One of the most famous aircraft of World War II, the PT-17 was developed as a private venture of the Stearman Aircraft Company. Development of the aircraft began in 1934, with the first Army order for the plane coming in 1936. Stearman was actually a division of the Boeing company and the aircraft was eventually sold under the Boeing name. Every pilot in the Army Air Force during World War II flew a PT-17 at some time during their training. Thousands of them were built for the American military and for export. A great many of these found their way into civilian hands at the close of the war. Civilian uses included pilot training, aerial crop spraying, pleasure flying, and air show performances. The Stearman remains a popular aircraft at airshows today.
United States Army Air Forces, 1941
Pima Air & Space Museum