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Fighter / Attack:
   Bell P-39 Airacobra
   Bell P-63 Kingcobra
   Brewster Buffalo
   Chance-Vought F-4U Corsair
   Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
   Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
   Douglas A-1 Skyraider
   Douglas A-26 Invader
   Douglas SBD Dauntless
   Fairey Firefly
   Focke-Wulf Fw 190
   Grumman F4F Wildcat
   Grumman F6F Hellcat
   Grumman F7F Tigercat
   Grumman F8F Bearcat
   Grumman TBF Avenger
   Hawker Hurricane
   Hawker Sea Fury
   Lockheed P-38 Lightning
   Messerschmitt Bf-109
   Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen
   North American P-51 Mustang

   Polikarpov I-16
   Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
   Supermarine Spitfire
   Yakovlev Yak-3
   Yakovlev Yak-9

Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan (C-45)
   Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
   Boeing / Stearman PT-17

   Commonwealth CA-25 Winjeel
   Commonwealth CA-1 Wirraway
   DeHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk
   DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth
   Fairchild PT-19 Cornell
   Hunting / Percival Provost
   Meyers OTW
   Nanchang CJ-6
   Naval Aircraft Factory N3N
   N. Am. BT-9 / BT-14 / Yale
   N. Am. T-6 Texan / SNJ / Harvard
   N. American T-28 Trojan

   Piaggio P149
   Ryan PT-22 Recruit

   Scottish Aviation T1 Bulldog
   Vultee BT-13 Valiant
   Yakovlev Yak-11
   Yakovlev Yak-18
   Yakovlev Yak-52

   Avro Lancaster
   Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
   Boeing B-29 Superfortress
   Bristol Blenheim / Bolingbroke
   Consolidated B-24 Liberator
   Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

   Douglas A-3 Skywarrior
   DeHavilland Mosquito
   Fairey Swordfish
   Heinkel He-111 / Casa 2.111

   Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon / Ventura
   Martin B-26 Marauder
   North American B-25 Mitchell

   Beechcraft C-45 (AT-11)

   Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (KC-97)
   Curtiss C-46 Commando
   Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota
   Douglas C-54 Skymaster

   Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
   Fairchild C-123 Provider
   Grumman C-1 Trader (S-2)
   Lockheed C-60 Lodestar
   Lockheed C-69 Constellation

Utility / Observation / Special Duty:
   Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper
   Aeronca L-16 Grasshopper
   Antonov AN-2 Colt
   Auster AOP 6/9
   Avro 652 Anson
   Avro Shackleton
   British Taylorcraft I-V
   Cessna L-19 / O-1 Bird Dog
   Cessna O-2 Super Skymaster
   Cessna T-50 / UC-78 Bobcat
   Consolidated PBY Catalina

   DeHavilland U-6A / L-20 Beaver
   Fairey Gannet
   Fairey Swordfish
   Fieseler Fi156 Storch
   Grumman S-2 Tracker (C-1)
   Grumman HU-16 Albatross
   Grumman OV-1 Mohawk
   Junkers Ju 52/3m

   Lockheed P2V Neptune
   Max Holste M.H.1521 Broussard
   Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun

   Noorduyn UC-64 Norseman
   North American L-17 Navion
   N. Am./ Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
   Piper L-4 Grasshopper
   Stinson L-5 Sentinel
   Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper
   Westland Lysander

   Aero L-29 Delfin
   Aero L-39 Albatros
   Aermacchi MB-326
   Avro Vulcan
   BAC Strikemaster
   Blackburn (BAC) Buccaneer
   Canadair Tutor
   Cessna A-37 Dragonfly
   DeHavilland Vampire
   DeHavilland Venom
   English Electric Canberra
   English Electric Lightning
   Folland Gnat
   Fouga CM-170 Magister
   Gloster Meteor
   Grumman F9F Panther
   Hawker Hunter
   Hispano HA-200 Saeta
   Hunting Jet Provost
   Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
   Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
   McDonnell-Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
   McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom
   Messerschmitt Me-262
   Mikoyan MiG-15
   Mikoyan MiG-17
   Mikoyan MiG-21
   N. Am. F-86 Sabre / FJ-4 Fury
   N. Am. F-100 Super Sabre
   N. Am. / Rockwell T-2 Buckeye
   Northrop T-38 Talon / F-5
   PZL / WSK TS-11 Iskra
   Saab J35 Draken
   Soko G-2A Galeb
   Temco Pinto & Super Pinto

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Stinson L-5 Sentinel

(Variants/Other Names: U-19; O-62; OY-1; OY-2; Sentinel Mk.I/II;
See History below for others)

Stinson L-5 Sentinel
N55789 "Miss Ziggy," operated by the Dallas/Fort Worth Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. Photo by Col. Harlan Short and courtesy CAF.

History: By the latter half of the 19th century, armies in combat were beginning to adapt new technologies, like hot air balloons, to supplement cavalry reconnaissance units in trying to ferret out enemy movements and dispositions. The early days of World War I saw the airplane employed in similar capacity until someone hit upon the idea of arming those aircraft with guns and bombs, drastically changing their role to that of flying weapons platform, thereby altering the nature of warfare radically. By the time World War II broke out, liaison/observation aircraft had become a highly specialized group.

The Stinson L-5 Sentinel was one such aircraft, derived from the pre-war Stinson Model 105 Voyager. In 1941, the Army Air Corps purchased six Voyagers from Vultee Aircraft (which had acquired Stinson in 1940) for testing, these aircraft being designated as YO-54s. Meanwhile, a modified variant of the Voyager, called the Model 75B, had been demonstrated for the Army. The Model 75B incorporated some features and components of the earlier Voyager series, but was an entirely new design. The Army ordered this model in quantity, designating it first as the O-62 ("O" for Observation), and subsequently as the L-5 when the type designation was changed, in 1942, to indicate "Liaison" aircraft.

With short field takeoff and landing capabilities, and the ability to operate from unimproved forward airstrips, the two-crew L-5s were used during World War II for reconnaissance; delivering supplies to, and evacuating litter patients from, isolated units; rescuing Allied personnel from remote areas; laying of communications wire; transporting of personnel; and -- on occasion -- as a light bomber. Nicknamed "the Flying Jeep," the L-5 demonstrated amazing versatility, even landing and taking off from tree-top platforms constructed above a thick Burmese jungle which could not be cleared for more conventional airstrips.

When the craft was produced specifically for the air ambulance role, its structure was enlarged and an additional door was added to accommodate stretchers (L-5B through L-5G). In British RAF service the L-5 and L-5B were known, respectively, as Sentinel Mk I and Sentinel Mk II.

Air Force Museum sources show that the US Army Air Corps procured 3,590 L-5s between 1942-45. 306 L-5s went to the Marines, where they received the U.S. Navy label OY-1 after Consolidated and Vultee had merged. In addition, eight Stinson 105s and 12 Model 10A Voyagers were "drafted" into Army Air Corps service under the designations AT-19A and AT-19B, respectively. Those designations were later changed to L-9A and L-9B, respectively. Another variant, the OY-2, was the Navy/Marine version of the L-5G, manufactured beginning in late 1945.

After WWII, the Sentinel served with distinction in the Korean War and continued in active service with the USAF until at least 1955, with some units still on the rolls until 1962 when the L-5G (the final variant) designation was changed to the Air Force's U-19B, while the Army's remaining L-5's were reclassified as U-19As. Their redefinition to utility, rather than liaison, is a stark reminder that technology is rarely static, as the passing of both the reconnaissance balloon and light liaison aircraft demonstrate.

Nicknames: "The Flying Jeep;" "Jungle Angel."

Specifications (L-5):
        Engine: One 185-hp Lycoming O-435-1 flat-six piston engine
        Weight: Empty 1,550 lbs., Max Takeoff 2,020 lbs.
        Wing Span: 34ft. 0in.
        Length: 24ft. 1in.
        Height: 7ft. 11in.
            Maximum Speed: 130 mph
            Ceiling: 15,800 ft.
            Range: 360 miles
        Armament: None

Number Built:  3,590

Number Still Airworthy: <200

Cockpit Photo:

(Click for Larger)

[Flight Report by Budd Davisson]

Photos [Stinson L-5 Photos]

International Stinson Club
L-5 "Betsy" -- An L-5 under restoration in San Diego, California, USA
Sentinel Owners & Pilots Association
Stinson L-5 Sentinel Owners and Fan Club (Facebook)
Stinson L-5 Sentinel Wikipedia page
Stinson L-5 walkaround photos


L-Birds: American Combat Liaison Aircraft of World War II
By Terry M. Love
Paperback, 96 pages
Published April 2001 by Flying Books

This is the seldom-told story of the significant liaison aircraft of WWII, including the Stinson L-1 and L-5, the Taylorcraft L-2, the Aeronca L-3, the Piper L-4 and more... all the way up to the L-12. Includes specifications, unit histories and many photos.

Price: $19.95


Click for more great books about Liaison aircraft




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All text and photos Copyright 2015 The Doublestar Group, unless otherwise noted.
You may use this page for your own, non-commercial reference purposes only.

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