"I wonder how I can be so lucky as to be the temporary caretaker of such a wonderful machine. How lucky can one be to have an authentic piece of history placed in their care?"


Here come some Stearman pilots testimonials please do not hesitate to send us yours or any other special experience /adventure you would like to share.



By Paolo Borchetta

Historical Aircraft Group

Owner of Stearman 533 based near Manotova Italy

Hi Guys,

Like many of the folks here I bought my first Stearman approaching the half century. After a piloting life filled with Pipers and Cessna I was getting a bit bored and asked myself what's all about this flying? Well, I'd never goback, after all ask yourself when was the last time you had an aviationadventure? Life with work, family and responsibilities after a while takes its tall on our dreams but who said that, financing permitting, we have to stopdreaming just because we are aging? Is is costly and in Italy the goverment is not making our life any easier, but once you start dreaming again, it makes you younger and happier, that is what the Stearman is about (as a matter of fact any biplane). Yeah is cold sometimes, perhaps not the super luxury interior turbo charged 182, you have to find a strip every two hours, on cross country you have to keep a couple of oil cans tugged next to the seat, charts needs to be carefully managed, you might clock 45 mph ground speed in strong wind and have the additional problem of figuring out what to wear going flying, but a biplane is what aviation is all about, one step (I would say 10 floors) above the rest.
If you have in you a bit of Jimmy Doolittle or Wild Bill Hopson thats the way to go.

And , please, dont forget that anybody can slow roll a 1000 lbs plane with 400 HP in front at 400 degree/second roll rate...........not everybody can do it in a Stearman.



antoineAntoine Engelen in Belgium

Thirty five years ago I saw for the first time a Stearman standing in a hanger in Belgium waiting for maintenance. The owner just flew over the Stearman from Holland. He was still in the hanger waiting for an other plane to bring him back to Holland.
I spoke with the owner and he was Mr. Van Dooren the owner from DAF Trucks. We talked a lot about the Stearman and so the Stearman became a dream for me.
But I was young and didn't had the money in that time.
So many years later , I fly now my own PT 17 N2S3. Still it seems to be a dream to fly with it. I fly a lot to meetings,fly ins and make trips to Germany, Holland, and France.
I also like to fly aerobatics with my plane,making barrel rolls,stall turns , wing overs and of course loopings.
My 2 sons and my son in law are also flying with the plane. They all 3 are airliners pilots , but they say they only feel the sense of flying when they are flying N56200.

N56500 is a standard Stearman from 1943 with the 220 hp Continental W670 engine and a wooden MT prop.






by Jim Stanfield


Well, I am a one-plane person as I have been from the mid fifties to today. I really wish I could afford another plane. The fact is, I wish I could really afford the Stearman I have! I honestly believe that if I could afford a second plane it would be another Stearman but then, I can barely afford to fly the one I have let alone another one. It is not so much the expense of operating the plane but rather the time I spend worshiping a pile of rags and iron. I will never change but the devil of the deal is the time I take from the important things in life. I feel confident that most will say, "What is this wearer-o smoking?" The answer is nothing. I am simply reflecting on the time I spend with the Stearman that could be spent with my children, grand children and great grandchildren. Actually, all of my children and grand children are great! But then that is a story for another forum... How I spend my time is my chose just as is it for everyone so no judgment intended.

I guess I am just old fashion and poor but I feel blessed to be able to go to the airport, open the hanger and feast my eyes on that wonderful old girl I call my own. Yes, I understand that these are the feelings that one should have for "real people" but at some point, the  Stearman seems becomes family. I don't know if others feel the same about other planes but I some how feel that those of my vintage tend to develop an actual love for the heap of tube and fabric that exceeds the simple idea of appreciation for something.

Well, so much for sticking with the topic. I guess my whole point is that I really appreciate what I have, the Stearman. Moreover, I guess one plane must do for me...


I often just stand there staring at the beautiful lines of the ole girl and I am amazed at her simplicity and grace, Yes, I understand that with today's great designs and up-to-date hurrah the Stearman must take a back seat. Yet I wonder how I can be so lucky as to be the temporary caretaker of such a wonderful machine. How lucky can one be to have an authentic piece of history placed in their care? When I think of the perhaps hundreds of WWII pilots that enthusiastically launched their flying career in my Stearman and the very high percentage that later gave their lives in combat, it almost brings me to tears. How many good men, far more capable than I, set in the seat I now occupy only to forfeit their lives for the freedoms I now take for granite? The thought is humbling!

Yep, I fly peacefully in the clear blue skies over our country only occasionally stopping to think about how the Stearman's history fits into the overall process that has brought us to the freedom we, too often, assume comes free. Thank God for all of the ghosts that fly with me every time the wheels leave the ground. I feel honored to fly the Stearman with those brave men that proceed me as PICs. I do not deserve the prestigious position of thinking I own the Stearman. My job is to fly the plane with honor, maintain it, pass it along and never forget those that were the real harrows of the Stearman heritage.







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Jon & Marie Roth




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