Boeing-Stearman Model 75
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Boeing-Stearman Model 75
Model 75 "Stearman"
Boeing Stearman N67193.jpg
Boeing Stearman N67193 in USN markings
Role Biplane Trainer
Manufacturer Stearman Aircraft / Boeing
Introduction 1934

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 United States Army Air Forces, the United States Navy (as the NS & 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

A WAVE in a Boeing Stearman N2S United States Navy training aircraft.
United States Navy N2S-2 at NAS Corpus Christi, 1943.
United States 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.
United States Navy N2S ambulance at NAS Corpus Christi, 1942.
Boeing Stearman PT-17, Museum of Historical Studies Institute of Aerospace in Perú - Lima.
PT-17 "Kaydet" on display at the Museum of Aviation, Robins AFB

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

Post-war usage

After World War II, the thousands of primary trainer PT-17 Stearman planes 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 Wasp Junior engine and a constant-speed propeller. 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:

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 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.[3]
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.[4]
Model 73
Initial production version. 61 built for U.S. 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-790 Whirlwind. Delivered 1939-1940.[5]
Model A73L3
Improved version for Philippines. Three built.[6]
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.[7]


Brazilian Air Force model A75L3 and 76.[11]
Royal Canadian Air Force received 301 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[]
Paraguayan Air Force[10]
Peruvian Air Force[]
Philippine Army Air Corps[11]
Philippine Air Force[15]
 United States
United States Army Air Corps/United States Army Air Forces[11]
United States Marine Corps[]
United States Navy[11]
Venezuelan Air Force[11] ; Yugoslavia :Yugoslav Air Force

Surviving aircraft

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).
  • Three PT-17s are on display at the Air College.
  • 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) [17]
  • 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 [18]
United States

Specifications (PT-17)

Line drawings for the N2S/PT-13.

Data from United States Military Aircraft since 1909[30]

General characteristics


See also

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 Archived August 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. 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 . 
  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 . 
  16. ^ Nordeen 1991, p. 27.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-15. Retrieved . 
  20. ^ "Stearman PT-17 (Model 75) 'Kaydet'"
  21. ^ Hug, Robin. "New aviation company flying old planes". The Windsor Times. Retrieved 2015. 
  22. ^ "Boeing PT-17 Kaydet". Vintage Flying Museum. Retrieved 2015. 
  23. ^ United States Air Force Museum 1975, p. 21.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "2012 Annual Report" (PDF). Pacific Aviation Museum. Retrieved 2015. 
  26. ^ Shupek, John. "Hawaii Aviation Museum Guide". Skytamer Images. Retrieved 2015. 
  27. ^ "Restored Aircraft". Tri-State Warbird Museum. Retrieved 2014. 
  28. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Stearman Kaydet, s/n 38278 USN, c/n 75-7899, c/r N224DF". Retrieved 2015. 
  29. ^
  30. ^ 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

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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