In 1915, aviator Edward "Eddie" Stinson established the Stinson School for Aviation. After the United States' entry into World War I, the Stinson family trained U.S. Army and Canadian pilots at San Antonio's Kelly Field. In 1925, Stinson would make Detroit, Michigan, the base of operations for his company. Over the next three decades, more than 13,000 aircraft would carry the Stinson name.
In 1939, the Model 105 Voyager was manufactured for civilian use. It was a three-passenger airplane featuring a strut-braced wing mounted on the top of the fuselage and capable of flying at about 120 miles per hour. Stinson sold about 530 Voyagers before World War II intervened and the Stinson aircraft line was adapted for an important mission. The 105 Voyager became the U.S. Army's L-5 Sentinel. Classified "L" for Liaison, it remains one of the most used, and least recognized, U.S. aircraft of the Second World War. In 1941, the Model 108 Voyager was built with an extra seat to accommodate additional passengers or more payload. A few pre-war 108 Voyagers were commandeered for wartime use and designated the AT-19/L-9. Serving as a short field takeoff and landing liaison aircraft, the L-5 and L-9 supported missions such as artillery spotting, medical evacuation, aerial reconnaissance, and passenger transport. Stinson delivered more than 3,590 of the versatile Sentinels between 1942 and 1945 under a variety of designations. General George S. Patton Jr. was an avid pilot, and purchased his own L-9, which he used to scout the location of the Desert Training Center.
Click Image For Conversion Project
In 1987, FCGA Founder/CEO Colonel Paul Kiener, U.S. Army National Guard (retired), purchased a 1947 Stinson Voyager 108-2. Several years later, he converted the civilian aircraft to a U.S. Army L-9 Sentinel. Following is the Stinson project by Col. Kiener and FCGA members. The Stinson is still privately owned by Col. Kiener, and is loaned to the FCGA for public events and air shows. Click on image to see full conversion project from Civilian to Military Specs.
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