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Stearman 4EM Senior Speedmail - Ottawa, Ontario
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
N 45° 27.485 W 075° 38.649
18T E 449637 N 5034041
Quick Description: This Stearman 4EM was built as a 4E model in 1930. It was one of three 4Es supplied to the Standard Oil Company of California. It was purchased, renovated and donated to the Museum by John Paterson of Thunder Bay Ontario, on September 25, 1970.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 7/10/2019 10:39:54 AM
Waymark Code: WM10Y7D
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member DougK
Views: 2

Long Description:
From an information panel on site:

Stearman 4EM Junior Speedmail

The prototype Stearman Model 4, designed by Lloyd Stearman and manufactured at the Stearman Aircraft Company, in Wichita, Kansas, was first flown on September 21, 1929. The Model 4 was available as a three-seater open cockpit sport model, or as a single-seat open cockpit sailplane, the 4EM (M for mail carrier). The 4EM could carry 600lbs (272 Kg) of mail in two covered metal-lined, fire-resistant cargo holds that replaced the passenger space of the three-seater version.

Canadian Airways operated four Stearman 4EM mailplanes in eastern Canada in the early 1930s. The 4EM Junior speed mail was a high-performance biplane with a rugged structure well-suited to the rough conditions sometimes encountered on airmail routes. Nevertheless, it was built with elegant proportions and was the first biplane to enter production with the new streamline engine cowl designed by the National Aeronautical Council of America. Its excellent flying characteristics made it a favourite with pilots - in fact, it was the fastest aircraft in Canadian skies, surpassing the Royal Canadian Air Force Siskin Fighters. Of the 40 Model 4s produced, several were used by oil companies for travel between their head offices and oil fields, a few went to wealthy private owners, and the remainder to mail carriers. Later many of these aircraft were converted to crop dusters.

The aircraft on display is one of three 4Es supplied to the Standard Oil Company of California in June 1930; around 1940 it became a crop duster. In January 1965, John Paterson of Thunder Bay, Ontario, purchased the aircraft and restored it in the markings of one of the original Canadian Airways EMs. On September 25, 1970, the aircraft was donated to the Museum by Mr. Paterson and flown to Rockliffe carrying 500 pieces of mail commemorating the event. This machine serves as a reminder of the days when Canadian pilots, in helmets, goggles, and parachutes navigated with compass and map to carry the Royal Mail.

The following is from the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum's Website:

A single-seater, general-purpose biplane manufactured by the Stearman Aircraft Company in the U.S., around 1930

Developed from the Stearman 4E Junior Speedmail, but with a dedicated forward cargo compartment for mail storage

Among the first production aircraft to use the new aerodynamically efficient NACA engine cowl, which streamlined the radial engine and reduced drag

Only a handful of 4EMs were built; some of them were converted from 4Es

Canadian Airways operated four 4EM mail planes on its Eastern Canada routes in the early 1930s

Fastest aircraft in Canadian skies in its era (surpassing the RCAF Siskin fighter); considered by some the ultimate civil biplane in North America

Claimed by company founder Lloyd Stearman to be the best aircraft he ever designed

First flight was on September 4, 1929.

Artifact no.:
Stearman Aircraft Company
Manufacturer Location:
United States
Manufacture Date:
Registration no.:
Acquisition Date:

The Stearman 4 is considered by some to be the ultimate civil biplane in North America. The Stearman 4 was the first North American production aircraft to use the new aerodynamically efficient NACA engine cowl . In their heyday, Stearman 4s were the fastest aircraft in Canadian skies, even faster than the RCAF Siskin fighters.

Forty Stearman 4s were built. The largest fleet belonged to American Airlines. Canadian Airways operated four 4EM mailpanes on its eastern Canada routes in the early 1930s.

Current Location:

Airlines Exhibition, Canada Aviation and Space Museum



This Stearman 4EM was built as a 4E model in 1930. It was one of three 4Es supplied to the Standard Oil Company of California, which used it as a corporate aircraft. It was converted to a crop-duster in 1944 by Carberry Crop Dusters Incorporated of Fresno, California. The company used the aircraft until it was acquired by Dean Wilson of Homedale, Idaho, who then sold it to John Paterson of Fort William (now Thunder Bay), Ontario in January 1965. Over the next four years, Paterson restored it as a 4EM model flown by Canadian Airways.

In 1970, over the course of three days, this aircraft flew from Fort William to Rockcliffe airport, carrying commemorative mail. On arrival on September 25, it was presented to the Museum, and it has been on display since that time. It serves as a reminder of those long-ago days when, without the benefit of radio and other modern amenities, pilots donned helmets, goggles and parachutes in preparation for delivering mail.

Technical Information:

Wing Span 11.6 m (38 ft)
Length 8 m (26 ft 4 in)
Height 3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)
Weight, Empty 1,113 kg (2,455 lb)
Weight, Gross 1,785 kg (3,936 lb)
Cruising Speed 216 km/h (134 mph)
Max Speed 254 km/h (158 mph)
Rate of Climb 427 m (1,400 ft) /min
Service Ceiling 5,490 m (18,000 ft)
Range 966 km (600 mi)
Power Plant one Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp SC, 450 hp, radial engine

Reference: (visit link)
Type of Aircraft: (make/model): Stearman 4EM Senior Speedmail

Tail Number: (S/N): CF-AMB

Construction:: original aircraft

Location (park, airport, museum, etc.): Canadian Aviation and Space Museum

inside / outside: inside

Other Information::
Space and Aviation Museum - Ottawa, Ontario Opening hours Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission fees Adult $15, Youth (3-17) $10 Senior (age 60+) / Student $13 - Free on Thursday from 4 to 5 PM

Access restrictions:
Aircrafts cannot be touched. There are barriers on the floor that serve to prevent visitors from approaching too close and touching the aircraft.

Visit Instructions:
Photo of aircraft (required - will be interesting to see if the aircraft is ever repainted or progress if being restored)
Photo of serial number (required unless there is not one or it is a replica)
Photo(s) of any artwork on the aircraft (optional but interesting)

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