September 5th, 2010
Experience Gifts Icons of Flight
Icons Of Flight: The Stearman Bi-Plane
Designed by Lloyd Stearman and built by Boeing in the 1920s, the Stearman biplane is one of the world’s most identifiable aircraft. Used as a trainer for the United States Army Air Forces, it earned its reputation as a dependable and uniquely strong plane.
Known as the Stearman Model 75 and sometimes the Kadyet, it’s usually seen sporting a bright yellow paintjob – a feature several retain to this day.
It was in the war years that the Stearman thrived. Thanks to its solid construction and tandem seat controls, it proved perfect for training aviators, many of whom went on to fly in combat.
Pilots who learned their skills on a Stearman never forgot the plane. Interestingly, the Stearman was also one of the first military planes made available for women to fly.
Now once the war ended, thousands were sold off. Crop dusters, and the newly formed squadrons of display teams snapped them up. The aircraft was so versatile that in the hands of trained pilots used to dogfighting it was given a new lease of life as a stunt plane.
The Stearman is still a favorite of wing walkers, entertainers who amaze crowds at air shows by performing tricks while attached to the top wing. Such was its popularity and usefulness that NASA even had one to help with testing, and with the proper modifications it made a great seaplane, too.
So, the chances are if you know someone with a love of aviation or military history they will recognize a Stearman; even if they nothing about the plane, they could surely identify it from pictures. Well, with a gift certificate they could find themselves a whole lot closer.
The Stearman is used for biplane flights and biplane rides over Denver, New York and many other cities. Reliable to this day, it’s still showing its qualities in aerobatic biplane flights across the US – Lloyd Stearman would be proud.