Stinson UC-81

(Stinson AT-19/SR-10)

All re-coded V-77 postwar

Wartimecolour photograph of FAA Reliant FK887 of Belfast Station Flight 1944
The Stinson Reliant (Stinson SR-10 Reliant "Gullwing") was a four-to-five seat commercial monoplane which was the brainchild of E.A. "Eddie" Stinson, and was designed for private operators and small charter companies. It was the the last model produced by his company before it was bought out in the late 1930s. It was regarded as a strikingly handsome airplane - with its distinctive gull wing - and was known for its ease in handling and its ability to carry four to five people in comfort. An excellent aircraft, the Reliant could recover from a stall and return to level flight "hands off". These features along with state of the art navigation and communication radios, made it popular with executive charter services as well as with the more sophisticated, wealthy buyer. The Reliant was also used in 1939 to test a unique airmail service for communities that did not have landing fields. Mail was loaded into a container which was then placed on top of a contraption resembling a goal post. As the pilot guided the airplane down, the flight officer held a grappling hook to snag the container. Mail destined for the community was then dropped from the plane onto the airfield.

The Stinson AT-19s Reliant ( Stinson Reliant SR) was built by the Americans for the British during WWII. This type represents the end of the famous Stinson Gullwing design that includes four different models dating back to 1936. The Stinson Reliant was also produced in improved models, SR-1 through SR-6 which, though still called Reliant, had a different wing design from the SR. Development culminated in the classic SR-9F "Gull Wing", many of which flew in Canada.

The military version , the AT-19 (UC-91 in RN), served with the USAAF and US Navy pre-war. Although commercial production ceased on America's entry into World War II, 500 Reliants were built during 1942-1943 in a modified and more powerful form for use by the Royal Navy.

During the post-war era, the Stinson AT-19 Reliant was repatriated by the United States and put on the commercial market. Because the war-surplus Gullwings were so inexpensive, US$1,500 each, commercial air carriers in Alaska bought sizable quantities for their feeder-line routes. The Stinson AT-19 was a rugged aircraft powered by reliable and readily available Lycoming R680, 300 HP radial engines. This made the aircraft a good candidate for bush operations where short gravel runways were the norm. In addition to Alaska Airlines, the Stinson AT-19 types were used by Northern Consolidated Airlines, Wien Airlines and Munz Northern Airlines in Nome. It wsas also recoignised as being a type of airplane suited to Canadian bush operations, however only one was imported before World War II. A second Reliant entered Canada in 1953. This airplane was not retired until 1973.

The Fleet Air Arm Stinson Reliant I was the Royal Navy equivalent of the AT-19. In total the FAA received 500 lend-lease aircraft which were used as an advanced trainer, and all were the military version. The first to be delivered was FB544 to theStation Flight Henstridge in June 1944. This was closerly followed by the fierst squadron being equipped with the Reliant, 759 squadron in August 1944.

About 415 aircraft were returned to Norfolk, VA, USA in February 1946. After the war the US authorities attempted to sell the former Fleet Air Arm Reliants as "war surplus",  but no one could buy them because the AT-19 had never been certified as a Civilian Aircraft. Vultee bought them all up and certified them as the V-77. This was Vultee's 77th design. As a result all of the wartime Reliants are known as V77's instead of SR-10s. Vultee had to "remanufacture" them to comply with the type certificate. This consisted of removing the military equipment, painting over the British roundels, painting on a US "N" civil number and selling them. All the V77's show a manufacture date in 1946 and the factory started new logs, so the military logs are not associated with the individual airplanes.

Fleet Air Arm history
        Stinson Reliant
        Total FAA 1939-1945:        500
        First delivered to RN:          1944
        First squadron 1939-1945:    759 sqdn 1944
        Operational squadron:          None
        Last served with RN            postwar up until 1946. All returned to USA

250 Stinson AT-19 Reliant I under Contract No. DA1072-10
Serial Numbers: FB523-FB772. Ex USAAF 43-43964-44213

First 6.44 Station Flight Henstridge (FB544)
First sqdn 759 sqdn at Yeovilton 8.44-4.45
Last 415 aircraft returned to Norfolk, VA USA in Feb 1946.

250 Stinson AT-19 Reliant I under Contract No. DA-1072
Serial Numbers: FK814-FL163. Ex USAAF 43-43964-44213

First 5.1943 752 sqdn at Piarco (FK814)

Aircraft Type:
Stinson Reliant I (UC-81) 
"Stinson SR-10 Reliant "Gullwing" 
Mk I
Primary Role:
Advanced Trainer/Communications
First Flight: 
Date operating with FAA squadrons:
Stinson Aircraft Corporation, United States 
One 290hp Lycoming R-680-13 engine
 Wing Span: Length: Height: Wing Area: 
Wingspan 12.77m 
Wing Area 24 sq m 
Length 8.5m 
Height 2.59m
Empty Weight: Max.Weight:
Empty Weight  1276kg 
Maximum Take Off Weight  1816kg
Speed 226 k/ph
Service Ceiling 4270m
Battle honours:
None with FAA
Additional references and notes:
Technical details
Battle Honours and Operational History
None with the Fleet Air Arm

Surviving aircraft and relics

With over 400 former Fleet Air Arm aircraft returned to the USA after the war as reverse Lend-Lease, many Reliants have survived around the world, and may be as many as 120 RN survivors. However, little research has been undertaken and only a few of the aircraft have confirmed RN history including at least 3-4 former Fleet Air Arm Stinsons. See the World Stinson Database Page.

Known surviving former Fleet Air Arm Reliants include:

The known former FAA Stinson is FB536 which was recorded as being delivered from Anthorn to SF Zeals on 15 June 1945. It later became OO-NUT then SE-BZP and was for sale in Norway in 1995.

Former Fleet Air Arm Reliant N-70010 airworthy till 1991 under restoration by Air Restoration Inc (USA).

Fleet Air Arm Reliant AT19 FK882 preserved at the War Eagles Air Museum (USA)

War Eagles Air Museum RELIANT: The Museumís "AT-19 Reliant" served with the British Fleet Air Arm under the Lend-Lease programme. It was used for navigator, observation, training, communications, and covert operations in  northern Europe. The aircraft also saw service in Ceylon, Trinidad, Australia, China, and India by the end of WWII.

Another former Fleet Air Arm Stinson, N-70010  has been under restoration for display status by Air Restoration Inc, Museum and Aircraft Restoration Facility on consignment from "MARC".  Aircraft was flown to Air Heritage in 1991 as part of agreement with Mr. Tallichet. To look at the airplane it seemed to be in pristine condition. But after inspection panels were removed for maintenance it was discoverd that corrosion was in fact taking control of the airplane. It was then decided to do a total tear down of the aircraft. As with many tail draggers left outside unattended the corrosion was the worst in the rear areas of the wing and tail. Also the wood working in the floor and other areas such as forming stringers was not in the best of shape. Also during its life since leaving the Royal Navy, the cabin area had been changed to a more accepted civil version. It was decided to return the cabin area to as close as when it served including reinstalling the camera and mount. Micro-film from the Smithsonian provided the information. Work has been slow over the last seven years but the aircraft is very close to going back together.

Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre: Preserved Stinson Reliant CF-BGN

Reliant N-21135 Preserved Virginia (USA)

Associations and reunions
Stinson Reliant, Model V77  Personal website about the Reliant with details of fate of former British aircraft after the end of Lend-Lease and their re-numbering as V77s.
World Wide Web site of the International Stinson Club World Wide Web site of the International Stinson Club including Tech section, links, events, technical corner, downloads, stinson resources, aviation links, scrapbook, national news, flight planning, membership roster, stinson shop and Forum.
International Stinson Club FORUM Larry Westin founded the Stinson Forum on his Stinson Pages web site, offering the opportunity to ask specific technical questions concerning Stinson aircraft. These questions are distributed to a panel of "Stinson Gurus". One or more of them usually comes up with an answer and some of the answers are pretty darn good. 
WAE Message Board and the Stinson Reliant AT-19  
AT-19 (V-77) Stinson Reliant (Gullwing)
Stinson Factory Scenes from 1935/1938 These Stinson factory pictures were taken while Konnie was visiting the Stinson Factory in
Michigan in 1935 (?). He was the Stinson Dealer for Western Canada
Early Airmail Airplanes by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum The Reliant as an airmail airplane
World Stinson Database Page by John Baker (Alternate site) The World Stinson Database was created and is maintained by John Baker of Damascus, Maryland, who is the owner of Stinson 108-3 NC6197M. The World Stinson Database is an extrememly valuable tool for all those interested in Stinsons. Please take a look! You will information about Stinsons located in 15 countries, with details of some 3,400 Stinsons aircraft. The database provides ownership and other information on about 3,410 Stinson's registered in 15 countries; Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Iceland, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom and the United States. 
Sturtivant, R. & Burrow, M (1995) 'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to 1945'  Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1995 ISBN: 085130 232 7 
Created 3-4-1999, Modified 3-4-2000


Return to Home Page


This page is published by Fleet Air Arm Archive and is updated regularly.
© 2000-2001 All rights reserved for all information created for or on behalf of the Fleet Air Arm Archive
Contact email: