When in 1934 the Stearman Aircraft Company became a subsidiary of Boeing, it brought with it a number of air-planes including the Model 75, adopted by the Armed Forces of the United States (U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Air Force) and turned out to be the primary trainer of the Second World War. With the designation PT13 (Primary Trainer), the plane was re-baptised the "washing machine" due to the large number of students « washed out » (slang for excluded) during training and in search of control.
Subsequently, it was developed for sent out on war missions during the night. Its motorisation was repeatedly changed. Born with a 220 hp Lycoming R680, successive versions were re-equipped with Continental and Jacobs. A closed cabin version was also produced for Canada.
From the more than 11,000 examples built, a few thousand were released into the civilian market after the war and were employed by virtue of their strength and manoeuvrability for agricultural work, personal use and air shows. The Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior 450 hp was installed on many versions.
It has become one of today’s most sought “war-birds” by collectors worldwide.
From 1991, Franco Actis exhibits in the skies of Europe with famous acts like the Flying Circus: The Wing Walking. During this presentation, the pilot executes some acrobatic manoeuvres such as the loop, the barrel and wing-over with a passenger on the upper wing of the plane. What makes this number more special is that the wing walker remains on the wing even during delicate phases of take-off and landing contrary to two English crews who execute a similar number of acts but only in the air.
Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior R 985-AN1
Nine-cylinder radial with a maximum power ouput of 450 hp
Dimensions and weight:
Height 3.24 m
Wing surface 27.69 sq.m.
Maximum weight 1'275 kg
Cruising speed 150 km/h
Highest speed 210 km/h
Autonomy 708 km
Cruising altitude 3400 m