Boeing PT-17 "Stearman"

Products Code:   FL1060

Stearman_Cockpit area 3.JPG (12129 bytes)

The Stearman is heavier than the Tiger Moth and is rock steady even in quite high winds.
This has to be our best kit with all parts supplied and superb plans and instructions.

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Few people let alone modellers will not have heard of the Stearman. This highly successful training aircraft of the second world war was responsible for thousands of airmen gaining their wings. Since that time the Stearman has been used in large numbers for crop spraying, such was it’s versatility. More recently though it has become a much loved restorer’s project and thousands still fly today Bigger and heavier than the Tiger Moth the Stearman is impressive when seen doing lazy aerobatics.
The model takes slightly more work to build than the Tiggie and requires slightly more experience to fly but both have been kitted so that they can be transported in the average mid to larger size car.

Tony Shortell built this Flair Stearman. It is finished in the colours of an example his son flies in the USA. Powered by a Laser 360 (much more than adequate) it has over 200 flying hours logged and is still going strong, (logged March 2005).

Stearman_Shortell_ground front.JPG (12348 bytes)

Tony Shortell did a very good job of hiding a Laser 360!!! in the Stearman - adequate as Rolls Royce say.

I have spoken to a number of Stearman pilots and have concluded that the Flair model flies in much the same manner as does the full size. This is very gratifying and justifies the work involved in producing such a kit. If scale modelling is about recreating the full size in miniature with accurate shape, finish and flying performance then in our opinion the Flair Stearman has achieved this objective.
As stated above the Stearman flies much like the real thing. It requires the use of rudder for take off and for smooth accurately aligned turns. It requires a shallow dive prior to aerobatics such as loops, rolls and stall turns and it takes off in a sedate manner after a scale looking run. These notes apply to our prototype fitted with a Laser 150 which is plenty of power for those with reasonable flying experience. If you are a pilot who regularly "gets the nose up" or if you are in the habit of having engines go sick just after take off then more power is recommended such as the Laser 180 or 200 twin.
Take off
  1. Line up the model into wind.
  2. Get your assistant to restrain the model whilst you rev the engine to clear it, then bring it back to idle.
  3. Ask your assistant to leave the runway.
  4. Apply a little up elevator and open the throttle gently to full power.
  5. Apply rudder to correct any swing.
  6. As the model starts to accelerate gently release the up elevator and the tail will rise.
  7. Build up speed on the ground and then gently apply a little up elevator to lift the model into the air.
  8. Climb out in a straight line until at a sensible height. Note any tendencies to yaw, pitch or roll.
Turn into a circuit and adjust the trims to give a well balanced straight and level flight at slightly reduced power, (Laser 150, more powerful engines can be throttled back more).
Don’t be tempted to check the stall yet; get a feel for the sensitivity of the controls first. If the model is very sensitive on elevators then you may have a rearward CG or elevator throws which are too large. If this is the case proceed to a landing being careful not to loose to much speed on finals.
This model has a high drag factor. If you cut the throttle to idle it will come down at a very steep angle.
Enter a standard rectangular circuit with about half power and assess the sink rate. Adjust the power level, (not too low), so that by the time you are on finals the model is sinking in a nice straight line towards the threshold. Combine the flare out with progressive throttle reduction at about 1 meter altitude and allow the model to sink onto the runway. You will probably find that you still have significant power on even when the wheels touch. Cut the throttle to idle and control the yaw with rudder. Bring the model to a stop and taxi it to the side of the runway. Cut the engine; DO NOT TAXI BACK INTO THE PITS, this is dangerous and should never be attempted.
Tips for realistic flight.
Gentle aerobatics can be performed by the Stearman, loops, axial rolls, barrel rolls, stall turns etc. Unless you are using a large engine these will require full power and a shallow dive to look perfect. Make neither the dive too steep nor the turns too sharp.
Rudder is an important control on the Stearman and should be used in turns. Try a turn without using rudder. You will find that the tail appears to drop as you bank the model – adverse yaw, just like the real thing. We have suggested aileron differential for the control throws which helps, but the proper way to turn is with rudder and aileron.
Try this. Initiate a turn with a little RUDDER, then follow with ailerons and of course elevator to maintain the altitude. See how much smoother the turn looks without the tail dropping. You will also find that you loose less speed in the turn and the model maintains its altitude more easily.
When you have mastered flying the Stearman smoothly you will be delighted how realistic it looks and will be proud to display it regularly at your club.
Stearman_Rann_01.JPG (4311 bytes)

A lovely example by Colin Rann




2260 mm


9~11 kg


1750 mm


2 stroke
4 stroke



Flying Scale Models - Nov/Dec 2001 - Stearman feature issue - highly recommended - UK

Aviation Modeller International - kit review July and August 2002 - UK

Flying Scale Models - kit review May/June 2002 - UK

Read a full R/C Scale review here, our thanks to Traplet Publications and Simon Delaney, (editor)
Sept/Oct 2002  iss. 32 and Jan/Feb 2003 iss. 34

Model Airplane News - December 2003 - USA

Kit Contents:
CNC and die cut parts
All strip and sheet wood
All hardware
Wheels and fully sprung and damped undercarriage
Dummy engine, as in picture
Glass fibre forward fuselage mouldings
Complete Closed Loop Control System for Rudder and Elevators. Die Stamped Steel Bracket Components. Steerable tailwheel
Various mouldings for windscreens and fairings
3 massive sheets of full-size plans
55 page instruction booklet, hundreds of photos and diagrams.
Only Adhesives and Coverings are required to complete the airframe.

Stearman_Shortell_Banked Turn left.JPG (3346 bytes)

Tony Shortell's Stearman still going strong with well over 100 flying hours

Stearman_Shortell_overhead.JPG (26135 bytes)


Additional Items.
  • Pilot - 
  • Decal sets 

Incidence Angles.

  • Tailplane  + 3.0 deg
  • Top Wing  +3.5 deg
  • Bottom Wing  +3.5 deg

Feedback from Stearman builders:
click to see their thoughts and any corrections we have made.


Spares for the Stearman
Note that the undercarriage as supplied in the kit for the Stearman is available separately to mount on many other models.
Full set   FL1282 excluding wheels
Wheels  diameter 
Replacement dummy cylinders can be supplied individually if required, part number
Dummy crankcases
Forward fuselage moulding 
All light ply, birch ply and paxolin component panels can be supplied - complete panels only.
All mouldings can be supplied.