Vultee L-1A Vigilant

Vultee L-1A Vigilant


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Vultee L-1A Vigilant

The L-1 liaison aircraft, originally designated O-49, was the miltary version of the civilian Stinson Model 74. It marked the transition between heavier and larger used by the Air Corps in the 1930s and the lighter liaison "grasshopper" type aircraft represented by the L-series during WW II. Between 1939 and 1941, the Army Air Corps ordered 142 L-1s and 182 L-1As with a 13-inch longer fuselage. Equipped with full-span automatic slats on the leading edge of the wings and pilot-operated slotted flaps on the trailing edge, Vigilants were well suited for operations from short fields.

Due to its versatility, the Vigilant was used for a variety of missions both in the U.S. and overseas during WW II, including towing training gliders, artillery spotting, liaison duty, emergency rescue, transporting supplies, special espionage missions behind Japanese lines and even for dropping light bombs. Some Vigilants were converted as ambulance aircraft, sometimes fitted with skis or with floats for water take-offs and landings.

SPECIFICATIONS
Span: 50 ft. 11 in.
Length: 34 ft. 3 in.
Height: 9 ft. 10 in.
Weight: 3,385 lbs.
Armament: None
Engine: Lycoming R-680 of 295 hp.
Cost: $21,000

PERFORMANCE
Maximum speed: 122 mph.
Cruising speed: 109 mph.
Range: 280 miles
Service Ceiling: 18,000 ft.

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Written & Edited by Darrell Graves

1998 dgraves549@aol.com


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