The Stinson SR-JR was built in 1935 as a continuation of the 1928 SR Series. Sold in Colorado in 1935 it came and found a home in Alaska in the 1940’s. It served many years flying in Alaska’s Bush country. This aircraft was flown over most of the lower contiguous states during the depression and WW2. It arrived in Alaska in 1940, in South Central and came to Fairbanks in 1953 when it was purchased by Interior Airways.
N13482 was in the Arctic for several years while it flew in support of the construction of the “DEW-line” and White Alice projects. With the installation of a more powerful Lycoming R-680 engine, it became a workhorse for the Interior and the Arctic. This aircraft has an exceptional history, having been rebuilt several times. This Stinson was built in July 1933 and seats 4 passengers; some of its specifications include: rate of climb 675 ft/min, cruising speed 110 mph and range 450 miles.
The Stinson SR-10 Reliant “Gullwing” was a four-to-five seat commercial monoplane, which was the brainchild of E.A. “Eddie” Stinson, and was designed for private operators and small charter companies. It was the last model produced by his company before it was bought out in the late 1930s. It was known for its ease in handling and its ability to carry four to five people in comfort. An excellent aircraft, the Reliant could recover from a stall and return to level flight “hands off”. These features, along with state of the art navigation and communication radios, made it popular with executive charter services as well as with the more sophisticated, wealthy buyer.
The Reliant was also used in 1939 to test a unique airmail service for communities that did not have landing fields. Mail was loaded into a container, which was then placed on top of a contraption resembling a goal post. As the pilot guided the airplane down, the flight officer held a grappling hook to snag the container. Mail destined for the community was then dropped from the plane onto the airfield.