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Boeing-Stearman PT-17 Kaydet

History of the PT-17A Kaydet

In 1933, Lloyd Stearman designed the forerunner of the Kaydet PT-17, a variation of the PT-13 model, for the civilian market. In 1938, Boeing purchased the Stearman Company and produced Kaydet PT-17 aircraft for pilot training and service during World War II. Overall, over 8,000 PT-17 aircraft were delivered to the United States (US) Army Air Forces during World War II.

Boeing-Stearman PT-17 Kaydet

Serial Number: 41-25284

Manufacturer: Boeing

Crew: Two (Instructor and student)

Engines: One Continental R-670-5 seven-cylinder radial; 220 horsepower

Wingspan: 32 feet 2 inches

Length: 25 feet 1/4 inch

Height: 9 feet 2 inches

Weight: 1,936 pounds (empty); 2,717 pounds loaded (maximum)

Speed: 106 mph (cruising); 124 mph (maximum)

Range: 505 miles

Service Ceiling: 11,200 feet

Armament: None

Cost: $9,896 (average PT-17 cost of unit as of 1942)

The PT-17A Kaydet at Hill Air Force Base

In 1945, Hill Air Force Base received and stored many Stearman trainers due to the end of World War II and the closing of training facilities. In 1943, the PT-17A on display was sold to a private owner and served as a crop duster until the US Air Force Museum Program acquired it in 1980. Two years later, Hill Air Force Base received the aircraft for restoration and it was put on display at Hill Aerospace Museum. When the museum moved to its new buildings in 1991, plans were formulated to hang several aircraft from the ceiling of the new display gallery. In early 1996, the venerable PT-17 was placed in “perpetual flight” when it was suspended in its current position with the other World War II era trainers.

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