Stinson L-5 Sentinel

The L-5 was the military version of the commercial Stinson 105 Voyager. Six Voyagers were purchased by the AAF in 1941. Under the nomenclature YO‑54, these aircraft were used for testing. Quantity orders for the slightly larger and heavier Sentinel began in 1942, first as the O‑62 before the designation was changed to "L" for liaison in April 1942. Between 1942 and 1945, the AAF ordered 3,590 L‑5 aircraft.

The Stinson L-5 was the only purpose-built L-bird and the second most widely used liaison aircraft in WWII. It was rugged and powerful. The L‑5 was unarmed and designed with short field takeoff and landing (STOL) capability.

The L-5 served in every possible role from artillery spotting, supplying soldiers behind enemy lines, performing courier service, and serving a medical evacuation role. It was used for reconnaissance, removing litter patients from front line areas, delivering supplies to isolated units, laying communications wire, spotting enemy targets for attack aircraft, transporting personnel, rescuing Allied personnel in remote areas, and even as a light bomber. In Asia and the Pacific, L‑5 remained in service with USAF units as late as 1955.

The Alamo Liaison Squadron's L-5 Sentinel was built in an ambulance configuration and is capable of accommodating a medevac litter in the rear hatch. Demonstration flights of the L‑5 performing a battlefield pick-up are given at the squadron's annual fly-in event at Cannon Field.



Wingspan: 34 ft. 0 in.
Length: 24 ft. 1 in.
Height: 7 ft. 11 in.
Empty weight:
Max. takeoff weight: 2,050 lbs.
Wing area: 169
Armament: None
Engine: Lycoming O-435-1 of 190 hp
Fuel: 36 gallons gasoline
Crew: Two (pilot and passenger / litter patient)
Cost: $10,000



Max. speed: 130 mph
Cruise speed: 90–100 mph
Stall speed: 38 knots (42 mph)
Range: 360 miles
Rate of climb: 900 ft./min. @ sea level
Service Ceiling: 15,800 ft.
Wing loading: 7.45 lbs./sq.ft.
Piper L-4 Grasshopper


Read the Sport Aviation article.


Historic L-5 Sentinel in flying condition. Photo by Paul Bigelow at Cannon Field.


See also the Stinson L-5 “Sentinel” at the National Museum of the US Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB OH (near Dayton).

Photo courtesy of National Museum of the US Air Force.

Photo courtesy of Museum of Aviation Foundation.

Photo courtesy of National Air and Space Museum.

Watch the Stinson L-5 fly at Cannon Field.

Watch the Stinson L-5 take off from Cannon Field.
Watch the Stinson L-5 land at Cannon Field.


Alamo Liaison SquadronAmerica's Fighting Planes In Action (L-5).
Book Exceprts, 1943, 6 pages.
For the convenience of a PDF download of this article, we ask for a dollar or more donation to ALS using the PayPal link below. Please specify America's Fighting Planes L-5 PDF file.

Alamo Liaison SquadronStinson "firsts..." before, during, and after.
A magazine clipping, Flying, March 1945, 2 pages.
For the convenience of a PDF download of this article, we ask for a dollar or more donation to ALS using the PayPal link below. Please specify Stinson Firsts PDF file.


If you would like to support the activities of Alamo Liaison Squadron, we encourage you to do so using the PayPal link below:

Donate with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!


Copyright © Alamo Liaison Squadron.