Stinson Aircraft Company

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Stinson Aircraft Company
Founded1920; 101 years ago (1920)
FoundersEddie Stinson
Defunct1948 (1948)
United States of America
Key people
William A. Mara
A 1928-built Stinson SM-2 Junior at Lakeland, Florida, in April 2007
Stinson SM-6000B Airliner trimotor of 1931 airworthy at the Weeks Museum, Polk City, Florida in April 2007
1939 Stinson HW-75 (also called the 105). The production run totalled 535 aircraft (275 in 1939 and 260 in 1940).

The Stinson Aircraft Company was an aircraft manufacturing company in the United States between the 1920s and the 1950s.


The Stinson Aircraft Company was founded in Dayton, Ohio, in 1920 by aviator Edward “Eddie” Stinson, the brother of aviator Katherine Stinson. After five years of business ventures, Stinson made Detroit, Michigan the focus of his future flying endeavors. Stinson found Detroit's business community receptive to his plans. A group of local businessmen — the Detroit Board of Commerce's Aviation Committee — supported Stinson's plans to establish the Stinson Aircraft Syndicate in 1925 at a site southwest of Detroit, where today's Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is located, and provided $25,000 to develop a new monoplane; the SM-1 Detroiter made its first flight on January 25, 1926, and became an overnight success that enabled Stinson to quickly assemble $150,000 in public capital to incorporate the Stinson Aircraft Corporation on May 4, 1926. Always an aviator at heart, Eddie Stinson was still flying as a stunt pilot, earning $100,000 a year for his efforts — a huge sum in those days. Stinson Aircraft Corporation sold 10 SM-1 Detroiters in 1926. Business was steadily increasing, and Stinson delivered 121 aircraft in 1929.

Automobile mogul Errett Lobban (E.L.) Cord acquired 60 percent of Stinson's stock in September 1929, and his Cord Corporation provided additional investment capital to permit Stinson to sell its aircraft at a competitive price while still pursuing new designs. At the height of the Depression in 1930, Stinson offered six aircraft models, ranging from the four-seat Junior to the Stinson 6000 trimotor airliner.

Eddie Stinson did not live to enjoy the success of his company. He died in an air crash in Chicago, Illinois on January 26, 1932, while on a sales trip. At the time of his death at age 38, Stinson had acquired more than 16,000 hours of flight time — more than any other pilot at the time.

The Stinson name did not last much past the end of World War II. Eddie Stinson's death accelerated the assimilation of Stinson Aircraft Corporation into larger corporate entities: first by Cord Corporation, then by Aviation Corporation (AVCO), and later by Consolidated Vultee.[1] In 1948, the Stinson company was sold to the Piper Aircraft Corporation,[2] which continued to produce 108s for a limited time. Piper transformed an original Stinson design (the "Twin Stinson") into the successful Piper Apache, the world's first general aviation all-metal twin-engined modern aircraft.


Stinson Model O
Model name First flight Number built Type
Stinson SB-1 Detroiter 26 Single engine cabin biplane
Stinson SM-1 1926 71+ Single engine cabin monoplane
Stinson SM-2 1928 ~27 Single engine cabin monoplane
Stinson SM-3 1 Single engine cabin monoplane
Stinson SM-4 1 Single engine cabin monoplane
Stinson SM-5 1 Single engine cabin monoplane
Stinson SM-6 12 Single engine cabin monoplane
Stinson SM-7 16 Single engine cabin monoplane
Stinson SM-8 ~300 Single engine cabin monoplane
Stinson SM-9 1 Twin engine monoplane flying boat
Stinson SM-6000 Airliner 53 + 24 Trimotor monoplane airliner
Stinson Model W 5 Single engine cabin monoplane
Stinson Model R 1931 39 Single engine cabin monoplane
Stinson Model O 1933 9 Single engine open cockpit monoplane
Stinson SR 1933 1,327 Single engine cabin monoplane
Stinson Model A 1934 31 Trimotor monoplane airliner
Stinson 105 Voyager 1939 1,052 Single engine cabin monoplane
Stinson Model 74 1940 324 Single engine liaison monoplane
Stinson V-76 Sentinel 1941 3,896+ Single engine liaison monoplane
Stinson 108 1944 5,260 Single engine cabin monoplane
Stinson L-13 1945 2[a] Single engine liaison monoplane


  1. ^ Only two aircraft were built by Vultee-Stinson, the remaining 300 were built by Convair after Stinson was sold.


  1. ^ Flying Magazine: 78. August 1945. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Stinson Aircraft Co. Sold to Piper Co". Intelligencer Journal. AP. p. 14. Retrieved 11 March 2020.


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