Project Description





Stearman C3

Role:  Sport Trainer

National Origin: United States

Manufacturer: Stearman

First Flight: 1928

Number Built: 30

The Stearman model C3R was an open cockpit biplane of what was loosely called the general-purpose type, with seating for 3; the upholstered front cockpit was over 33 in. wide with a volume capacity of over 30 cu. ft. to allow ample room and good protection for two passengers. Of uncomplicated lines originated several years ago, this new “Stearman” biplane was a handsome airplane that also bore signs of unmistakeable class and good breeding. Powered with the improved 7 cyl. Wright J6 (R-760) engine of 225 h.p.

The model C3R delivered a profitable utility and very good performance for general purpose work; the new series Wright engine was also a boon to flying service operators in the way of less maintenance and somewhat greater reliability for more hours on the flight-line.

Sure-footed and extremely capable, the C3R likewise shared the spirited flight characteristics and the pleasant behavior that made the “Stearman” biplane such a great favorite. The rugged framework and inherent reliability naturally tended to promote longevity. First approved on 10-7-29 as a land plane with 2700 lbs. gross, the type certificate number for the model C3R as powered with the 225 h.p. Wright J6 engine was amended 10-27-29 for landplane with increased gross weight of 2754 lbs. This certificate was later amended to include the seaplane version of the C3R on Edo P floats with a 3050 lbs. gross weight. A tally shows that some 29 or more examples of the model C3R were manufactured by the Stearman Aircraft Co. at Wichita, Kansas.

NC656K, serial number 5007, joined the museum collection in 2021.

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 1 trainee or passenger
  • Length: 24 ft 11 in
  • Wingspan: 35 ft
  • Height: 9 ft
  • Wing area: 186/108 ft2
  • Empty weight: 1,740 lb
  • Gross weight: 2,750 lb
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wright 225hp


  • Maximum speed: 130 mph
  • Cruise speed: 110 mph
  • Range: 550 miles
  • Service ceiling: 17,500 ft