Stearman Aircraft


Stearman Aircraft Corporation was an aircraft manufacturer in Wichita, Kansas. Although the company designed a range of other aircraft, it is most known for producing the Model 75, which is commonly known simply as the "Stearman" or "Boeing Stearman".

Stearman Aircraft
Founded1927 (1927)
FounderLloyd Stearman
FateBought by United Aircraft and Transport Corporation
Stearman 4-D mailplane of 1931 in markings of Western Air Express
Boeing/Stearman N2S Kaydet at NAS Corpus Christi
Stearman XBT-17


Lloyd Stearman established the Stearman Aircraft Corporation in 1927. Initially, the company was founded as Stearman Aircraft Corporation in October 1926 at Venice, California, where four C1 and C2 biplanes were built before production halted for financial reasons. On 27 September 1927, a new Stearman Aircraft Corporation was founded.[1] The factory was then established in Wichita, Kansas, with financing of Walter Innes, where the new model Stearman C3 and Stearman 4 Speedmail were constructed.[2] Two years later, he sold it to the United Aircraft and Transport Corporation.[citation needed] The Northrop Aircraft Corporation was merged into Stearman in July 1931.[3][a]

In September 1934, antitrust legislation forced United to separate its airline and aircraft manufacturing operations. At this time, Boeing, which had been part of United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, became a separate business once again, and Stearman was made a subsidiary of it. About the same time the Stearman plant created its most successful and enduring product, the Model 75 Kaydet. The Kaydet became the primary trainer aircraft for the United States military during World War II.[citation needed] Stearman operated as a division until September 1941, when it became the Wichita Division, Boeing Airplane Company.[4]

In 2005, Boeing sold the civil portion of the former Stearman operations to Onex, forming Spirit AeroSystems, although it retained the military operations.[5]


Model name First flight Number built Type
Stearman M-2 Speedmail 1929 7 Single engine biplane mail plane
Stearman C1 1927 1 Single engine commercial biplane
Stearman C2 1927 4 Single engine commercial biplane
Stearman C3 1927 179 Single engine commercial biplane
Stearman Model 4 1930 41 Single engine commercial biplane
Stearman Model 6 Cloudboy 1931 7 Single engine biplane trainer
Stearman Model 70 1 Prototype single engine biplane trainer
Stearman Model 71
Stearman Model 73 78
Stearman Model 75 Single engine biplane trainer
Stearman Model 76 78 Export version of the Model 75
Stearman Model 80 1
Stearman Model 81 1 Single engine biplane floatplane trainer
Stearman Model 85 1938 1 Single engine biplane observation floatplane
Stearman X-90 1940 1 Single engine monoplane basic trainer
Stearman X-91 Re-engined X-90
Stearman X-100 1938 1 Twin engine monoplane attack airplane



  1. ^ The former is legally distinct entity from the later companies of the same name.


  1. ^ Donald M. Pattillo. A History in the Making: 80 Turbulent Years in the American General Aviation Industry. p. 9.
  2. ^ Simpson 2001, pp. 520–521
  3. ^ "Stearman-Northrop Firms Consolidated". Wichita Eagle. 24 July 1931. p. 2. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  4. ^ "Stearman to be Known as Boeing Here". Wichita Eagle. 10 September 1941. p. 1. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  5. ^ AeroSystems, Spirit. "History | Company". Spirit AeroSystems. Retrieved 2021-09-13.


  • Boeing Company. Pedigree of Champions: Boeing Since 1916, Third Edition. Seattle, WA: The Boeing Company, 1969.
  • Bowers, Peter M. Boeing aircraft since 1916. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1989. ISBN 0-85177-804-6.
  • Simpson, Rod. Airlife's World Aircraft. London: Airlife Publishing Ltd. 2001. ISBN 1-84037-115-3.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Stearman Aircraft Corporation at Wikimedia Commons