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History of the Stearman biplane

 

* Our Stearman Biplane was manufactured by Boeing, Stearman Aircraft Division, in Wichita, Kansas. The Boeing Airplane Company is famous for producing other World War II airplanes including the B-17 bomber. This Stearman was built for the United States Army Air Corp in September of 1940 at a cost of $10,412. The Stearman Biplane was designed and utilized at airfields across the country as a primary trainer for young pilots being sent to battle in World War II.


* This aircraft spent October 1940 to November 1943 between two separate contract pilot training schools. These were the famous Cal-Aero Academy in Ontario, California and Grand Central Flying School in Glendale, California.


* In November 1943 the airplane was transferred to the Hawthorne School of Aeronautics in Orangeburg, South Carolina where it was used to train both American and French pilots.


* In February 1945, the airplane was reassigned to Palmer Field in Bennettsville, South Carolina. Upon its arrival it was stricken from United States Army records and turned over to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC). The RFC was an agency designated by the U. S. Government Surplus Property Board to dispose of surplus military airplanes and aviation materials.


* In 1949 the airplane was purchased by a private party and converted into a crop duster. It served in this capacity throughout the southern United States until the late 1980's upon which time it was again retired from service and placed in storage.


* In the mid-1990's the aircraft was purchased and completely disassembled. It was then restored from the ground-up to its original condition upon delivery as an Army Air Corp primary trainer in 1940.


* This Stearman can now be found flying in the skies above the New River Gorge and Summersville Lake in beautiful southern West Virginia.

 

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