• Review: Just Flight - Stinson L-5

    Stinson L5 Sentinel

    Publisher: Just Flight

    Review Author:
    Nigel Porter

    Suggested Price:
    $24.95

    Buy Here

    I can remember my late father telling me that a real aeroplane always has a wheel at the back! This certainly held true in the main until the last world war, but I think the real meaning of this phrase intimated that it took a real pilot to fly a tail dragger whereas anyone could fly an aircraft with a nose wheel. There is no doubt that the technique used to get a taildragger on and off the ground is substantially different, and much more involving, than that of a modern tricycle undercarriage aircraft

    Just Flight Stinson L5 Sentinel

    The Stinson L5 along with the L1 (its predecessor) were the only American liaison aircraft of World War II that were purpose-built for military use, and had no civilian counterpart. All other military liaison airplanes adopted during World War II were lightly modified "off-the-shelf" civilian models. It was designed from the outset to be a light observation aircraft, but as a result of its phenomenal performance, due in short to its hugely powerful 6 cylinder engine, gave it the ability to get in and out of very small strips. It was subsequently modified to serve various different country requirements and thus earned the name "flying jeep". Some 3500 aircraft were built in a three year period, most of which were unarmed, although some enterprising souls did attach bazookas to them with apparently some modicum of success in the latter part of World War 2.

    This L5 has been produced by Aeroplane Heaven, a company well known for producing reasonable quality aircraft, and it is available through the auspices of Just Flight.

    Installation

    The installation is straight forward; having paid for the aircraft one downloads the files and receives an activation code and invoice via email. Upon unzipping, the download asks for the location of the sim that you wish to install to and which version, i.e. FSX or P3D. Once the location is given, the installation is rapid and trouble free.

    Just Flight Stinson L5     Just Flight Stinson L5

    There is a reasonably comprehensive manual supplied in .pdf form which is a must read - not only so as to get some history of this aircraft, but also to learn the finer points of how to operate it. It is quite thorough, with the important omission that there is no mention of stall speeds at various weights and flap/aileron configurations. There is also no mention of a VNE or service ceiling - a surprising omission.

    Exterior

    The L5 is supplied with seven different color schemes, representing their different theaters of action: the USAF, US Marines, US Coast Guard, the Royal Air Force South East Asia Command, and the Swiss Air Force. All of these have been faithfully reproduced in good detail, and feature weathering. The RAF version benefits from muddy wheels and splatters on the fuselage, a nice touch. There is also a button attached to the battery (between the legs of the pilot) which when activated removes the left hand engine cowling, giving a view of the well detailed engine. Another feature are the animated doors and drop down plexiglass windows.

    Interior

    The interior has been well detailed, including the abundance of plexiglass which gives a great all round view, a necessity for an observation aircraft such as this. There has been a small concession for modern pilots with the addition of navigational and ADF radio receivers on the inside of the right wing, next to ones head (another nice touch).

    Just Flight Stinson L5     Just Flight Stinson L5

    The electrical panel can be found on the inside of the left wing at head level and contains switches for navigational and panel lights, main battery and generator, along with two concession switches, one which provides a dark and cold set up, and the other which provides tie downs and covers. Other nice details are the operational flap lever with its communicating cables, and the fire extinguisher behind the front seat, which when activated might put out an engine fire. There is also a handle on the head frame which droops the ailerons to supplement the lift of the flaps. Basic yes, but functionality was the name of the game when this aircraft was built - if it didn't serve a purpose it was not destined to stay onboard.


    2 Comments
    1. jamminjames's Avatar
      jamminjames -
      One of the best out there right now. Looks and flies great. Lots of details. A must have for the low and slow crowd!
    1. TomCharles's Avatar
      TomCharles -
      Purchased form Just Flight. Great little aircraft I needed for Orbx Papua, PagoPago etc - low and slow VFR.
      Running P3D v4.2...nVidea 1060 Gb MSX GPU..etc. AS16 and ASCA, Rex Textures for water, Traffic 360, Fly Tampa EHAM. All sliders set to max. Every other aircraft add-on works great.

      After take off, using - key to zoom out - everything disappears except the two pilots and the metal lower frame!

      Contacted Just Flight with screen shots. They will look into it but gave full refund....a pity.
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