PLANE

Happy ending for Stearman “Blu” given to Triple Tree to promote their new youth program, lots of kids and attention.

N43340 1943 PT-17 Stearman “Blu”

wp01_800x600N43340 was built by Boeing as a Kaydet serial #42-17836 and delivered to the Army Air Corp at Goodfellow Field in San Angelo Texas in 1943.  He was assigned to the 2533 Air Corp Basic Flying School where he remained for the duration of his service career.

In February 1948, Stearman Kaydet 42-17836, was transferred from Goodfellow Field 17th Training Wing to the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and gained US civil

registration at that time.  He was given a new serial number 42-75999 and N43340Our Stearman N43340 was built by Boeing as a Kaydet serial #42-17836 and delivered to the Army Air Corp at Goodfellow Field in San Angelo Texas in 1943.  He was assigned to the 2533 Air Corp Basic Flying School where he remained for the duration of his service career.  In February 1948, Stearman Kaydet 42-17836, was transferred from Goodfellow Field 17th Training Wing to the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and gained US civil registration at that time.  He was given a new serial number 42-75999 and N43340

In 1950 M&M Air Service, a crop dusting company in Beaumont Texas, attended the Army Air Corp surplus auction at Bryan Field, TX where they purchased 16 Stearman’s.  All with radial engines and propellors for the remarkable price of $56.56 each.  Blu began a new career as a crop-duster and was converted with spray bars, hopper, and a bigger Pratt & Whitney 450hp R-985 engine.  In May of 1979 two pilots collided in the air over Dewey, TX and both aircraft were destroyed.  Blu was a bunch of parts, stored in the company shed, waiting to be restored again until 1993

Pete Jones, owner of AirRepair Inc. purchased what was left of the Stearman aircraft after the accident and began restoration in 1993. He chose the original blue and yellow of the pre 1943 Army Kaydet’s and the 220hp Continental R-67o-R engine.  The white 111 “buzz” number on the side are for the 111th Stearman AirRepair has restored. What a beautiful restoration it is, even today. So beautiful that Blu was chosen to be the Goodyear Calendar plane in 1997.

More than 10,000 Stearman Kaydets were produced, making them the best known and perhaps most admired American biplane.  Whether Army trainer, crop duster, or modern barnstormer, Stearman’s are a delight to fly and cherished by all of us who are fortuanant to be caretakers of them.