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Photo ID: 1011099
click image to enlarge
Model: Stearman 75-Series Registration: N90X
Year: Serial Number:
Engine: Lycoming R680-17, 225-HP Owner: Chris D. Stoltzfus
Location: Stoltzfus Private Airport,
Coatesville, PA
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
Date: 1958, Summer Present Registration: Present Owner (FAA info):
Notes: 8/29/03 - "N90X" was a spoof of sorts. We had reserved the series of numbers, N90X through N99X for use on our Stearmans. "Junior", as this former Stearman was named, was used to break-in engines.

The fuel tank up on top there is from a Fairchild PT-23. Junior has PT-23 wheels, too, on those cut-off landing gear legs. There were no brakes, and we chained it to our Farmall C (which now belongs to brother Karl). We put a steel box filled with cement blocks in the rear hole, to hold the tail (using the term rather loosely) down.

That's my father in the cockpit, and pilot Bill Hunt alongside. Note Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, N19K in the background; a 450-Stearman sprayer; a Stearman fuselage and center section awaiting a new life; and in the big green crates on the right, some of the 900+, new Continental W-690-9A engines that we had at the time. That's a Curtiss Reed 55501, fixed pitch aluminum prop on there, as used on many Wacos. We used them on our "220" and "225" Stearman sprayers, but this one was shorter than the 99-102" that we needed there. Still, it would be worth thousands, today.

It seemed in order to dub Junior, "N90X". The FAA was in one day and insisted that we couldn't do such a thing - - that one couldn't put an N-number on anything but an airplane. Father was not the trouble-making kind, but his theory was that "you could put an N-number on a barn door if you wanted to, as long as you didn't fly it", and that this was okay too. Junior remained N90X.

We had dozens of Continental W670's and Lycoming R680's, firewall forward on Stearman mounts. Some were off of aircraft Father had bought and converted to 450's, others had been accumulated from here and there.

I have a late-1950's flyer in which we were advertising engines as follows: "Ten R680-17, 225-HP Lycoming engines, on Stearman mounts, firewall forward. These engines all have less than 100 hours total time since new, or major overhaul. They were removed for 450 conversion. We are now running these engines through our shop, giving them a complete top overhaul, and thorough inspection, replacing valves, rings, and all gaskets and hoses, also new distributor rotors. We then run them up for 5 hours on our test stand. These engines should give practically the same service as a newly majored engine. We guarantee these the same as factory, 100 hours or 90 days, whichever comes first. $600-700 each." Eat your heart out!!!

We then did a bunch of engines which were used for wind machines in orchards in California. All were test run on Junior.
 

Photo ID: 1021008
click image to enlarge
Model: 75-Series Registration: Unknown
Year: Serial Number:
Engine: Continental W670, 220-HP Owner: Chris D. Stoltzfus
Location: Stoltzfus Private Airport,
Coatesville, PA
Photographer: Glick, Richard
Date: 1958 Present Registration: Present Owner (FAA info):
Notes: 8/29/03 - A typical, "Chris D. Stoltzfus 220-Stearman" waiting to go to work. We had a small, 120-gallon aluminum tank in these. It could be slipped down through the front hole without cutting the cross-member. These airplanes were about as close to "stock" as you could get for a sprayer, and could have easily been converted back.

Note the Curtiss Reed, 55501 propeller, and the small, curved plexiglass windshield that Father used at the time. I wish I knew what the N-number is!

Father experimented with many spray boom designs and locations. Both minimum drag and good chemical coverage were factors. These were made from electrical conduit. The wind-driven spray pump is mounted under the fuselage.

Photo was taken by my brother-in-law, Richard Glick, who has, with my sister Ruth Ann, lived in White River Junction, VT for the past 40-years. Richard took a few hours of flight instruction "way back", but never pursued it. If you were ever a patient at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Hanover, NH, Richard may have been your respiratory therapist.
 

Photo ID: 1041011
click image to enlarge
Model: 75-Series Registration: As It Was
Year: Serial Number:
Engines: Owner: Chris D. Stoltzfus
Location: Stoltzfus Private Airport,
Coatesville, PA
Photographer: Collection of Karl and Ken Stoltzfus
Date: 1950's, Early Present Registration: Present Owner (FAA info):
Notes: 8/29/03 - Well, this is the way it was in the early 1950's. At many airports across the country. It makes you wanna cry!

The Stearman on the right has the R680-17, 225-HP Lycoming. The one to its left has a W670, "220-Continental". It has a cockpit cover but not much else to indicate that it is given much care. Stearmans were cheap then. One talked "hundreds", not "tens of thousands".

We had bought two N3Ns from someone down near Philly and this is probably one of them. It has a Wright R760-8, and that prop would be worth about as much today as everything you see in the photo was worth all put together at that time!

Behind the N3N and the 220-Stearman is a wingless and engineless Vultee BT-13, and there's another Stearman fuselage with center section behind that (see next photo). On to the left is another BT-13 sans engine, and behind that yet another BT.

The Vultee BT-15 on the right belonged to Walter Harris, a Lukens Steel employee who worked for us part time. (Walter is the only guy I ever heard of who could replace a bent rod on a Wright R975 - - without taking the engine apart. "Tight", and "patient", can lead to some real ingenuity!) His BT was probably well wiped down with used motor oil.

This photo is from the collection of Karl and Ken Stoltzfus.
 

Photo ID: 1041011A
click image to enlarge
Notes: Here's the BT-13 and Stearman that are behind the 220-Stearman and N3N fuselages. From another photo I see that the BT is NC60345. The Stearman was probably one of the "Bush Field" aircraft that my Father bought in 1947. What would we pay today for an uncut Stearman like this, less than 10-years old? (See "Bush Field", in "Stearman, 1940's)

This photo is from the collection of Karl and Ken Stoltzfus. My apologies for the spill of some kind that discolored it.
Photographer: Collection of Karl and Ken Stoltzfus
 
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