1928 Stearman C3-B

s/n 169 N6438

United Airlines First Airplane



3,631 hrs TTSN

89 Hrs Since Restoration


Wright J-5-A  - 200 hp

89  Hrs Since Restoration


Aluminum Ground Adjustable Propeller

The Stearman C3B was the first aircraft to roll off the Stearman line in Wichita in 1927. The open-cockpit mail plane helped cement Lloyd Stearman’s reputation as one of the world’s leading aeronautical engineers. While delivering a C3 on Jan. 15, 1928, Stearman chief test pilot, Fred Hoyt, bailed out over Idaho and froze to death in a blizzard. About 136 Stearman C3Bs, powered by 200-horsepower Wright J-5 engines, were built between 1927 and 1929 in Wichita. In 1929, Stearman Aircraft was bought by the company that became Boeing.

This 1928 Stearman may well be United Airline’s oldest flying airplane. The aircraft has a very early airline history, beginning when the ship was based in San Francisco, California flying for Varney Air Lines. In 1930, Varney merged with three other air carriers, Boeing Air Transport, Pacific Air Transport and National Air Transport to form United Air Lines.

The early design of this aircraft was so successful that it became the basis for every “Stearman” airplane ever built. Varney Air Lines used this and other early Stearman ships on their regularly scheduled Air Mail routes, carrying the occasional passenger up front sitting on the mail bags.

Another very special aspect of this aircraft is the rare and original Wright J-5 “Whirlwind” engine of 220 hp. There are 8 aircraft flying today with the Wright J-5 engine, the exact same make and model that carried Charles Lindbergh across the Atlantic in his Spirit of St. Louis in 1927.

Sales may be subject to local Sales Tax / V.A.T. / G.S.T.  
Aircraft maybe subject to prior sale, lease, and/or removal from the market without prior notice.
Specifications subject to verification upon inspection.

Platinum Fighter Sales specializes in the sale of quality, historic, vintage and warbird aircraft. With a Worldwide reputation for professionalism and integrity, Platinum Fighter Sales is one of the foremost dealers in rare & exceptional collector and warbird aircraft.

Call us toll free: +1 800 210 1951

Browse Our Inventory:

The world's Premier Warbird and Classic Aircraft Broker | Copyright 2009 - 2021