TBM-3 Avenger TBM

Photo: Drew Naylor

PT-17 Kaydet (Stearman)

Restored to flying condition

The Boeing-Stearman Model 75, known as the PT-17 Kaydet by the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) and the N2S “Yellow Peril” by the U.S. Navy, was the first military aircraft trainee pilots would fly. Lacking flaps, retractable landing gear, or a variable pitch propeller, its simple nature was excellent for new pilots not familiar with these more complex features. By the end of the war 8,584 Kaydets had been assembled, along with enough spare parts to build another 1,762. Postwar use by crop dusters and wing walkers helped solidify the “Stearman” as the iconic American biplane.

Military History

The PT-17 on display was delivered to the Navy on 9 June 1943. Despite being a U.S. Navy aircraft, it spent its military career far from any ocean. It was used for Naval Air Primary Training, first at Naval Air Station Memphis in Tennessee, and later at Naval Air Station Bunker Hill in Indiana. With the end of the war in August 1945, it was moved to the station’s unassigned aircraft pool. It was then transferred to Naval Air Station Ottumwa in Iowa, where it was stricken on 31 October 1946.

Civil History

Following a crash in August 1958, the remains of the airplane were stored for many years. It was restored by Pete Jones of Air Repair Inc. in May 1991 for David Funk with many brand new parts – including the wood wings. Mr. Funk flew the airplane for about five years, giving rides to over 150 World War II veterans. It was purchased by the Tri-State Warbird Museum in 2005.

manufacturers stearman

Bureau Number: 38278  |  Tail: N224DF

Boeing / Stearman

First Flight:



Crew: Pilot, Trainee / Passenger

Engine: Continental R-670-4 7 cylinder air cooled radial

Max Speed: 124 mph

Horsepower: 220

Armament: none

Wingspan: 32 ft, 2 in

Length: 25 ft

Height: 9 ft, 4 in

Max Weight: 2,726 lbs

Service Ceiling: 13,000 ft

Max Range: 373 miles

Fuel Capacity: 46 gallons