Stearman PT-17 – vintage biplane

Stearman PT-17 is a vintage biplane. For a very long time I’ve had a dream of flying on a vintage biplane with an open cockpit. The Boeing/ Stearman PT-17 was used in 1920-30s as a trainer plane.

Filming the flight I used two 360 cameras and one GoPro. We filmed a lot of video to edit. I will be editing it for a very long time – when I find the time. The video will be published here and on our youtube channel. Meanwhile let’s take a look at some screenshots from these videos.

Donald Rodier, the owner Stearman PT-17 – vintage biplane. He assembled and renovated the biplane on, his own. He found the fuselage in USA. As he said, “The fuselage gathered dust there…” If I understood well, he found wings in Ontario and the engine somewhere else. He has worked on this biplane for about 20 лет!

Stearman PT-17 - vintage biplane
The first surprise occured at take-off. I didn’t realise that in the open cockpit I need to wear baseball cap backwards. It is not like the more usual closed cockpit of modern aircraft and I barely had a time to catch the cap. It nearly flew away with headset 🙂

I have met Mr Donald Rodier at an airshow – Aero Gatineau-Ottawa 2023. There we agreed to make a flight and a video recording. The nice weather arrived and nature is full of fall colors. My family and I decided that it was time to go for a flight. We definitely found the right moment – the weather, time, day and season. The pictures confirm it!

Wonderful weather and beautiful fall landscape!
Stearman PT-17 - vintage biplane
Touch and go somewhere in a field at a speed of 131 km/h!
beautiful fall landscape
The fall landscape was so beautiful that I hesitated about what I need to show the historical biplane or the glorys of nature?
Stearman PT-17 vintage biplane
We fly around a tractor 🙂
We perform the stalled turn after gathering a propriate altitude. Donald Rodier knows his “creation” very well and he perform aerobatics confidently.
Diving after the stalled turn.
vintage biplane
And now I am in control of this vintage biplane! It responds very well. Compared to Cessna 152 (mostly I fly on it), the biplane is very light and it feels turbulence much more. This could be on account of the larger wings surface, with the biplanes’ two wings 😉
fall landscape from biplane
I tested the biplane for roll, yaw and pitch. I performed coordinated turns to the right and left.
You have the controls
“You have the controls”! The intercom works really badly in the open cockpit. Wind blows into microphones and sometimes you cannot understand or even hear clearly what is being said. Because of this, the old gestures (hand signals) are still in fashion 🙂
rural landscape at low altitude
We go over rural landscape at low altitude. I think we are missing something for the classical picture… Oh yes, we don’t have white aviator scarves! 🙂
biplane shadow
We return to our airfield and fly over it. We are going to land.

My son Alain wants to fly on this beautiful biplane too!

Flying over the airfield
Alain at the controls the biplane
Alain at the controls the biplane 🙂 (not really!)

The flight was so special and wonderful for me and Alain, we will remember it for all our lives.

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