1938 Stinson SR-10G Reliant
The Reliant at the Virginia Air Museum was originally owned by American Airlines and was powered by a 300-hp Lycoming radial engine and is painted in an American Airlines early paint scheme.
The Reliant was a ruggedly built airplane made mostly of welded chrome-moly steel tubing structures covered with fabric. The fuselage framework was faired to shape with wood formers and fairing strips. The fuselage forward of the doors was covered and faired with a duralumin sheet that included removable engine accessory panels. The single strut-braced, double-tapered wing was built with a girder-type spar with riveted square aluminum tubing ribs attached to the spars with riveted gussets. The leading edge was wrapped with duralumin sheet and the ailerons and slotted vacuum-operated wing flaps were of similar construction. The fabric-covered tail assembly was built of welded steel tubing with aerodynamically-balanced control surfaces and an adjustable horizontal stabilizer.
The aircraft had a nine-cylinder Pratt and Whitney Wasp Junior radial that developed 450 hp for take-off and it was usually equipped with an aluminum two-blade Hamilton Standard constant speed propeller. The wide-tread cantilever landing gear was equipped with low-pressure tires and hydraulically-operated disc brakes.
The SR-10G Reliant came equipped with a full complement of options including: instruments for poor weather flight, 12-volt battery system, electric starter, cabin heater and ventilation system, ash trays, cabin assist straps, shatter-proof glass, roll-down windows, navigation lights, landing lights, and leather upholstery.
Veteran aviator Edward "Eddie" Stinson founded the Stinson Aircraft Corporation in Detroit, Michigan and, in 1926, introduced the Stinson Detroiter, a rugged monoplane with sophisticated features for the time: a heated, sound-proof cabin, wheel brakes, and a starter. In 1928, the Stinson Aircraft Company produced the SM-2 Junior, a three-to four-place high-wing cabin monoplane for corporate and private use. In 1929, Stinson merged with E.L. Cord and the Cord Corporation for more secure financial backing. This merger allowed Stinson to offer its aircraft at lower prices and still develop new designs, the 1931 Model W and the 1932 Model R-2/3 series, the direct forebears of the famous Reliant series. Powered by Lycoming or Wright radial engines in the 200 to 300 hp range, these aircraft combined solid and reliable performance with plush cabin interiors. In 1933, Stinson delivered the SR-1 and SR-2, and with a progression of refinements and engine upgrades, the series continued from the SR-4 to, in 1938, the SR-10. The SR-10s were truly the limousine class of personal transport with fine leather upholstery, walnut-faced instrument panels, and roll-down side windows similar to automobiles.
Eddie Stinson was killed in a plane crash (in a Reliant ) while demonstrating the new model in Chicago. He stalled and crashed into a house from very low altitude. The Stinson Reliant is a very forgiving airplane, but that foible could not be forgiven! The company was sold to Vultee Aircraft Company after his death.
Vultee built 500 Stinson Reliants with some changes, primarily to the fuselage and the cowling, during the war. These were built for the Army Air Corps as AT-19's. Half of them were built in 1942 and half in 1943. All of the AT-19's were lent to Britain on the Lend-Lease Plan during WWII.
They were all ferried to Britain by way of Brazil and the Azores. For the trip they bolted a 55-gallon drum on chocks where the back seat would normally go, with a wobble pump to pump the fuel back up into the fuel tanks in the wings. The AT-19 has a tank in each wing for fuel that holds 30 Imperial Gallons. There is also a 4 Imperial Gallon oil tank. The military manual says the engine should use about 2 quarts of oil per hour. This gives an oil capacity of 10 hours. At economy cruise, it burns 12 Imperial gallons of fuel per hour. That gives a no-reserve range of 5 hours. The 55-gallon drum is 44 Imperial gallons, and gave another 3 hours and 40 minutes range with the ferry tank in place. Cruising speed at that power setting is about 110 knots. That gives a maximum all out ferry range of about 900 nautical miles. It's amazing how many of them made it to Britain, and back again after the war!
After the war, the US government tried to sell the 350 aircraft that returned as "war surplus." They did so, but no one could buy them because the AT-19 had never been certified as a Civilian Aircraft. Vultee bought them all up and certified them as the V-77. This was Vultee's 77th design. As a result all of the wartime Reliants are known as V77's instead of SR somethings. Vultee had to "remanufacture" them to comply with the type certificate. This consisted of removing the military equipment, painting over the British roundels, painting ON an N number and selling them. All the V77's show a manufacture date in 1946 and the factory started new logs, so the military logs are not associated with the individual airplanes. They assigned serial numbers in the order they remanufactured them.
This causes some confusion because the military paperwork also had a serial number that is found stamped on a tab in the fuselage structure. This military number has no discernible connection with the civilian serial number although the numbers are in the same range, from 1 to 500.
|Basic role:||Commercial Transport|
|Height:||8' 5"||2.5 m|
|Wingspan:||43' 3"||13.1 m|
|Wingarea:||235.0 sq ft||21.8 sq m|
|Empty Weight:||2,070 lb||938 kg|
|Gross Weight:||3,155 lb||1,430 kg|
|No. of Engines:||1|
|Cruise Speed:||115 mph||185 km/h||100 kt|
|Max Speed:||130 mph||209 km/h||112 kt|
|Climb:||750 ft/min||228 m/min|
|Ceiling:||14,000 ft||4,267 m|
|Select the thumbnail to see a larger versions of each picture.|