The Stinson Aircraft Corporation grew out of the Stinson Aircraft Syndicate formed by Eddie Stinson in 1926. The company produced a number of aircraft including the Detroiter, Junior, Trimotor, Reliant and Vigilant. The Voyager grew out of the 1939 Model 105, a three seater powered by a 75 or 80hp engine. In 1941, by which time the company had become a division of Vultee Aircraft Inc (which in turn became part of Consolidated Vultee), the Model 10 Voyager was introduced. The Model 10-A featured a wider cabin, along with changes to the interior and equipment, and was powered by a 90hp Franklin 4AC-199-E3 engine. About 750 of these were produced, along with a few 75hp Lycoming GO-145-E3 powered Model 10-B. Six aircraft powered by 80hp Continental O-170-1 engines were supplied to the USAAF for evaluation as the YO-54. Accepted for service, this became the hugely successful L-5 Sentinal.
At the end of the War in August 1945, the Model 108 was rolled out with an eye to the potential civilian market. This was a four seat aircraft with cleaner lines than the earlier model, and incorporated an number of improvements derived from the manufacturers militart experience. The initial model was the Voyager 125 powered by a 125hp Avco Lycoming. This was followed by the 108-1 Voyager 150 with a Franklin 6A4-150-B31 powerplant. A utility version was also produced known as the 'Station Wagon' which could be fitted with floats or skis. The 108-2 featured the 6A4-150-B3. The 108-3 Voyager 165 had the more powerful 165hp 6A4-165-B3, a larger vertical tail and increased fuel tankage.
Stinson had produced more than 5000 Voyagers by mid-1948, when the civil light aircraft market slumped as the US Air Force disposed of its surplus stocks. In November of that year, the Stinson division was sold to Piper, who continued to market the aircraft. However, production was cancelled in the following year.
New Zealand's Stinson population has been very small. A pre-war built Reliant SR-10C (c/n 3-5902) ex NC21133, BS803, G-AGZV, VP-KDV) was imported in 1954 as ZK-BDV. The five seater was operated by James Aviation, but was unfortunately destroyed by fire at Rotorua in September 1957. A related model, a Stinson Vigilant L-1C-VU (c/n? ) 40-283 is stored in a damaged condition in Auckland. The remainder have all arrived during the 1990's.
Last Text Update:- 3 October, 1999
Last Picture Update:- 2 December, 2002
Data is for Stinson 108-3
© 1999 Phillip Treweek, all rights reserved