Restoration of a Classic 1949 Stinson 108-3 Voyager!

Working part time for over two years, Tom Sanders, owner of Riverside Airport in Wichita, and his nephew, Bill Sanders, painstakingly and lovingly restored a classic aircraft made by the Stinson Aircraft Company in 1949.

This Flying Station Wagon was completely restored. Besides straightening all the bent parts, the team replaced the vinyl with leather, redid the woodwork/paneling, installed new plexiglass, recovered all fabric, cleaned and overhauled the engine, cleaned and polished the original control panel, reinforced floor panels and repainted the aircraft.

This 1949 Stinson/108-3 is Serial Number 108-4960. It seats 4, Max Gross Weight: Class 1, Avg. Cruise Speed: 0094, Engine is Franklin Model 6A4165 Series, Type: 1, Horsepower:00165, with Fuel gph:001240.

To view a series of photos of Tom’s aircraft, please click here.

The Stinson Aircraft Corporation evolved from the Stinson Aircraft Syndicate formed by Eddie Stinson in 1926. The company produced a number of aircraft including the Detroiter, Junior, Trimotor, Reliant and Vigilant. The Voyager grew out of the 1939 Model 105, a three seater powered by a 75 or 80hp engine. In 1941, the company had become a division of Vultee Aircraft Inc., which became part of Consolidated Vultee, and the Model 10 Voyager was introduced. The Model 10-A featured a wider cabin, along with changes to the interior and equipment, and was powered by a 90hp Franklin 4AC-199-E3 engine. About 750 of these aircraft were produced, along with a few 75hp Lycoming GO-145-E3 powered Model 10-B. Six aircraft powered by 80hp Continental O-170-1 engines were supplied to the USAAF for evaluation as the YO-54. Accepted for service, this became the hugely successful L-5 Sentinal.

At the end of WWII in August of 1945, the Model 108 was rolled out with an eye to the potential civilian market. This was a four seat aircraft with cleaner lines than the earlier model, and incorporated a number of improvements derived from the manufacturers military experience. The initial model was the Voyager 125 powered by a 125hp Avco Lycoming engine. This was followed by the 108-1 Voyager 150 with a Franklin 6A4-150-B31 powerplant. A utility version was also produced, known as the “Station Wagon” which could be fitted with floats or skies. The 108-2 featured the 6A4-150-B3. The 108-3 Voyager 165 had the more powerful 165hp 6A4-165-B3, a larger vertical tail and increased fuel tankage.

The Stinson Company had produced more than 5,000 Voyager by mid-1948, when the civil light aircraft market slumped as the US Air Force disposed of its surplus stock. In November of that year, the Stinson Division was sold to Piper, who continued to market the aircraft. However, production was cancelled the following year.

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