The Kaydet, the two-seater biplane introduced by Stearman Aircraft Division of Boeing in Wichita, Kan., in 1934, became an unexpected success during World War II. Despite its almost obsolete design, its simple, rugged construction made it ideal as a trainer for novice pilots for the U.S. Army Air Corps (PT-13/-17) and Navy (NS/N2S).
The Kaydets had fabric-covered wooden wings, single-leg landing gear and an over-built welded-steel fuselage. Only radial engines were used. Between 1936 and 1944, Boeing built 8,584 Kaydets, in all versions, plus the equivalent of 2,000 more in spares.
Kaydets were widely used airplanes. In addition to sales to the U.S. Navy and the Army Air Corps, the trainers were sold to Canada, China, the Philippines, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil for both military and civilian uses. Many were still in service in the early 1990s. Their slow, low-level flying capabilities made them particularly suitable for crop dusting and spraying.
Our aircraft was accepted by the Navy on July 9, 1941. It was assigned to the Naval Air Station (NAS) at Corpus Christi, Texas, and was transferred to Naval Reserve Aviation Base (NRAB) in Detroit, Mich., on April 9, 1942. Its next assignment was to Naval Air Intermediate Training (NAIT) at Rodd Field, Corpus Christi, Texas, on April 1, 1944. The aircraft was assigned to the pool in Dallas In November 1944 until it was stricken from the record on Nov. 30,1944. This aircraft bears serial number 75-1308, USN Bu No. 3531, and FAA Registry number N50329. Stearman became a subsidiary of Boeing in 1934.
The Dixie wing intends to develop a restoration program led by the several female members of the unit. The objective is to honor the cultural icon “Rosie the Riveter” who represented women who worked in factories and shipyards during World War II. While women during World War II worked in a variety of positions previously closed to them, the aviation industry saw the greatest increase in female workers. More than 310,000 women worked in the U.S. aircraft industry in 1943, making up 65 percent of the industry’s total workforce (compared to just 1 percent in the pre-war years). The intent of this project is to show and encourage more women to get involved in the CAF.
Current status of the airplane –