Known for rugged dependability and no-nonsense design, Stearman C-2s and C-3s became popular replacement planes on the short-haul "feeder" lines of America's growing commercial airmail system. The majority of Stearman C-3s were the C-3B "Sport Commercial" variety, with a Wright J-5 engine. Many C-3Bs were used as sportplanes and advanced trainers well into the 1930s. Nearing the end of their days, some C-3s became crop-dusting aircraft until after World War II, when replaced with another Stearman biplane -- surplus "Kaydet" trainers.
The Museum's C-3B was acquired in 1986. It has been restored as a Western Air Express airmail carrier. Western Air Express began flying C-3Bs in late 1927.