Phone: (503) 631-3206

Fax: (503) 631-3403

Welcome to the Big Sky Stearman Website! We have a great record, with more than 40 years experience providing the Stearman owner/operator with services to repair his wooden wings by using owner produced parts and FAA/PMA parts. We are a source for aircraft-quality Douglas Fir wing spars. Come check us out today!

Big Sky Stearman


"Bamboo Bomber" Cessna UC78 / T-50 Bobcat

Big Sky’s Latest Adventure: a “Bamboo Bomber!”

One of the most intriguing small multi-engine airplanes that were produced in great numbers is the Cessna T 50 Bobcat. It incorporates the “look” that a vintage radial multi-engine aircraft should have. It has a pugnacious little nose with a serious greenhouse cockpit office behind it. Twin, fire-breathing Jacobs 245 HP radial engines mounted on a clean lower wing and fuselage with a retractable landing gear tail-dragger stance. It has a roomy, 5-person cabin offering a comfortable ride at a breathtaking 140 mph.

Cessna built the first examples before WWII as a business/feeder airline aircraft. As WWII absorbed general aviation, many hundreds were produced as a multi-engine trainer for future bomber pilots. The airplane earned the nickname “Bamboo Bomber” because of its one piece, 42’ wooden wing. Its military designation was UC 78 known also as the “useless 78” because of its limited performance and application.

After WWII hundreds of examples were sold for surplus to civilian owners. Because of its size most would not be hangared; the elements quickly reduced the population. At this time, there are very few airworthy examples.

John Pike has acquired a derelict “Bamboo Bomber” with the intentions of replacing the wooden components of the aircraft. Our specialty has been the restoration of wooden winged aircrafts. The Cessna T 50’s 42’ wooden wing is just about the ultimate challenge for the “little guy” shop.

We have aready built ailerons, flaps and empennage components for our aircraft, serial # 1122, an early 1940 RCAF Crane.

If other owners of derelict T 50’s are interested in following our progress or having us help them with their owner produced wooden wings, please feel free to communicate. One thing is for sure, though, there will no longer be any “cheap” Bamboo Bombers!

Also visit the "Bamboo Bomber" Club at:



Current repairs started on T-50 components (5-13-10):
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Feel free to contact us at (503) 631-3206, fax us at (503) 631-3403, or E-Mail us at

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