Stearman Survivor

Ben Williams February 3, 2020 20 No Comments

Stearman Survivor

Famous planes, unknown cars by Stearman

By Phil Skinner

This intriguing Stearman micro-car model is thought to be the sole survivor of its type.


Probably one of the most well-known early aircraft manufacturers from the United States has been Stearman Aircraft Corp. First created in 1926, Stearman generated only several planes in the Venice, Calif. , centre before the money ran out. Lloyd Stearman, the guy behind the title, proceeded to Wichita, Kan. , where many other airplane manufacturers were having a success. In September 1927, he re-established his company and started building sturdy and reliable biplanes. Eventually, that the Stearman title became a part of Boeing Aircraft Corp. , that had a growing production center in Wichita.

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The first Stearman title was used in manufacturing during the late 1940s and a number of distinct versions were assembled under the brandnew In the late 1930therefore, Stearman’s most famous solution, the Model 75 Kaydet, has been arranged in good numbers by the U. S. Army, in which they had been used as coach airplanes in preparation for and during World War II. After the warfare, Stearman was relegated to the status of a tiny subsidiary of Boeing, where many aviation products were created and fabricated.

In 1970, searching for different avenues to construct the business for Stearman goods, the company developed the concept of a Stearman automobile. By the conclusion of 1973, just 3 prototypes were created. The example possessed and on display in the Kansas Aviation Museum located just beyond the gate of McConnell Air Force Base is thought to be the sole survivor. The body is mounted on an integral chassis with a wheelbase of 90 inches, that was approximately 4 inches shorter than the Ford Pinto of the identical era. Designed to be an “around town” automobile, it was powered with a 20-hp Kohler K532 two-cylinder, two-cycle engine. Power was sent to the rear wheels via a planetary transmission and chain drive.

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The Stearman has been similiar in some ways to the more widely known King Midget. The slippery interior had fundamental indicators supporting a stationary windshield.


On display in the Kansas Aviation Museum is a four-passenger roadster. There is not any folding shirt now with the vehicle, but slips round the back and sides of your system are set up to guarantee the very best stuff. Those snaps continue on both the doorways and across the top and either side of the windshield frame. High-rear black vinyl bucket chairs are supplied for the driver and front seat passenger with a tiny padded bench seat to your rear-seat passengers. Instrumentation seems to have been mined from many manufacturers and includes gas and amperes indicators, a tachometer from Wico, that an aviation-style temperature gage for each canister and a speedometer which seems to have come from a Cushman motor scooter signaling a top rate of 60 mph)

Styling of this all-steel roadster is rather primitive. The body is painted red with all the “Stearman” name emblazoned on a plaque on peak of the simulated grille. Being a prototype, it’s thought that the production version might have become a more fashionable body. According into Kansas Aviation Museum employees, little is known about the car’s roots such as the identity of those people involved with its technology and development.

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The Kansas Aviation Museum is available Tuesday into Sunday. The museum would be the 1930s-era atmosphere terminal which worked as the Wichita Airport prior to the area was shot by McConnell Air Force Base at the early 1950s.


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