The Plane

 

The Stearman "Kaydet" was the primary trainer for the U.S. Army Air Corps and the U.S. Navy before and during World War II.  This specific airplane is designated a PT-13D, and has a nine cylinder Lycoming radial engine that produces 225 horsepower.  It was built in January of 1944 and was used to train Army Air Corp pilots until it was sold to a private individual in August of 1949.  I purchased the aircraft in June of 1995.

During World War II there were 8,585 Stearmans produced for the U.S. military.  The last airplane rolled off the assembly line on February 16, 1945.  The original cost of this model was $9,120, but today the airplane is valued at $95,000.  Rumor has it that you could purchase one of these as war surplus in 1946 for between $250 and $750.  What a deal!

The paint scheme on this aircraft, blue fuselage and yellow wings with red and white stripes on the tail, was actually used from the late 1920s until the Spring of 1942 when wartime needs and expediency resulted in the change to an overall silver paint scheme on all trainers.  This more colorful paint scheme was selected not for historical accuracy, but for the 'eye appeal' of it!

This is the instrument panel in my Stearman; quite a difference between this and what one sees in the cockpit of a Boeing 747!  Come see, and enjoy a ride over the central Oregon coast!

 

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