Beginning in 1981, Ray Johnson of Buffalo began personally rebuilding and restoring this classic 1943 Stearman aircraft. Ray converted the open cockpit, double wing, former military trainer; then agricultural crop spraying plane, from a tired old workhorse into a sparkling showpiece.  His remarkable aircraft was featured on the front cover of Trade-A-Plane national aviation publication last month. This professional aerial photo of Ray flying his aircraft is the beautiful work of Greg Wanbaugh Studio (



This beautiful 1943 Boeing (Stearman) E75 N1 aircraft is owned and has been totally restored by its pilot and chief mechanic, Ray Johnson of Buffalo. The elegant old biplane, captured here in a photo reflective of its grassroots beginnings, is the professional photographic work of Greg Wanbaugh Studio (

The Stearman design dates from 1934, and the aircraft was manufactured in the thousands during the years leading up to and through World War II. Stearmans were the primary training backbone of the Army Air Corps and the U.S. Navy all during the war. Stearmans also spent years as the workhorse of agricultural crop spraying aircraft.

Ray’s pristine example is powered by a 450 horsepower Pratt & Whitney 9-cylinder radial engine. It is based at Buffalo Airport and was the subject of the recent Trade-A-Plane magazine cover on which this story is based.



Ray Johnson, left, and Wayne Flury are pictured together here over coffee at Buffalo Airport, holding up a July copy of the Trade-A-Plane publication which featured Ray’s prize winning Boeing/Stearman open cockpit biplane on the front cover.



Ray Johnson is pictured here wearing his classic flying regalia and standing beside his prize winning open cockpit Stearman. Photo by Greg Wanbaugh Studio (