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Tigers: Tracking a Legend
Boeing-Stearman N2S-5 Kaydet
Basic design for the Boeing-Stearman Kaydet was born in 1934 as the Stearman Model 6 Cloudboy trainer evolved into the Model 70, winning a U.S. Army primary trainer contest. However, first production was of the Model 73, ordered by the Navy designation NS-1. Model 75, the familiar Kaydet, followed, being ordered by both the Navy and Army as the N2S and PT series, respectively.
After the war, the Kaydet was used as a crop duster (one author referred to the Kaydet as the cornerstone of the American crop dusting industry). It was and still is often used in wing-walking shows as well.
Did You Know?
- A popular flight instructor trick was to slip the release pin on the instructor's control column and make a grand gesture of throwing the stick overboard. One young trainee panicked and did the same thing with his stick. Fortunately, the wily instructor carried a short broom stick with him, in case of an emergency. He inserted it into the empty socket and flew the Kaydet home. The poor cadet was sent back by road to search for the missing control sticks.
- More than 10,000 Stearman Kaydets were manufactured, making this the most produced biplane of all time. It was the most widely used primary trainer during World War II.