman Model 75
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|Model 75 (Stearman Kaydet)|
|Boeing Stearman N67193 in U.S. Navy markings|
|Manufacturer||Stearman Aircraft / Boeing|
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, sports planes, and for aerobatic and wing walking use in air shows.
Design and development
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 uncowled, 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.
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). Christopher Reeve and Scott Wilson are shown flying 1936 variants in the 1985 movie The Aviator.
The U.S. Army Air Forces Kaydet had three different designations based on its power plant:
- 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 instrumentation.
- Canadian PT-17. This designation was given to 300 aircraft supplied under Lend-Lease to the RCAF.
The U.S. Navy had several versions including:
- Up to 61 delivered. powered by surplus 220 hp (164 kW) Wright J-5 Whirlwind.
- Known colloquially as the "Yellow Peril" from its overall-yellow paint scheme.
- N2S-1 R-670-14 engine. 250 delivered to the U.S. Navy.
- N2S-2 R-680-8 engine. 125 delivered to the U.S. Navy.
- N2S-3 R-670-4 engine. 1,875 delivered to the U.S. Navy.
- N2S-4 99 US Army aircraft diverted to the U.S. Navy, plus 577 new-build aircraft.
- N2S-5 R-680-17 engine. 1,450 delivered to the U.S. Navy.
- Stearman 70
- Original prototype, powered by 215 hp (160 kW) Lycoming radial engine. Temporary designation XPT-943 for evaluation.
- Model 73
- Initial production version. 61 built for U.S. Navy as NS plus export variants.
- Stearman 75
- (a.k.a. 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 versions of the 75.
- Stearman 90 and 91
- (a.k.a. X90 & X91) Productionized metal frame 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.
- Argentine Air Force
- Argentine Navy received 16 Model 76D1s 1936 to 1937 and 60 N2S Kaydet post-war; all were retired by the early 1960s
- Brazilian Air Force model A75L3 and 76.
- Royal Canadian Air Force received 301 PT-27s under Lend Lease.
- Republic of China
- Republic of China Air Force received 150 PT-17s under Lend-Lease, and 104 refurbished aircraft post war in Taiwan. The ROCAF used them until 1958.
- Colombian Air Force
- Imperial Iranian Air Force
- Israeli Air Force purchased 20 PT-17s.
- Mexican Air Force
- Nicaraguan Air Force
- Paraguayan Air Force
- Peruvian Air Force
- Philippine Army Air Corps
- Philippine Air Force
- United States
- United States Army Air Corps/United States Army Air Forces
- United States Marine Corps
- United States Navy
- Venezuelan Air Force
- Yugoslav Air Force
A considerable number of Stearmans remain in flying condition throughout the world, as the type remains a popular sport plane and warbird.
- An N2S-5 (BuNo. 61151) (ex-0308/1-E-57) is at the Argentine Naval Aviation Museum in flight condition.
- A PT-27 (Canadian PT-17) is maintained in operating condition at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario.
- 1941 Stearman owned & operated by Bruce Bond of Sarnia, Ontario (CF-SDK)
- Two PT-17s remain in active service for display (serials FAC-62 and FAC-1995).
- Three PT-17s are on display at the Air College.
- A PT-17 is on display at the Instituto de Estudios Históricos Aeroespaciales del Perú, Miraflores, Lima.
- Two PT-17s, one of them airworthy and the other one being restored, are on display at Fundación Infante de Orleans (FIO) in Cuatro Vientos (Madrid) 
- A PT-13D (HB-RBG) belonging to the Stearman Club, originally built in 1943 and restored in 1990 after a crash due to an engine failure, is based at the Fliegermuseum Altenrhein 
- 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-13D operated by the United States Army Air Forces and used in 1944 for training members of the Tuskegee Airmen, is on static display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 (A75L3; s/n 41-25588; c/n 75-3095; N62945) is in regular use at Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, California.
- 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 Patriots 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.)
- 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.
- A N2S-3 (BuNo 05369) flown by George H. W. Bush during his initial training as a naval pilot is on display at the National Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola, Florida. 
- 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 Pearl Harbor, on Ford Island, Pearl Harbor.
- A N2S-3 (BuNo 38278; c/n 75-7899) is on display at the Tri-State Warbird Museum in Batavia, Ohio.
- A N2S (BuNo 15923) is on display Carolinas Aviation Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina.
- An N2S-5 (BuNo 43197; c/n 75-8291) has been operated by the Commemorative Air Force Utah Wing and is currently undergoing an extensive restoration.
- 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, Illinois.
- A PT-17 is on display at the Museum of Aviation, Robins AFB, Warner Robins, Georgia
Data from United States Military Aircraft since 1909
- Crew: two, student and instructor
- Length: 24 ft 9 in (7.54 m)
- Wingspan: 32 ft. 2 in. (9.81 m)
- Height: 9 ft 8 in (3 m)
- Wing area: 298 sq ft (27.7 m²)
- Empty weight: 1,931 lb (878 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 2,635 lb (1,200 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Continental R-670-5 seven-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 220 hp (164 kW)
- Maximum speed: 135 mph (117 knots, 217 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 96 mph (83 knots, 155 km/h)
- Service ceiling: 13,200 ft (4,024 m)
- Climb to 10,000 ft (3,330 m): 17.3 min
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Arado Ar 66
- Bücker Bü 131
- De Havilland Tiger Moth
- Fleet Finch
- Focke-Wulf Fw 44
- Gotha Go 145
- Naval Aircraft Factory N3N
- Polikarpov Po-2
- National Museum of the United States Air Force gives the figure 10,346 but this includes the equivalent airframes in manufactured spare parts.
- NMUSAF fact sheet: Stearman PT-13D Kaydet Archived August 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- Bowers 1989, pp.252-253.
- Bowers 1989, pp. 251–252.
- Bowers 1989, p. 253.
- Bowers 1989, p. 254.
- Taylor 1965, p. 178.
- Bowers 1989, p. 268.
- Núñez Padín, Jorge (2000). "BOEING STEARMAN N2S KAYDET". Fuerzas Navales (in Spanish). Jorge N. Padín. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
- Andrade 1979, p. 159
- Andrade 1979, p. 158
- Bowers 1989, p. 265.
- Bowers 1989, p. 262.
- Bowers 1989, pp. 260–261.
- "Boeing-Stearman Kadyet". Military Factory. 2013-06-20. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- Nordeen 1991, p. 27.
- Edwards, Owen (November 2011). "The Tuskegee Airmen Plane's Last Flight". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- http://neam.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=905 "Stearman PT-17 (Model 75) 'Kaydet'"
- Hug, Robin. "New aviation company flying old planes". The Windsor Times. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
- "Boeing PT-17 Kaydet". VintageFlyingMuseum.org. Vintage Flying Museum. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- United States Air Force Museum 1975, p. 21.
- "2012 Annual Report" (PDF). PacificAviationMuseum.org. Pacific Aviation Museum. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- Shupek, John. "Hawaii Aviation Museum Guide". Skytamer.com. Skytamer Images. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- "Restored Aircraft". Tri-State Warbird Museum. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
- "Airframe Dossier - Stearman Kaydet, s/n 38278 USN, c/n 75-7899, c/r N224DF". AerialVisuals.ca. www.AerialVisuals.ca. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- 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)
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