No. 10579. Stearman 4E Special (CF-AMB c/n 4021)
Photographed at the Canada Aviation Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, September 29, 2000, by Jack McKillop

Stearman 4E Special

05/31/2011. Remarks by Jack McKillop and Johan Visschedijk: "The Stearman Aircraft Company of the United Aircraft Corporation built 40 Model 4s between 1929 and 1931 in their Wichita, Kansas plant. The Model 4 was developed as a single-seat open cockpit biplane mailplane with a second open cockpit in front of the pilot that could accommodate two passengers or 600 lb (272 kg) of mail/cargo. It made its first flight on September 21, 1929.

These aircraft were known as Junior or Senior Speedmails or Specials depending on the engine installed and whether it was designed to carry one or two passengers or mail/cargo. Some have said that this aircraft was the last of the luxury styled biplanes produced in quantity by Stearman Aircraft Co. It was a large, sleek, elegant airplane that epitomized the term 'class' and was the ultimate in business biplanes in the early 1930s. Its designer, Lloyd C. Stearman, late in life said, 'It was the best airplane I ever designed'.

This aircraft was built and registered NC784H on July 15, 1930 as a Model 4E Special and was powered by a 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp nine-cylinder, single row, air-cooled radial engine giving it a maximum speed of 160 mph (257 kmh) and a range of 600 mls (966 km). Sold on October 7, 1930, this was one of four Model 4Es acquired by The Standard Oil Company of California, Inc. (SoCal, now Chevron), San Francisco, California. The SoCal fleet number was '4' and the price was US$16,000 (US$208,916 in 2010 dollars). With thanks to Graham Slack, Terry Judge and Henk Wadman, here is the complete listing of subsequent owners:

Created April 30, 2011