The Stinson L-5 Sentinel was developed from the pre-World War II Stinson Model 105 Voyager. In 1941, the Army Air Corps purchased six Voyagers from Stinson division of Consolidated Vultee for testing. After design modifications for military use, the Voyager entered into service as an observation aircraft with designation O-62. In 1942 designation for this type of aircraft was changed from " O" for Observation to " L" for Liaison aircraft and the designation was changed to L-5 Sentinel.
The L-5 is a two-place metal frame, fabric covered, high wing observation- reconnaissance and medical evacuation aircraft. It has a 'drop' rear seat which permits carrying cargo or stretcher patient, and a hinged door on the starboard side of the fuselage aft of the cockpit for loading.
The L-5 was manufactured between October 1942 and September 1945, during which time a total of over 3,896 were built for the United States armed forces, making it the second most widely used light observation aircraft of World War II. Personnel in all service branches commonly referred to it as the "Flying Jeep".
The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps received 306 Sentinels from the Army, designating their models as the OY-1 and OY-2, while two versions went to the Royal Air Force as the Sentinel Mk. I and Sentinel Mk. II. After the war, most Sentinels were sold for surplus, but a number of aircraft (now designated the U-19) served in the Korean conflict. A few Sentinels remained in active military service until the late 1950s. Sentinels were also used by the Civil Air Patrol after WWII for search and rescue work.
In November of 1945 the "Sentinel Aircraft Company" a private venture purchased the manufacturing rights and remaining L-5 parts from the Stinson Division of Consolidated-Vultee. It is likely that at least a few dozen were eventually assembled from the stock of surplus factory parts and some of these may have been purchased by the Navy. The number of aircraft built by The Sentinel Aircraft Company is unknown and they apparently went out of business prior to 1950.
The L-5E on display was manufactured in 1947. It is painted in United States Marine Corps. OY-1 colors. It on loan to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum by: Russell Madden of Aubrey Texas.
|ENGINE||Lycoming O-435-1 185 h.p.|
|WING SPAN||34 feet, 0 inches|
|LENGTH||24 feet, 1 inches|
|HEIGHT||7 feet, 11 inches|
|MAX TAKEOFF WEIGHT||2,150 pounds|
|MANUFACTURED BY||Stinson division of Consolidated Vultee|
|TOTAL BUILT||More Than 3,896|
|L-5E ON DISPLAY BUILT||1947|
|MAXIMUM SPEED||130 m.p.h.|
|SERVICE CEILING||15,800 feet|