View Full Version : What plane is this?

23rd Apr 2012, 00:03

That's my grandfather who taught in the Army Air Corps during WWII flying B-17s. I've always wondered what plane this is, and what it might have been used for at that time.

A Squared
23rd Apr 2012, 00:12
That's an A75 Stearman. It was used for primary flight training.

23rd Apr 2012, 00:22
Here's some more Stearman photos & info about them. Plenty still flying today.

Gallery | www.stearman.net (http://www.stearman.net/?page_id=9)

23rd Apr 2012, 00:34
Yes, it looks like a few were produced.


BTW, nice picture thighmister.

23rd Apr 2012, 00:42
That was easy! Thanks, Karlark, it IS a nice pic isn't it? He was pretty dashing. YOUR pic is fantastic. I wonder how many of those are still in the air today.

23rd Apr 2012, 09:30
Never seen chocks like that before - cheap, light, efficient and likely to destroy a tyre?

India Four Two
24th Apr 2012, 07:10
The Stearman - my current favourite aircraft (well, after the Spitfire). A delight to fly, like a large Tiger Moth, but with better ailerons and lots more power (and a fuel bill to go with it).

This the one I fly when I'm in NZ:


Lightning Mate
24th Apr 2012, 17:04
A plane is a tool used by carpenters. :ugh:

Brian Abraham
25th Apr 2012, 05:18
So it is LM. But the word has a proud tradition in its use in aviation. Wrote earlier somewhere here on the aviation entemolgy, pre dated WWI in Britain. Early copies of "Flight" were used as my source.

Sir George Cayley
25th Apr 2012, 19:49
Those of us with OCD would have preferred them lined up in numerical order.:(


India Four Two
26th Apr 2012, 06:00
Sir George,

I thought exactly the same thing. Given the amount of effort involved in lining them up and the fact that only the first ten or so needed to be in order, you wonder why they didn't do it.

26th Apr 2012, 09:01
Lightning Mate. For what it's worth, it always grates on me too. Adding to your point, it's also a component of an aircraft. Brian Abraham makes a valid point regarding "Flight" but that indicates that journalists had little regard for precision and convention even in those days. That said, some early journos at least had the grace to write 'plane. I expect that was too costly in additional ink, though.

26th Apr 2012, 20:36
Here's one I saw a couple of years ago, in full USAF pre-war training colours, but giving a demo at an airshow in the Czech Republic!

DSC_0484 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5161911671/)

Love the rasping sound from their props, caused, I believe, by the tips going round at near supersonic speed, tho if I've got that wrong, can someone more knowledgeable please put me right.

Rhys Perraton
26th Apr 2012, 21:35
Anoraks will know where this came from...
" Never, never call it a 'plane', it's an aeroplane. "

26th Apr 2012, 21:39
Douglas Bader's first instructor, in "Reach for the sky." Yes, I am an anorak, but I'm guessing there's a super-anorak member of this forum who'll come up with the name of that instructor (I can't) inside five minutes of my posting this!

Rhys Perraton
26th Apr 2012, 21:43
Flying Officer Pearson

26th Apr 2012, 21:57
You did it!

Rhys Perraton
27th Apr 2012, 01:42
I think we are drifting from the original subject, such is life.
As a Stearman owner I enjoyed the info and pics though.
Regarding Reach for the Sky, the film and book do have slightly different versions but either way the message is clear.
It's an aeroplane.

27th Apr 2012, 02:47
You could always come to Stearman Field (http://www.antiqueairfield.com/articles/show/1078-maag-s-blog-january-maag-meeting-at-stearman-field) aka Benton airfield in Kansas and see some of the aforementioned aircraft - think there's three based there now. And you would be within a few miles of where they were all built at what is now McConnell AFB and the Kansas Air Museum.

27th Apr 2012, 09:52
My contribution:

As a low hours PPL in the late 1980's I found myself in Minnesota and visited Flying Cloud Museum. At the end of the hangar was a small bench with the compulsory souvenir sales. And a small sign saying: 'Stearman Rides $30'.

I couldn't resist and asked the 'senior gentleman' behind the counter who to see for a flight. The answer I remember now. 'You see me sonny.....'...

to cut a long story short....$30 for 90 minutes flying, (or more precisely being tutored), an hour of aerobatics. Fantastic and 30 years later still a really vivid memory.

Here's the photo evidence. My wife says to apologise for the moustache....



29th Apr 2012, 01:43
thighmister - Where was your grandfather stationed? My father taught in PT-17 Stearmans, PT-19s, BT-13s, and finally AT-6s, ending up in Sweetwater TX at the WASP training school.

And there were several designations for the Stearman, depending on the engine. It looks like your picture is of the PT-17 with the Continental R-670 7-cylinder engine. Other models were the PT-13 (9-cylinder Lycoming) and PT-18 (7-cylinder Jacobs). It's a very stout airplane, well-liked even today.

1st May 2012, 11:16
I seem to recall someone rebuilding Stearmans at Old Buckenham in Norfolk, UK, at least until quite recently.