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 has completed a monumental restoration (involving some 6000 hours
of labor) of a 1938 E17B Staggerwing. Some might say that it would be a risky
investment to tackle such an endeavor, but an historically significant example
such as this just can’t rot away and be lost to posterity. This Staggerwing
went straight from the factory to Indian National Airways of New Delhi, India.
INA was an agent for Imperial Airways of Britain. One can just imagine the
adventures it must have experienced during WWII in that part of the world.
The aircraft became derelict
sometime in the fifties, serving as a training aid in an Indian aircraft
maintenance facility. It was imported back into the US in the 1970’s
as a rotting basketcase. The aircraft was bought by Chuck Hamilton of Portland,
OR who began the restoration. It was later acquired by Jim Parish owner
of Phoenix Restorations of Brightwood, Oregon. Big Sky Stearman was contracted
to finish the restoration.
Big Sky received the skeletal
remains and performed a ground up restoration. The intent was to keep it
as original as possible save for some safety and reliability modifications.
The original Jacobs L5 285 hp engine was replaced by a Jacobs 755B2 engine
of 275 hp. Other improvements included disk brakes, improved wiring, avionics.
The original paint scheme and period upholstery was retained. Original
low frequency communication and navigation radio consoles conceal modern
IFR Garmin avionics.
After a 2 ½ year restoration
period it flew on September 16, 2007, some sixty years after its last flight
We would appreciate any knowledge
of the history of India National Airways if someone has insight on that