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Stinson SB-1 Detroiter

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Title: Stinson SB-1 Detroiter  
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Subject: Stinson Aircraft Company
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Stinson SB-1 Detroiter

Role Utility monoplane
National origin United States
Manufacturer Stinson Aircraft Syndicate
Stinson Aircraft Company
First flight 25 January 1926
Number built 100+
Variants Stinson Junior

The Stinson Detroiter was a six-seat cabin monoplane for passengers or freight designed and built by the Stinson Aircraft Syndicate, later the Stinson Aircraft Corporation.


The first design from the Detroit based Stinson Aircraft Syndicate was the Stinson SB-1 Detroiter a four-seat cabin biplane which had novel features such as cabin heating, individual wheel brakes and electric starter for the nose-mounted 220 hp (164 kW) Wright J-5 Whirlwind engine. The Harley Davidson brakes were demonstrated on a snowy maiden flight requiring wheel chains to be added to prevent skidding.[1] This aircraft was soon developed into the six-seat Stinson SM-1D Detroiter a braced high-wing monoplane version which made its first flight on 25 January 1926.[2] The aircraft was soon a success and it enabled Stinson to get $150,000 in public capital to incorporate the Stinson Aircraft Corporation on 4 May 1926.[2]

Seventy-five of the Wright J-5 powered versions were built followed by 30 Wright J-6 powered aircraft. From 1928, SM-1 aircraft were used on scheduled services by Paul Braniff's Braniff Air Lines and by Northwest Airways.[3]

In 1930 a SM-1FS with a crew of three reached Bermuda from New York City, the first time a flight had been made to the islands. Getting there the aircraft had to land twice, once because of darkness and later after running out of fuel. With a wing strut damaged, it was shipped back to New York.[4]

In 1928 Stinson developed the smaller SM-2 Junior model to appeal to private owners.


SB-1 Detroiter
Original biplane version with a 220hp (164kW) Wright J-5 Whirlwind engine. 26 units built. Protoype sold to Horace Elgin Dodge, first production model sold to John Duval Dodge of Dodgeson.[5]
High-wing monoplane version with a 220hp (164kW) Wright J-5 Whirlwind engine.
As SM-1D with detailed improvements.
As SM-1D with minor improvements
As SM-1D with detailed improvements.
Freighter variant with two-seats and cargo-carrying interior, one built.
Freighter variant with two-seats and cargo-carrying interior, one built.
Variant from 1929 with a 300hp (224kW) Wright J-6 engine.
SM-1Ds modified with a 300hp (224kW) Wright J-6 engine.
Floatplane variant of the SM-1F.
A larger capacity six-seat variant with a 450hp (336kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp C1 radial engine, two were built followed by eight more with eight-seat interiors.


 United States

Specifications (SM-1F)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Capacity: 6 passengers
  • Length: 32 ft 0 in ( m)
  • Wingspan: 46 ft 8 in (14.22 m)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wright J-6, 300 hp (224 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 132 mph (212 km/h)

See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
  • Paramount Cabinaire



External links

  • [1]
  • A contemporary article on the prototype for the Stinson Detroiter SB-1 biplane. (This prototype had some differences from the production version.)
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