PT-13D Stearman

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Manufacturer: Stearman
Designation: PT-13
Version: D
Nickname: Kaydet
Type: Trainer (Primary)
Length: 24' 10"  
Height: 9' 2"  
Wingspan: 32' 2"  
Cost: $11,000  
Gross Weight: 2,717 lbs  
No. of Engines: 1
Powerplant: Lycoming R-680
Horsepower (each): 220 hp
Range: 450 miles  
Cruise Speed: 104 mph    
Max Speed: 125 Mph    
Ceiling: 14,000 Ft  


Usually resplendent in the paint scheme of blue fuselage, yellow wings and
red with white striped tail, these sturdy biplanes covered the ramps of Army Air
Force Bases and filled with skies over the central and western United States
during the war.

From 1940 to 1945, almost every Army and Navy Student pilot earned his wings
in a "Kaydet',' or more commonly referred to as the "Stearman'.

Production of the original version of the PT-13 began in October of 1934. In
February of 1945, when production had ended, 10,346 "Stearmans" of all variants
(PT-13; PT-17, U.S. Navy N2S and Canadian PT-27) and subtypes had been
constructed. They were also exported to China and Peru during the war.

According to the website "", the historic chain
of ownership of aircraft named "Stearman, Boeing-Stearman, Stearman-Hammond, or
Stearman-Northrop" is a function of the year they were in production according
to the following:  "1926: (Lloyd C) Stearman Aircraft Co, 353 3rd Ave, Venice
CA; 1927: Santa Monica CA. 1927: Stearman Aircraft Corp (pres: J Earl Schaefer),
Wichita KS. 1929: Merged as Stearman Aircraft Div, United Aircraft Corp,
Wichita. 1929: Absorbed Hamilton Metalplane Co. 1931: L C Stearman resigned to
join Lockheed Corp, Burbank CA. 1931: Northrop Aircraft, Burbank, and Stearman
Aircraft Corp, Wichita. 1936: Stearman-(Dean B) Hammond, Oakland CA. 1941:
Stearman Aircraft Div, Boeing Airplane Co, Wichita. July 1968: Reformed as
Stearman Aircraft Corp, Washington DC."  The website indicates that all PT-13's
were manufactured with Lycoming R-680 engines while all PT-17's were
manufactured with Continental R-670 engines. The March Field Museum's aircraft
S/N 42-16388 is shown to be listed among the production of PT-17 aircraft.  The
definition of a PT-17 is "PT-13 with 220hp Continental R-670". At some point in
time, the museum's aircraft had it's Continental engine removed and replaced
with a Lycoming engine, making it into a PT-13 configuration.    (Note: over the
years we had identified our aircraft (S/N 42-16388) at first as a PT-13D, then
later as a PT-17D).  Because the engine is Lycoming, so we choose to return to
the identification of our aircraft as a PT-13D. This aircraft is on loan from
the USAF.

Post war, these maneuverable biplanes were sold surplus for a few hundred
dollars. Snapped up by agriculture pilots, they placed crop dusting tanks in the
front cockpit and spray bars on the wing trailing edges.  These biplanes are
featured in numerous airshow acts today.