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
||One Lycoming R-680-9 radial engine