The Stinson L-5B Sentinel is a three-seat single engine high wing light
aircraft used by the military as air observation post, aerial ambulance,
and in other roles. The Sinson L-5 Sentinel, also known as the "Flying Jeep", was basicaly the military
version of the Stinson 105 Voyager. Development of the Stinson 105 Voyager started in the late 1930's.
Stinson Aircraft designed the Model 105 (also designated HW-75) and the type certificate was
issued on 20 May 1939. A total of 277 airframes of the (1939) Model 105
(HW-75) with a 75 hp Continental A-75-3 engine and 260 airframes of the
(1940) Model 105 (HW-80) powered by a 80 hp Continental A-80-6 engine
were built. The next development of the 105 was the Model 10 Voyager,
with wider cabin, many detail changes and a 80 hp Continental A-80
engine. In 1941, six airframes of this Model 10 equipped with a 80
hp Lycoming O-170-1 four-cylinder engine were tested by the
U.S. Army under the designation YO-54. Testing was successful as the
U.S. Army signed a contract for 1,731 airframes, first designated the
Stinson O-62. The O-62 was equipped with a 185 hp Lycoming O-435-1 six-cylinder engine.
In April 1942, the designation "O" for Observation was changed to "L" for Liaison and the Stinson
O-62 became the Stinson L-5 Sentinel. Stinson delivered more than 3,590 of the L-5 Sentinel between 1942 and
1945 under a variety of designations: the L-5A was a modified
L-5 with an improved electrical system; the L-5B had a deeper fuselage
to carry a stretcher; the L-5C was equipped with a reconnaissance
camera; the L-5E had improved control surfaces; and the L-5G had a more
powerful engine. The early models of the L-5 can be recognized by the slender aft fuselage section and rear window.
About 1800 airframes of this model were built. The L-5B and up models feature a deeper rear fuselage.
These models were built from 1943-1945. The Stinson L-5 variants served during World War II not only with
the U.S.Army Air Corps but also with the U.S. Navy (as OY-1 and OY-2) and the British Royal Air Force.
The production of the Stinson L-5 was closed down after the war end in 1945.
In the late 1930's, when development of the Model 105 started, Stinson Aircraft was actual
the Stinson Aircraft Division of the Aviation Manufacturing Corporation. In 1940,
the Aviation Manufacturing Corporation sold the Stinson Aircraft Division to Vultee Aircraft Inc..
On 17 March 1943, Vultee Aircraft Inc. merged with Consolidated Aircraft Corporation:
the new company name was Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation.
Stinson L-5B Sentinel N57797
was built by the Stinson Aircraft Division of Vultee Inc. in 1943. The
airframe received the c/n 76-489. The construction of the airframe
indicates the designation of the model as HW-76, the basic Stinson L-5.
The airframe started its carier with the U.S. Army Air Corps as
42-98248. After being withdrawn from military service, the aircraft
entered the civil registered as N57797. In the period 1992-2001,
Stinson N57797 was operated by R.Heuer, Blommingdale, IL. In 2001, the
aircraft was transferred to C.Raucci, Medinah, Il. On 3 March 2005, K.A.Doornbos
reserved registration PH-SEN for the airframe in the Dutch Civil aircraft register, on 22 March 2005, followed by an
application for Certificat of Registration with c/n 16-489, but the reservation was not taken up. The reservation for registration
PH-SEN was cancelled on 21 March 2007. On 19 April 2005, Stinson N57797 was registered with Egmond Aircraft, and the aircraft was
delivered at Hoogeveen airfield in the Netherlands. On 14 May 2009, K.A.Doornbos, Eelde, again reserved registration PH-SEN for the Stinson L-5B c/n 76-489.
On 24 August 2009, registration N57797 was cancelled and on 1 September 2009, the Stinson was registered PH-SEN in the Netherlands with K.A.Doornbos,
Eelde. On 12 October 2009, registration PH-SEN was cancelled as exported to the USA and the aircraft was restored as N57797.
Sentinel N57797 is operated by Classic Independent Aviators - 391 Squadron and based at Hoogeveen airfield. The
aircraft is painted in the U.S.A.A.C. colours and coded 298248 / C-6C.
On 4 June 2019, the aircraft was badly damaged when the hangar at Hoogeveen Airport in which it was located collapsed due to a severe storm
and parts of the hangar ended up on the aircraft. On 16 March 2020, after more than half a year of restoration work, Stinson L-5B Sentinel N57797
took off for a test flight for the first time after the restoration.