Boeing-Stearman Model 75

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Model 75 (Stearman Kaydet)
Boeing Stearman N67193.jpg
Boeing Stearman N67193 in U.S. Navy markings
Role Biplane Trainer
Manufacturer Stearman Aircraft / Boeing
Introduction 1934
Number built 10,620+
Unit cost

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.[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 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[edit]

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.
Vintage Boeing-Stearman Model 75, Breitling SA
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 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.

Operational history[edit]

Post-war usage[edit]

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[edit]

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.


Data from:United States Navy aircraft since 1911[2], Boeing aircraft since 1916[3] 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.[4]
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.[5]
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.[6]
Model 73
Initial production version. 61 built for U.S. Navy as NS plus export variants.[5]
Model 73L3
Version for Philippines, powered by 200 hp (150 kW) R-680-4 or R-680C1 engines. Seven built.[7]
Model A73B1
Seven aircraft for Cuban Air Force powered by 235 hp (175 kW) Wright R-790 Whirlwind. Delivered 1939–1940.[7]
Model A73L3
Improved version for Philippines. Three built.[8]
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.[9]


Brazilian Air Force model A75L3 and 76.[13]
Royal Canadian Air Force received 301 PT-27s under Lend Lease.[14]
 Republic of China
Republic of China Air Force received 150 PT-17s under Lend-Lease,[15] and 104 refurbished aircraft post war in Taiwan. The ROCAF used them until 1958.[16]
Colombian Air Force[12]
 Dominican Republic
Imperial Iranian Air Force[17]
Israeli Air Force purchased 20 PT-17s.[18]
Mexican Air Force[17]
Nicaraguan Air Force[citation needed]
Paraguayan Air Force[12]
Peruvian Air Force[citation needed]
Philippine Army Air Corps[13]
Philippine Air Force[17]
 United States
United States Army Air Corps/United States Army Air Forces[13]
United States Marine Corps[citation needed]
United States Navy[13]
Venezuelan Air Force[13]
Yugoslav Air Force

Surviving aircraft[edit]

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

  • E75 (USAAF PT-13D 42-17456) owned and operated by Daniel Jones, Lacombe, Alberta. C-GVTI.
  • B75N1 (US Navy N2S-3, BuAer 05284) under restoration to fly with Daniel Jones, Lacombe, Alberta. C-GZAL.
  • Two PT-17s remain in active service for display (serials FAC-62 and FAC-1995).
  • One PT-17 in airworthy condition [19] registered as TF-KAU serial number T5-1556[20] MSN 41-7997[21]. Oldest airworthy aircraft in Iceland in May 2019. Originally brought to Iceland as air force trainer in 1941 by aircraft carrier USS Wasp [22] which was later sunk and discovered SE of Guadalcanal in 2019 [23].
New Zealand
  • PT-13D c/n 75-5064 Boeing-Stearman E75 Registered as ZK-BOE
  • PT-17 c/n 75-2055 Boeing-Stearman A75N1 Registered as ZK-BWR
  • PT-17 c/n 75-2100 Boeing-Stearman A75N1 Registered as ZK-KJO
  • PT-17 c/n 75-4245 Boeing-Stearman A75N1 Registered as ZK-PJS
  • PT-17 c/n 75-647 Boeing-Stearman A75N1 Registered as ZK-RJS
  • PT-17 c/n 75-2724 Boeing-Stearman A75N1 Registered as ZK-STM
  • PT-17 c/n 75-3132 Boeing-Stearman A75N1 Registered as ZK-TGA
  • N2S-3 c/n 75-8025A Boeing-Stearman B75N1 Registered as ZK-USA
  • PT-17 c/n 75-3655 Boeing-Stearman A75N1 Registered as ZK-USN
  • PT-13D c/n 75-5907 Boeing-Stearman E75 Registered as ZK-XAF
  • 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) [24]
  • PT-13D (HB-RBG) belonging to the Stearman Club, built in 1943 and restored in 1990 after a crash due to an engine failure, is based at the Fliegermuseum Altenrhein [25]
United States

Specifications (PT-17)[edit]

Line drawings for the N2S/PT-13

Data from United States Military Aircraft since 1909[38][39]

General characteristics

  • 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: 27.7 sq ft (2.57 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: 8.84 lb/sq ft (43.2 kg/m2)

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. ^ Bowers, Peter M.; Swanborough, Gordon (1990). United States Navy aircraft since 1911. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press. pp. 494–495. ISBN 0870217925.
  3. ^ Bowers, Peter M. (1989). Boeing aircraft since 1916 (3rd ed.). Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. pp. 251–269. ISBN 978-0870210372.
  4. ^ NMUSAF fact sheet: Stearman PT-13D Kaydet Archived August 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  5. ^ a b Bowers 1989, pp.252-253.
  6. ^ Bowers 1989, pp. 251–252.
  7. ^ a b Bowers 1989, p. 253.
  8. ^ Bowers 1989, p. 254.
  9. ^ Taylor 1965, p. 178.
  10. ^ Bowers 1989, p. 268.
  11. ^ a b Núñez Padín, Jorge (2000). "BOEING STEARMAN N2S KAYDET". Fuerzas Navales (in Spanish). Jorge N. Padín. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Andrade 1979, p. 159
  13. ^ a b c d e Andrade 1979, p. 158
  14. ^ Bowers 1989, p. 265.
  15. ^ Bowers 1989, p. 262.
  16. ^ Bowers 1989, pp. 260–261.
  17. ^ a b c d e "Boeing-Stearman Kadyet". Military Factory. 2013-06-20. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  18. ^ Nordeen 1991, p. 27.
  19. ^ "Elsta flughæfa vélin á Íslandi". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  20. ^ "Uppfletting í loftfaraskrá". Samgöngustofa (in Icelandic). Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  21. ^ "Crash site of war planes".
  22. ^ "Elsta flughæfa vélin á Íslandi". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  23. ^ Caesar, Ed (2019-03-13). "The Epic Hunt for a Lost World War II Aircraft Carrier". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "FMA-Flyers".
  26. ^ Edwards, Owen (November 2011). "The Tuskegee Airmen Plane's Last Flight". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2011-10-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ "Stearman PT-17 (Model 75) 'Kaydet'"
  29. ^ Hug, Robin. "New aviation company flying old planes". The Windsor Times. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  30. ^ "Boeing PT-17 Kaydet". Vintage Flying Museum. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  31. ^ United States Air Force Museum 1975, p. 21.
  32. ^
  33. ^ "2012 Annual Report" (PDF). Pacific Aviation Museum. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  34. ^ Shupek, John. "Hawaii Aviation Museum Guide". Skytamer Images. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  35. ^ "Restored Aircraft". Tri-State Warbird Museum. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  36. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Stearman Kaydet, s/n 38278 USN, c/n 75-7899, c/r N224DF". Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  37. ^
  38. ^ Swanborough and Bowers 1963, p. 443.
  39. ^ "Boeing-Stearman Kaydet". Retrieved 23 May 2019.


  • 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]