Fantasy of Flight’s Stinson L-1 Flew Today!

The L-1 in flight today over Central Florida (Image Credit: Paul Stecewycz)
The L-1 in flight today over Central Florida  (Image Credit: Paul Stecewycz)
The L-1 in flight today over Central Florida
(Image Credit: Paul Stecewycz)

After a very long restoration project and recent FAA sign off, a Stinson L-1 Vigilant owned by Kermit Weeks’ Fantasy of Flight Museum of Polk City, Florida took the sky today for the first in years. Other than some minor teething issues that one would expect with any first flight, the plane performed admirably and spent 25 minutes in aloft. Once landed the necessary adjustments were made, and there are plans to fly her again tomorrow.

Mr. Weeks himself commented on his Facebook page: “Only flew for about 25 minutes due to a couple of issues, mainly needing to tweak up the oil pressure as the oil temp came into range. Not a big issue on a new OH engine. The main problem was that the throttle quadrant has no friction lock and the prop control kept creeping back at a rather brisk rate. I eventually stuck my left knee behind it so I could focus in other things. Did a very brief hook up for pics with the Storch before deciding to land. Everything that’s important has been tweaked so we’ll be back flying in the morning! Congratulations to Paul for all his years of hard work in creating his latest piece of art!”

The L-1 during a low pass at Fantasy of Flight today (Image Credit: Paul Stecewycz)
The L-1 during a low pass at Fantasy of Flight today
(Image Credit: Paul Stecewycz)

In 1940 Vultee acquired the Stinson Aircraft Company and developed the O-49 Observation braced high wing monoplane.  In 1942 the US Army Air Corp changed the “O” Observation designation, replacing it with the new “L” Liaison category with the Stinson being the first first to receive such treatment, thus becoming the L-1. Most L-1s went to the UK under the Lend Lease program and hence tend to be a rare bird in civilian guise. Adding to the rarity, extensive production of the L-1 was curtailed in favor of the lighter-weight “Grasshopper” types being producted by Piper, Aeronca and Taylorcraft. This particular aircraft is one of the few that remained in the US and had the USAAC serial of 40-3102.

S-211 Victory Aviation

5 Comments

  1. Does that airplane have leading edge slats? Also that it will fly very slow like around 20 mph? I think my dad said they would slow fly them irun strong winds and see who could fly backward down the ru

    • Hey Scott,

      The Stinson did employ leading edge slats and is capable of stable flight at just 31MPH.

      I’ve heard those stories about these plane flying “Backwards” in a strong headwind before too, and it’s completely believable under the right conditions.

      Thanks for Reading!
      Roger

  2. The L-1 looks fantastic !! I spotted (and photographed) a L-1 at the Orange County Airport (Santa Ana, CA) in 1958. Registration N63230. Is it the same aircraft ??

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Fantasy of Flight Stinson L-1 flies again » World Warbird News
  2. Premier vol du Stinson L-1 Vigilant du Fantasy of Flight Museum » L'Echarpe Blanche

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