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Artifact Friday: The Stinson S Junior

Happy Friday! We are posting today about one of the prettiest aircraft in our collection, Stinson S Junior!

Stinson Aircraft Company was founded in 1920 by Eddie Stinson and his sister Katharine Stinson.

While it is unclear as to when it happened, both children lived in Arkansas for a time before their flying careers launched.

Edward Stinson learned to fly at the Wright School in Dayton, Ohio, later becoming a World War One flight instructor at Kelly Field. His sister Katharine trained under one of the first female aviators to receive lessons from the Wright brothers.

They both combined their love of aviation and began an aircraft company called Stinson Aircraft Company in 1920. This company not only built regular aircraft for business and small commercial use, but they also designed, built, and flew their very own designs.

This aircraft was called the Stinson Detroiter SB-1 (Stinson Biplane model one).

It made its maiden voyage in 1926. The Stinson Detroiter SB-1 was a modern wonder for its time as it sported a closed cockpit, upholstered seats, heat, and even an electric cigar lighter.

As 1926 ended, Stinson began focusing on monoplanes. In 1928, Stinson began producing the Junior series. The Juniors were monoplanes bought and used by wealthy individuals and small commercial lines. In 1929 before the stock market crash, Stinson created the SM-8 Juniors, and in 1930, the SM-8A aircraft or Stinson S Juniors.

These latter Juniors saved the Stinson company from bankruptcy as the simple, yet tasteful design of the aircraft (both outside and inside) made it both economical to produce and desirable to own by prominent individuals.

This little plane can go 100 miles per hour, climb 685 feet per minute, and cost $4,995 out of the factory.

It had four seats a pilot, a copilot, two passengers, and an additional storage compartment behind the passenger seats.

It was advanced for its day and paved the way for future monoplane designs.

The Stinson S Junior in our collection was manufactured in 1931 and restored by a local Arkansan, Jim Younkin.

Fun fact, it was a Stinson S Junior that flew in Tyson Foods' first shipment of chicks to Drake Field.

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