|Designer||Don R. Berlin|
|First flight||3 March 1931|
|2 (1 Beta 3 and 1 Beta 3D)|
The Beta was a two-seater with a 160 hp (119 kW) Menasco Buccaneer inline engine. The first aircraft registered as NX963Y (later NC963Y) crashed in California. The second aircraft, N12214, was built as a single-seater and fitted with a 300 hp (224 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp Jr. radial engine, and became the first aircraft of such power to exceed 200 mph (322 km/h). Only two were built.
The aircraft was flown to Wichita for sister company Stearman Aircraft to use as a demonstrator but with the poor economy at the time, none were sold. The aircraft was sold to a wealthy pilot in New York and during its delivery, it passed through Wright Field in order to allow a thorough examination by Army Air Corps Engineers as the Air Corps was still using obsolete biplanes.
After being rarely flown during 1932, the aircraft was sold to a new owner who kept it at Roosevelt Field until it was flipped over at a nearby airport. The aircraft was repaired at the Stearman factory in Wichita and used as an experimental test platform for various flap designs until it crashed due to a wing structural failure on May 4, 1934.
Beta 3 1931 = 2pOlwM; 160 hp Menasco B-6; span: 32'0" length: 21'8" v: 175/145/48; ff: 3/3/31(?) (p: Edmund Allen). Don R. Berlin. All-metal; fully panted wheels. $8,500; POP: 2 [X963Y, X12214], the second of which had 300 hp P&W Wasp Jr (v: 212/185/65) as Stearman-Northrop Beta 3D (qv).