Airworthy Elegance #1

One of the great things about flying in AZ is the number of airworthy classics in the area. I had noticed this lovely not-so-little airplane in the pattern at KFFZ the prior weekend. As a student and I pulled into the runup pad for runway 4L at Chandler, there it was waiting to leave on 4-left behind a spotless Waco:


Stinson Reliant SR-x Holding Short

Stinson Reliant SR-x Holding Short

That’s a Stinson Reliant, built from the early 1930s up through early WWII. This is a gull-wing variation, which I think makes it an SR-7 through 10 model. Could not tell which engine it has, possibly a big Lycoming radial, or an R-985. This one looks to be immaculately restored in stunning red with black/yellow trim.

It looks like a wonderful X/C traveling machine oozing with class; a signpost of an age only 30 years removed from the Wright Brothers, while our nation was still innocent, young, and, despite a depression, still optimistic about the future.

(Please excuse the prop artifacts on the school 172 we were flying…I was watching my student’s checklist execution, while making absolutely sure we had no brake creep during the mag check).

That type is definitely on my bucket list for stick time, along with the C-195 and B-18…


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