Boeing Stearman

Big Bob is a Stearman (Boeing) Model A75-L300 biplane, of which, only 282 were built for the US Navy in 1942 with the 9cylinder 11.2 liter radial engine designated by Lycoming as an R680-13 producing 300hp. With significant war time history (Naval Air Station) NAS Brunswick.

Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine, was originally constructed and occupied in March 1943, and was first commissioned on April 15, 1943, to train and form-up Royal NavyFleet Air Arm pilots to fly squadrons of the Chance Vought F4U Corsair, and of the GrummanTBF Avenger and F6F Hellcat, for the British Naval Command.

The Boeing Stearman was built in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s as a military trainer aircraft. Stearman became a subsidiary of Boeing in 1934. Widely known as the "Yellow Peril" it served as a Primary Trainer (PT) for the USAAF, as a basic trainer for the USN (as the NS1 & N2S), and with the RCAF as the "Kaydet" throughout World War II.

The "Stearman" was a conventional biplane of rugged construction with 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.

The first service training version of the Stearman Model 75 was the PT-13 (Lycoming R-680-5 engine) which was ordered by the Army in 1935. Then followed the PT-17 (Continental R-670-5 engine) in 1940, the PT-18 (Jacobs R-7554 engine) and the PT-27. All were similar, except for the engines fitted and certain minor equipment charges, with the exception of the PT-27 that was built for use in Canada. The PT-27 had the same airframe and power plant as the PT-17 but was fitted with cockpit enclosures and heating, night-flying equipment, blind-flying hood and instruments, etc.

Of the U.S. Navy versions, the N2S-1 and N2S-4 (Continental R-670-4 engine) are similar to the PT-17, the N2S-2 (Lycoming R-680-8 engine) is similar to the PT-13A, the N2S-3 (Continental R-670-4 engine) is similar to the PT-17A, and the N2S-5 (Lycoming R-680 engine) is identical to the PT-13D, these last two aircraft eventually being standardized for unified production for both services.



Ross Moorehouse
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