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Lloyd Stearman

Lloyd Stearman
Creator: Boeing Aircraft Company
Date: Between 1958 and 1960
Lloyd Stearman was born on 0ctober 26, 1898 in Wellsville, Kansas. He attended Kansas State University until the beginning of World War I when he left school to join the U. S. Naval Reserve. It was during his service in the Naval Reserve that he learned to fly Curtiss N-9 seaplane. After the war he was hired as a mechanic by E. M. Laird Airplane Co., later the Swallow Airplane Manufacturing Co. In 1925, Stearman joined Walter Beech and Clyde Cessna to form the Travel Air Manufacturing Company. Stearman left in 1926 and went to Venice, California, where he established the Stearman Aircraft Corporation. A year later he returned to Kansas and set up his factory in Wichita. An aircraft holding company that included Boeing acquired Stearman's corporation in 1929, but the company continued to operate under the Stearman name for many years. Eventually it became the Wichita Division of The Boeing Company. Although Stearman left the company in 1931, Boeing engineers continued to use his drawings. In 1931 Stearman and partners acquired the then bankrupt Lockheed Aircraft Company in Santa Barbara, California, becoming president of the company and designing aircraft. He left Lockheed in in 1935 to work for the federal government and other companies, including the Stearman-Hammond Corporation, which he formed in 1936. He returned to Lockheed in 1955 as a senior engineer and retired in 1968. In retirement he formed a new Stearman Aircraft Corporation and worked designing new planes until ill health prevented him from working. He died in Northridge, California, on April 3, 1975.

Stearman C-3B

Stearman C-3B
Creator: Boeing Airplane Company
Date: Possibly 1927
This photograph shows the Stearman C-3B, the first model of Stearman airplane produced in Wichita after the company moved to Kansas from Venice, California. The C-3B was designed for both mail and passenger service. In addition, it was the type of plane Charles Lindbergh used to survey air routes for Transcontinental and Western Airways.

Stearman Plant, Wichita, Kansas

Stearman Plant, Wichita, Kansas
Date: 1945
Aerial view of the Stearman Plant, Wichita, Kansas. View shows Plant I and a large number of Kaydets lined up awaiting delivery on the ramp area located east of Oliver Street.

Stearman Plant, Wichita, Kansas

Stearman Plant, Wichita, Kansas
Date: 1931
Aerial view of the Stearman Aircraft Plant which is now Boeing, Wichita, Kansas.

Travel Air Company new plant and plane

Travel Air Company new plant and plane
Date: 1927
This article from The Wichita magazine covers the construction of a new airplane and a new airplane factory by the Travel Air company of Wichita. Travel Air was formed in 1924 by Lloyd Stearman, Walter Beech, and Clyde Cessna. Despite great success during the 1920s the company eventually closed its doors during the Great Depression due to dwindling aircraft orders.

View of the flight training plane, Kaydet

View of the flight training plane, Kaydet
Creator: Boeing Airplane Company
Date: 1940s
This photograph shows a Kaydet bi-plane. Kaydets, or Boeing-Stearman Model 75s, served as the basic training aircraft for the U.S. Army Air Forces and the U.S. Navy throughout World War II.

Wichita made planes serve mankind in every portion of world

Wichita made planes serve mankind in every portion of world
Creator: Wichita Eagle
Date: January 18, 1946
This article from the Wichita Evening Eagle details the enormous contributions of Kansas aviation companies to World War II and their impact throughout the globe in both military and non-military roles. The articles' author, Captain Jack Hardwick, explains that he trained in Wichita-built airplanes and witnessed Kansas-made airplanes "in every state in the country and in every theater of war." In addition, Hardwick recalls seeing Wichita-built airplanes being used for a variety of purposes, including crop-dusting and training foreign aviators that helped secure the Allied victory in World War II.

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