The Stearman Biplane

UPDATE: I Stand Corrected!
July 2015: It turns out that my original post below was incorrect. I was kindly told from the Houston Wing of the CAF that this aircraft is in fact a Naval Aircraft Factory N3N, and not a Stearman. Though the two models look very similar to the untrained eye (that’s me), they are entirely different aircraft. You can find an excellent article showing the differences and more on the N3N at

The Boeing Stearman biplane  had a long, successful career as a military aircraft for the  USAAF, the USN and with the RCAF starting in 1938. The last model was built in 1961. After World War 2 was over, thousands of surplus aircraft were sold on the civil market and became popular as crop dusters, sports planes, and for aerobatic and wing walking use in airshows.

This beauty, built in 1942 as a Naval aircraft, now flies with the Commemorative Air Force, with the West Houston Squadron at the West Houston Airport. I had the privilege to fly in one of these many years ago, but didn’t think at that time to remember the plane number. It’s possible this may be the one. I’d like to think it might be.

Note, the Stearman was nicknamed the “Yellow Peril” thanks to its somewhat tricky ground handling characteristics. But once in the air, it’s poetry in motion.
A Naval Aircraft Factory N3N.  Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.


Leave a Reply

Read previous post:
Neighborhood Waterway

It's not unusual to find an unexpected surprise when you're out taking photos. You go out with the intention of taking a...