Stinson L-5E Sentinel

Liaison Aircraft like the L-5 filled many of the roles now played by helicopters in the modern military. Casualty evacuation, artillery and close-air support spotting, reconnaissance, delivery of urgent supplies, aerial direction of ground convoys and even the laying of communication wires from the air were all roles which the L-5 fulfilled regularly.

The Stinson L-5 Sentinel was the only purpose-built liaison aircraft which the US Military used during WWII. Other liaison types, like the L-4, were actually modified versions of “off-the-shelf” civilian aircraft. The L-5 earned the nickname “Flying Jeep” because of the numerous variety of tasks it could perform, the nickname referencing the ubiquitous nature of the ground-bound GPW “Jeep” utility vehicle.

One of 3,590 examples manufactured between December 1942 and September 1945, the Museum’s L-5E features the redesigned rear fuselage which allowed for more complex air-ambulance and cargo transport operations. Featuring a wider and deeper profile, as well as a fold-down fuselage door, the aircraft could accommodate a litter patient or up to 250 lbs of cargo.

Did You know?

During the Battle of Okinawa, L-5s operated from an LST (Landing Ship, Tank) using the Brodie landing system which allowed a light aircraft to take off and land without a flat surface. The aircraft, with a specially designed hook mounted atop its wing, could ‘land’ aboard the ship by snagging a wire hung between two booms on the vessel.


  • Number Built:  3,896 total Sentinels (750 of the E variant)
  • Year Produced:  1944
  • Serial Number:   44-17588
  • Crew: (2) Pilot, Passenger or patient on a litter
  • Current Pilots:


  • Length:  24 ft. 1 in.
  • Wingspan:  34 ft. 
  • Empty Weight:  1,500 lbs.
  • Loaded Weight:  2,050 lbs.
  • Engine: 1x Lycoming O-435-1 six-cylinder, air-cooled horizontally opposed piston engine
  • Engine Power:  185 hp


  • Cruising Speed:  105 mph
  • Max Speed:  130 mph 
  • Range:  375 miles
  • Ceiling: 15,800 ft.
  • Rate of Climb:  900 ft./min. initial


  • N/A – unarmed

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