The Stinson L-5 Sentinel was a World War II era liaison aircraft used by many air forces. The origins of the L-5, affectionately known as the "Flying Jeep", can be traced to the pre-war civilian Stinson HW-75. The 75 horsepower civilian high-wing design was built by the Stinson Aircraft Company at Wayne, Michigan and first flew in 1939. It featured two seats up front side-by-side, and a third "jumpseat" in the rear in which a small passenger could sit sideways. The design was easy to fly, and it was difficult to stall or spin. Shortly after the introduction of the HW-75, Stinson became a subsidiary of the Vultee Aircraft corporation. Under Vultee management, the HW-75 was equipped with an 80-horsepower four-cylinder engine for the 1940 model year and the HW-75 became known as the Model 105 "Voyager", touting its 105 mph cruise speed. Re-equipped with a four-cylinder 90 hp Franklin engine for the 1941 model year, the type became known as the Model 10A. In the post-war era, the fuselage of the Model 10A was enlarged accommodate four seats, and the four-cylinder powerplant was replaced with a Franklin 150 hp six-cylinder engine. This conversion became the Stinson Model 108 Voyager and the only civilian airplane commercially produced by Stinson after WWII. Along with the Stinson L-1 Vigilant, the L-5 was the only other American liaison aircraft of WWII that was purpose-built for military use and had no civilian counterpart. All other military liaison airplanes adopted during World War II were lightly modified "off-the-shelf" civilian models.
Stinson L-5B SKHV (Royal Netherlands Air Force / Koninklijke Luchtmacht scheme)
Construction Number (C/N): 3401
Lycoming O-435-A engine.
This aircraft orginates from the year 1944 and was delivered with serial 44-17113. It was shipped during the Second World War to England for the RAF and later became the plane used by the Dutch Royal Highness Prince Bernhard. On April 1947 the plane was registered in Holland as PH-PBB and used until 1956 by the Prince. It flew also in Belgium but was obtained by the Dutch historical society DDA. It is since 1997 used by the Royal Netherlands Air Force Historical Flight Foundation (SKHV, Stichting Koninklijke Luchtmacht Historische Vlucht), flying from Gilze-Rijen Air Base, Netherlands
Photographed August 2010 by Cees Hendriks (C) Copyright IPMS Nederland