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American WWII's aircraft


Stinson L-1 Vigilant

The L-1 liaison aircraft, originally designated O-49, was the miltary version of the civilian Stinson Model 74. It marked the transition between heavier and larger observation aircraft used by the Air Corps in the 1930s and the lighter liaison "grasshopper" type aircraft represented by the L-series during WW II. Between 1939 and 1941, the Army Air Corps ordered 142 L-1s and 182 L-1As with a 13-inch longer fuselage. Equipped with full-span automatic slats on the leading edge of the wings and pilot-operated slotted flaps on the trailing edge, Vigilants were well suited for operations from short fields.
Due to its versatility, the Vigilant was used for a variety of missions both in the U.S. and overseas during WW II, including towing training gliders, artillery spotting, liaison duty, emergency rescue, transporting supplies, special espionage missions behind Japanese lines and even for dropping light bombs. Some Vigilants were converted as ambulance aircraft, sometimes fitted with skis or with floats for water take-offs and landings.
General characteristics L-1
Primary function Liaison
Power plant One Lycoming R-680-9 radial engine
Thrust 295 HP 220 kW
Speed max. 122 mph 196 km/h
Speed cruising 109 mph 175 km/h
Ceiling 12,800 ft 3,900 m
Range 280 miles 450 km
Armament None
Crew Two
Cost $21,000

Jirka Wagner


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