Mike Potter, Joe Cosmano, Francis Bélanger, Liam O'Connell, Dave Maric, Todd Lemieux, Bruce Evans, Larry Brown, Paul Kissmann
First Flight: 1934
Total Production (All Marks): 8,584
Wingspan: 32 ft 2 in (9.81 m)
Engine: Continental R-670-5 seven-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 220 hp
Maximum Speed: 135 mph
The Kaydet, the two-seater biplane introduced by Stearman Aircraft Division of Boeing in Wichita, Kansas, in 1934, became an unexpected success during the Second World War. Despite its almost obsolete design, its simple, rugged construction made it ideal as a trainer for novice pilots for the US Army Air Corps (PT-13/-17) and U.S. Navy (NS/N2S).
Kaydets had fabric-covered wooden wings, single-leg landing gear and an over-built welded-steel fuselage. Only radial engines were used. Between 1936 and 1944, Boeing built 8,584 Kaydets, in all versions, plus the equivalent of 2,000 more in spares.
The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan acquired 300 Boeing PT-27 (Canadian designation) trainers, but they arrived without the required winter-weather equipment, primarily a coupe-top canopy for winter flying. Within only a few months, they were deemed inadequate for Canadian winters and they were returned to the United States in groups over the next few months. The Stearmans were used only in Alberta, and only to train Royal Air Force flight students.
The Vintage Wings of Canada Stearman (FJ875) is one of only a few remaining examples of the 300 original aircraft purchased and employed in Alberta in 1942. It is dedicated to 602 Squadron, RAF Warrant Officer Harry Hannah, who trained on Stearmans (PT-17s), not in Alberta, but at Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona. Harry lives in Oakville, Ontario