After several weeks of some of our smaller artifacts, I thought I would dive into one of our aircraft.
The Stinson L-13 or "L-Bird" as the staff calls it, is one of the largest fixed-winged aircraft in our collection at a little over 40 feet. It is also one of the rarest aircraft in our collection being one of 7 left in the entire world of the 302 ever made. Stinson began producing the aircraft while under Consolidation Vultee in 1945. The aircraft was mainly used for liaison, observation, and air ambulance because of its short take-offs and landings.
The aircraft is equipped with "Slots". "Slots" are typically
fixed pieces, that allow for a slot of
space between the "Slot" and the wing. Some "Slots" are adjustable but are not to be confused with "Slats" that can be deployed while flying and serve the same purpose as the "Slots". The purpose of Slots and Slats is to provide maximum lift to the aircraft. Now that we are past that vocabulary lesson we can chat about the foldable wings. The wings of the Stinson L-13 are able to fold flat against the fuselage, making it the same width as a military jeep. This made for easy transportation and storage. You will notice that our aircraft's horizontal stabilizers are typically folded up so it can save just a little space in our military hangar.
Go to https://planesoffame.org/aircraft/plane-L-13A to see this type of aircraft completely folded.
The L-13 fell out of popularity with the rise of the helicopter. By the end of the Korean War the aircraft had been completely phased out but it became very popular with bush pilots, for its short take-off and landing capabilities.