Boeing-Stearman Model 75 'Kaydet'


This trainer's origins go back to 1933. Stearman's X-70 flew in December of that year, and was put forward as a contender for a USAAC contract for a primary trainer. It was unsuccessful, but re-engined and redesignated as the Model 73 it became the NS-1 in US Navy service (61 aircraft were purchased). This led onto the Model 75, which became one of the classic aircraft of the 1930's. Used by the US Army Air Corps (later the USAAF), the USN and several overseas air forces, more than 10,000 were eventually built, by a variety of manufacturers.

The aircraft exists in a number of variants, usually determined by the type of engine and equipment fitted. The original PT-13 as it was known in USAAC service came from an order for 26 aircraft in 1935 and was powered by a 215 hp Lycoming R-680-5. The PT-13A, of which 92 were built from 1937, featured a 220hp R-680-7 and improved instrumentation. 255 PT-13B were built from 1940 with an uprated R-680-11. The PT-13C model was a PT-13B equipped for night flying. The most numerous variant was the PT-17 (3,519 built), which was the PT-13A airframe powered by a Continental R-670-5. A limited number (150) of the PT-13A model were produced using the 225hp Jacobs R-755-7 due to engine shortages, and this was designated the PT-18 (with the PT-18A being a blind flying version).

The USN also used the model 75. The N2S-1, of which 250 were built, was powered by a Continental R-670-14 engine. The N2S-2 (125 built), carried a 220hp Lycoming R-680-8, and the N2S-3 (1,875 built) returned to Continental engines using the R-670-4. The N2S-4 was essentially a PT-17, and 99 of the 676 produced were diverted from PT-17 production. The ultimate develpment entered production in 1942, and was common to both Navy and Army service, designated the N2S-5 (1,450 built) or PT-13D (318 built).

Over a 1,000 Model 75s were exported to countries like Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and Venezuela. The name 'Kaydet' was originally applied to the 300 PT-27 aircraft exported to Canada , but through general use this has become a common name for all Model 75s. Although it should be pointed out that many people just use the manufacturers name as this has become synonymous with the aircraft. Boeing purchased the 12 year old Stearman company in 1939. Production of Model 75s ended in February 1945, with 10,346 aircraft completed. Like the DH-82a, its counterpart across the Atlantic, the aircraft served through WWII as a basic trainer, but the story did not end there. After the war ended many were exported for use by other Air Forces. Many were also converted for agricultural work (often converted to carry a 450hp Pratt & Whitney), and more than 4000 appeared on the American register in the 1950's. Today some of these aircraft continue to work for a living, although some have a more gentle life flying tourists, and the Stearman has also become a popular enthusiasts aircraft.

Since New Zealand was closely tied to Britain in the 1930's and 40's, the Stearman's role was taken by the DH-82a Tiger Moth. The appearance of the Stearman was therefore delayed in New Zealand skies. The first aircraft to be operated here was part of a project by MurrayAir of Hawaii in association with Air New Zealand to produce an agricultural aircraft. One aircraft (designated an MA-1) was modified and test flown by Air New Zealand in 1968. Another was produced in Hawaii. The next original Model 75 was N4036 (c/n 75-5064), a 1943 model imported by Len Cowper in 1982, and based at Ardmore for a number of years, before he took it with him to Hawaii in 1995. The aircraft has now returned, and joined the New Zealand register as ZK-JID (described below). Five Model 75's currently grace New Zealand Skies:

The fifth aircraft is owned by TV personality Paul Holmes. Imported in 2000, it has not yet joined the New Zealand Civil register, and being operated under its US registration. I do not have any further details on the aircraft.

Last Text Update:- 21 May, 2001
Last Picture Update:- 2 December, 2002

Technical Data

Data is for the PT-13D


side view - Airshow 1990 running up - Airshow 1998 rear quarter - Airshow 1998 front quarter - Airshow 1998 running up - Airshow 1998 cockpit closeup - Airshow 1998 airborne - Airshow 1998 side on - Wigram 1998 front quarter taxying - Airshow 1998 front quarter taxying- Airshow 1998 side on airborne - airshow 98 front quarter - Airshow 1998 side view - Airshow 1998

Close Up

Remember to let me know if you have a request for an image of a particular part of the aircraft!

starboard nose port nose main undercarriage (front) nose - interplane port mid-fuselage tail and tailwheel tail - from starboard tail - from port rear cockpit
rear cockpit front cockpit engine - front view port main undercarriage port interplane struts

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