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Boeing-Stearman Kaydet

Biplane Trainer / Aerobatic Aircraft

United States | 1941

"The Boeing-Stearman Kaydet trainer is now a much-loved collectors item for private aircraft owners."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/07/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
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When The Boeing Company acquired the Stearman company in 1939, it also acquired the design and production rights to the promising Model 75 series, which itself was flown as the "X-70" as early as 1933. The two-seat biplane would evolved into a series of trainers under the PT-13, PT-15, PT-18 and PT-27 designations and serve through World War 2 and beyond, ultimately becoming a prize aircraft for any aviation aficionado.

The "Kaydet" was initially received by the United States Navy in the form of the Model 73 production series and designated as the NS-1 produced in no fewer than 61 delivered examples. The Model 75 was derived from this production model which was then accepted by the United States Army as the PT-13. These versions were fitted with a Lycoming R-680 engine of 215 horsepower output. 2,141 PT-13 examples were produced and this in five subvariants (PT-13 followed by A, B, C, and D models). Further development led to increasingly improved versions of the base Model 75 that featured a host of powerplant and instrument changes. Kaydets were now being produced on orders numbering thousands and included a slew of USN and US Army variants differing mainly in engine types installed.

Introduction of the Continental-brand R-670-5 series of engines led to a new designation as the PT-17 of which 3,519 were produced (across A- and B-model variants). Later models produced with a Jacobs R-755 powerplant were further designated as PT-18's and these numbered 150 units. The Boeing-Stearman design was also sold to Canada under Lend-Lease during World War 2 as the PT-27 (with enclosed cockpit) and numbered 300 examples delivered.

Total production of Model 75 was approximately 9,800 units.

The Canadian Lend-Lease Model 75s were called "Kaydet" and the name stuck over time, still being used today to identify the line. Kaydets managed to see considerable use after the war as well in the aerial acrobat role and crop dusting. Operators spanned the globe from Argentina and Bolivia to the Philippines and Venezuela (see operators listing below for complete global reach).

Taiwan (Republic of China) was another wartime Lend-Lease partner and recipient of the Kaydet.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Boeing-Stearman PT-17A Kaydet Biplane Trainer / Aerobatic Aircraft.
1 x Continental R-670-5 Seven-cylinder radial developing 220 horsepower.
124 mph
199 kph | 107 kts
Max Speed
11,204 ft
3,415 m | 2 miles
Service Ceiling
505 miles
812 km | 438 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Boeing-Stearman PT-17A Kaydet Biplane Trainer / Aerobatic Aircraft.
1 or 2
25.0 ft
7.63 m
O/A Length
32.2 ft
(9.80 m)
O/A Width
9.2 ft
(2.79 m)
O/A Height
1,936 lb
(878 kg)
Empty Weight
2,716 lb
(1,232 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Notable series variants as part of the Boeing-Stearman Kaydet family line.
X-70 - Original Stearman Prototype Model
Model 75 - Stearman Developed X-70; Became Boeing product through acquisition of the Stearman company.
NS-1 - US Navy Designation of the Model 73 production models; 61 examples delivered.
PT-13 - US Army Model Designation fitted with Lycoming R-680-5 radial 215hp piston engine; 26 examples delivered.
PT-13A - Further development of the PT-13; fitted with R-680-7 engine of 220hp; 92 examples produced.
PT-13B - Fitted with R-680-11 powerplant; 255 examples delivered.
PT-13C - Night Flying Conversion Models; 6 examples produced in this fashion.
PT-13D - "Common" US Army and Navy Production Model.
PT-17 - Fitted with Continental R-670-5 radial; 3,510 produced.
PT-17A - "Blind Flying" Variant with specialized instrumentation; 18 such produced.
PT-17B - "Pest Control" Variant for crop dusting; 3 such produced.
N2S - US Navy Model Designation based on the Model 75.
N2S-1 - USN Model; fitted with R-670-14 engine; 250 models produced.
N2S-2 - USN Model; fitted with R-680-8 engine; 125 produced.
N2S-3 - USN Model; fitted with R-670-4 engine; 1,875 produced.
N2S-4 - USN Model; fitted with R-670-5 engine; 1,051 produced.
N2S-5 - USN Model; fitted with R-680-17 engine; 1,450 examples produced.
PT-18 - Variants fitted with Jacob R-755-7 radial powerplant.
PT-18A - "Blind Flying" PT-18 Model Variant
PT-27 - Canadian Export Model; 300 examples delivered; named "Kaydet" in Canada which today translates as the series name as a whole; Enclosed cockpit.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Boeing-Stearman Kaydet. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 9,800 Units

Contractor(s): Boeing-Stearman - USA
National flag of Argentina National flag of Bolivia National flag of Brazil National flag of Canada National flag of China National flag of Colombia National flag of Cuba National flag of the Dominican Republic National flag of Greece National flag of Iran National flag of Israel National flag of Mexico National flag of the Philippines National flag of the United States National flag of Venezuela

[ Argentina; Bolivia; Brazil; Canada; China; Colombia; Cuba; Dominican Republic; Greece; Guatemala; Honduras; Iran; Israel; Mexico; Philippines; United States; Venezuela ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (124mph).

Graph Average of 113 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
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Image from the United States Department of Defense imagery database.
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Image form the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
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Image form the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Boeing-Stearman Kaydet Biplane Trainer / Aerobatic Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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