Buying an RC PT-17 Stearman: Tips for Finding a Quality Used Plane for Sale

Buying an RC PT-17 Stearman: Tips for Finding a Quality Used Plane for Sale

The RC PT-17 Stearman is a nostalgic and well-known aircraft. Originally a biplane used for pilot training during World War II, it’s now a beloved aircraft among collectors and aviation enthusiasts, as well as radio-controlled (RC) aircraft hobbyists. For those who want to experience the joy of flying the famous RC PT-17 Stearman, buying one is an exciting prospect. However, knowing where to find them and what to consider before purchasing can be challenging. In this article, we’ll outline what to look for when purchasing an RC PT-17 Stearman and explore some of the places to find them on the market. Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a newcomer to the hobby, you’re sure to find helpful information here.

Features of the RC PT-17 Stearman

The RC PT-17 Stearman is known for its classic design, ease of assembly, and smooth flight capabilities. Here are some of the most notable features:

  • Wingspan of 72” and length of 58.5”, providing great stability and maneuverability while in flight.
  • Can be built with either a gas or electric engine.
  • The craft is a scale model of the original PT-17 and comes with controls for the ailerons, elevator, rudder, and throttle.
  • Possesses an open cockpit with a detailed interior that’s true to the original.
  • Many models come with extra capabilities, including retractable landing gear, flaps and lighting, among others.
  • Extremely durable and crash-resistant, making it an excellent choice for novice flyers.

If you want to purchase an RC PT-17 Stearman for sale, it’s worth doing some research to find the right accompanying features for your needs and flying style. There are various forums, articles, and instructional videos available online that provide helpful tips and guidance on how to get the most out of your RC PT-17 Stearman for sale.

Is a Stearman aerobatic?

Yes, a Stearman is an aerobatic biplane that was used primarily as a military trainer aircraft. It has a reputation for being a stable and reliable platform for aerobatic maneuvers, and is still used today in airshows and by private owners for aerobatic flying.

For more information on Stearman aerobatics, check out websites such as or Additionally, the book “Stearman Aerobatics” by Dave DeVries offers a comprehensive guide to flying aerobatics in a Stearman.

For those interested in purchasing an RC PT-17 Stearman, there are numerous options available. Here are some places to start your search:

Horizon Hobby

is one of the largest online retailers of RC planes and related accessories. They maintain an extensive list of

PT-17 Stearman

planes in different sizes, models, and prices. They offer easy payment options with significant discounts on shipping and taxes.

RC Groups Forums

is a huge network of RC enthusiasts, some of whom are looking to sell their PT-17 Stearman planes. Many discussions and ratings on different PT-17 Stearman models and accessories available in the market can be found here. These forums enable buyers to connect with sellers for further details on condition, shipping, and payments.


, the world’s most popular online marketplace for various items and services, has many listings for PT-17 Stearman planes available for purchase in different conditions. eBay offers buyers the option to bid on planes in auctions or to buy immediately at the listed price.

Additionally, expert aviation and RC hobbyist communities may have insider information on where to find unique and high-quality RC PT-17 Stearman planes. Talking to people and checking out online communities or offline hobby clubs may open up avenues from where one can get good deals.

How many Stearmans are still flying?

According to the Stearman Restorers Association, there are still over 1,000 Stearman aircraft currently registered and flying worldwide. However, this number is an estimate and may not reflect the total number of airworthy Stearman planes. For more information about Stearman planes or to connect with other enthusiasts, visit the Stearman Restorers Association website at

Advantages of purchasing a used RC PT-17 Stearman

While new RC PT-17 Stearman planes can be quite expensive, buying used can offer several benefits. Here are some advantages to keep in mind when considering purchasing a used RC PT-17 Stearman for sale:

  • Cost savings: Used RC PT-17 Stearman planes generally cost less than brand new models, making it an attractive option for those on a budget.
  • Potential upgrades: Used planes may come with upgrades or modifications made by the previous owner, which can enhance the plane’s performance.
  • Rarity: Some older or discontinued models may only be available on the used market, making this the only option for consumers who are specifically seeking out that PT-17 Stearman model.
  • Experience: For beginners or those who are less experienced with RC planes, buying a used RC PT-17 Stearman can be a valuable learning experience.

However, buyers should exercise caution when purchasing used RC PT-17 Stearman for sale planes. Used planes may have hidden damages such as cracks, scratches or dents, or other wear and tear that can reduce its performance or require costly repairs. It is important to research the seller’s reputation and credibility before making a purchase. Some popular online marketplaces like Horizon Hobby, RC Groups Forums and eBay have proven track records of facilitating reliable and safe transactions between buyers and sellers.

Why are small planes so expensive?

Small planes are generally expensive due to several factors:

Factors Explanation
Manufacturing Costs Small planes are produced on a smaller scale than commercial planes, which leads to higher manufacturing costs per unit.
Maintenance and Repairs The cost of maintaining and repairing small planes is often higher than that of commercial planes due to the need for specialized mechanics and equipment.
Equipment and Features Small planes often come equipped with advanced technology and features such as GPS systems, weather radars, and autopilots, which increase their cost.
Insurance Small planes have a higher risk of accidents and crashes, leading to higher insurance premiums.

Moreover, small planes require frequent fuel replenishment, which can add to the cost of ownership. However, owning a small plane can still be a worthwhile investment for those who prioritize convenience and flexibility in their travels. For more information on the cost of small planes, visit relevant websites such as AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association).

Pre-purchase considerations when buying a used RC PT-17 Stearman

Before making a purchase, there are several important factors to consider when buying a used RC PT-17 Stearman.

Check the Condition of the Plane

  • Inspect for visible damages such as cracks or dents. Get more information by asking the seller for detailed photos or videos of the plane, or arrange for an in-person meeting to inspect the plane before making a purchase.
  • Ensure that the plane’s engine, battery, and control mechanisms are in good working condition.
  • Review the plane’s flight logs to ensure it has been treated well and has not encountered any crashes or accidents.

Investigate the Seller’s Reputation and Credibility

  • Research the seller’s reputation by checking for their ratings, reviews, and feedback online. A reputable seller will have a proven track record of honest dealings with satisfied customers.
  • Consult with other long-time RC hobbyists or enthusiasts to get recommendations or advice on buying used RC planes.
  • Check forums or popular Facebook groups where enthusiasts gather to discuss RC planes and especially the PT-17 Stearman to gather insights on where to buy and what to look for.

Get Professional Help if Needed

  • Hire a professional inspector to ensure that the plane meets its advertised specifications and is in excellent working order.
  • Follow instructional videos on YouTube that guide potential buyers on how to do the necessary checks on planes.
  • For novice or less experienced buyers, consider joining an RC club or consulting with local hobby shops that can provide expert advice on what to look for when buying a used RC PT-17 Stearman plane.

How do you check if a point is on a plane?

To check if a point is on a plane, you can use the equation of the plane and substitute the coordinates of the point. The resulting expression will be zero if the point is on the plane. Alternatively, you can calculate the vector created between the point and a known point on the plane and check if it is orthogonal to the normal vector of the plane. For both methods, make sure the points and vectors are in the same coordinate system.

For a more detailed explanation and examples, visit websites such as or You can also find online calculators and software such as Matlab or Mathematica that can perform the calculations for you.

In conclusion, the RC PT-17 Stearman for sale presents a great opportunity for aviation enthusiasts and collectors to own a piece of aviation history. While the RC PT-17 Stearman can be found at local hobby shops and RC clubs, buyers can also browse through online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and specialized websites including Horizon Hobby, Motion RC, and RC Universe. In making a purchase, buyers should keep in mind the pre-purchase considerations, such as checking the condition of the plane, investigating the seller’s reputation, and seeking professional help if necessary. Buying a used RC PT-17 Stearman can offer potential cost savings and possible advantages, as upgrades and modifications made by previous owners can be inherited. However, buyers should also be careful and thorough in their assessment of the plane’s condition and in verifying the seller’s credibility. By keeping these factors in mind, buyers can make the most out of their purchase and enjoy the thrill of flying an RC PT-17 Stearman.