The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing has recently acquired a World War II-era Boeing-Stearman N2S restoration project. The Boeing-Stearman Model 75, nicknamed “Kaydet” but more often called “Stearman” by its pilots, was the primary trainer for Army and Navy pilots for more than a decade beginning in 1936. The restoration project will be dedicated to “Rosie the Riveter,” the cultural icon representing women who worked in factories and shipyards during World War II, helping transform America into the Arsenal of Democracy. The group’s goal is to return the classic biplane to the air in time to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the First Stearman Flight in 2024.
Over 8,428 “Kaydets” were built for the United States and her Allies. During its 11 years of military service, more American military pilots learned to fly in the “Kaydet” than any other airplane. The two-seater biplane’s simple and sturdy design made it ideal for novice pilots. Volunteers will restore the aircraft at the CAF Dixie Wing Warbird Museum at Atlanta Regional Airport-Falcon Field, Peachtree City, Georgia.
The Second World War saw over 7.25 million women join the United States workforce, many working in 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 United States ultimately manufactured a staggering 300,000 aircraft for the Allied war effort.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration 2018 Active Civil Airmen Statistics, over 250,000 women are currently employed in the civilian aviation industry as pilots, flight engineers, flight navigators, mechanics, repair technicians, parachute riggers, dispatchers, ground instructors and flight attendants. The group plans to restore the Stearman “Kaydet” with the talents of mechanics and other volunteers, including new and long-time female members of the organization. A goal of the Boeing-Stearman N2S “Kaydet” Restoration Project is to inspire more women to become involved in the Commemorative Air Force.
Aircraft History: The Kaydet, the two-seater biplane introduced by Stearman Aircraft Division of Boeing in Wichita, Kansas, in 1934, became an unexpected success during World War II. This aircraft was accepted by the Navy on July 9, 1941 as an N2S, the Navy version of the Model 75. The aircraft 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.
Current status of the airplane –
Our goal is to restore this historic airpane to airworthiness and then operate it as a flying museum to showcase our national war heroes. We need your help to make that happen. Click on the donate button below and you will be redirected to PayPal, a secure online contribution service. Donors can use any major credit or debit cards, an account with PayPal is not needed.