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Stearman Speedmail - A mail carrier plane which began appearing in the 1930s.

A Brief History of the Stearman Speedmail

The Stearman M-2 Speedmail was an American mail-carrier biplane produced in 1928. It was a single seater, with two large cargo compartments in place of a front cockpit.

Lloyd Stearman and Mac Short, (Stearmans V.P. of engineering), designed the Speedmail to meet the requirements of Varney Air Lines, which needed a new mail carrier with greater capacity to fly Air Mail routes it acquired from the U.S. Postal service.

The result was a sturdy and capable aircraft with good flying characteristics and a large cargo capacity which met or exceeded Varney Air Lines' requirements.

Specifications

Role

Mail carrier

Manufacturer

Stearman Aircraft Co.

Designer

Lloyd Stearman

First flight

January 15, 1929

Propulsion

Single-engine

Wright Cyclone, 525 hp

Performance

Max speed

147 mph

Max cruising speed

126 mph

Initial rate of climb

1,050 ft/min

Service ceiling

16,000 ft

Max range

730 miles

Weight (empty)

3,442 lb

Gross Takeoff

5,578 lb

Dimensions

Wing span

46 ft 0 in

Length

30 ft 2 in

Height

11 ft 11 in

Wing area

436 sq. ft

Seating Capacity

1

 

speedmail-stearman

This image shows a Stearman Model 4E Jr. Speedmail in the foreground
and a Stearman C3R in the back.
(Photos courtesy Carol Rex - Thanks)

See a real Stearman Kaydet at Museums...

Valle-Grand Cayon, Arizona -Model 75

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Horseheads, New York -Model PT-17

Reading, Pennsylvania -Model A75N1

Chantilly, Virginia -Model N2S-5

Charlestown, South Carolina -Model N-2

Warner Robins, Georgia -Model PT-17

Greenfield, Iowa -1929 Stearman

College Park, Maryland -Model PT-17

Oshkosh, Wisconsin -Boeing/Hughes Super Stearman

Tillamook, Oregon -Model PT-17

 

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Stearman Speedmail - USAF.com