L-13 Grasshopper
Note the windows in the roof giving excellent field of vision
Role Observation and Utility Aircraft
Manufacturer Stinson Aircraft Company
First flight 1945
Introduction 1947
Primary users United States Air Force
United States Army
Number built 302

The Stinson L-13 (sometimes known as the Grasshopper, like other aircraft of its type) was a US military utility aircraft first flown in 1945.


The aircraft design was developed at Stinson in response to a request from the United States Army Air Force for a light observation/liaison aircraft. At that time Stinson was a subsidiary of Consolidated-Vultee. The first two prototypes were constructed at the Stinson facility in Michigan.[1] In 1948 the Convair board were restructuring their various units, and negotiated to sell the Stinson subsidiary to Piper Aircraft. The L-13 project was specifically not included in the assets of the sale, however, and Convair continued its production in-house; ultimately building 300 units as the Convair L-13.

It was a conventional high-wing tailwheel monoplane used for observation, liaison, and air ambulance duties, which typically require low landing speeds and short landing rolls. It was fitted with a large "greenhouse" to enhance its observation role.

Following their military service and resale into the private market, some units were converted for civil bush flying use, fitting a radial engine by Acme Aircraft Company as the Centaur, while others underwent similar conversions by Caribbean Traders Inc, as the Husky.[2]


Prototype aircraft, powered by 245 hp (183 kW) Franklin O-425-6 engine. Two built.[3]
Production aircraft, powered by 250 hp (187 kW) O-425-9 engine. 300 built.[3]
Conversion of L-13A for cold weather operation, capable of operating from wheels, skis or floats. 28 converted.[4][5]
Acme Centaur 101
Conversion of L-13 as six-seat bush aircraft. Powered by 300 hp (224 kW) Lycoming R-680-E3.[2]
Acme Centaur 102
Similar to Acme Centaur 101, with a 300hp Jacobs R-755-A2 radial.[2]
L-13A converted to Caribbean Traders Husky III standard with a 450 h.p. Wright R-975 engine
Caribbean Traders Husky I
Civil conversion of L-13A. Retained O-425 engine.[2][6]
Caribbean Traders Husky II
Civil conversion of L-13A. Powered by 300 hp R-680-13 engine on modified engine mount capable of swinging out for easy maintenance.[2][6]
Caribbean Traders Husky III
Similar to Husky II, but powered by 450 hp (338 kW) Wright R-975-7 radial engine.[2][6]
Servicair Loadmaster
Reconstruction of L-13A with 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 radial engine and rearranged four-seat cabin.[7]


 United States

Surviving aircraft


United States

Specifications (L-13A)

3-view line drawing of the Stinson L-13A
3-view line drawing of the Stinson L-13A

Data from General Dynamics Aircraft and their Predecessors [22]

General characteristics


See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era



  1. ^ Jason McDowell (29 November 2022). "History's Unique Aircraft: The large, slow-moving shadow of the Convair L-13". Flying/Daily Newsletter. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Wegg 1990, pp. 180-181.
  3. ^ a b Wegg 1990, p.180.
  4. ^ Harding 1990, p.92.
  5. ^ Swanborough and Bowers 1963, p.489.
  6. ^ a b c Flight 9 September 1955, p. 466.
  7. ^ Taylor 1961, p. 316.
  8. ^ Harding 1990, pp. 91-92.
  9. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Convair L-13, s/n 47-0406 USAF, c/n 286, c/r N4236K". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  10. ^ "Aircraft". Arkansas Air and Military Museum. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  11. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Convair L-13A, s/n 47-0275 USAAF, c/r N275LG". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  12. ^ "Aircraft on Loan (by Location)" (PDF). National Museum of the United States Air Force. April 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  13. ^ Baugher, Joe (30 June 2021). "1946-1948 USAAF-USAF Serial Numbers". Joe Baugher's Home Page. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  14. ^ "L-13". War Eagles Air Museum. Archived from the original on 19 May 2022. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  15. ^ "FAA Registry [N316LG]". Federal Aviation Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  16. ^ "Stinson L-13 Grasshopper". Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  17. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Convair L-13, s/n 47-0355 USAF, c/r N2536B". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  18. ^ "Stinson L-13A 'Grasshopper'". Planes of Fame Air Museum. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  19. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Convair L-13A, s/n 47-0394 USAAF". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  20. ^ "L-13 Grasshopper". Heritage Flight Museum. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  21. ^ "FAA Registry [N7412]". Federal Aviation Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  22. ^ Wegg 1990, p.182.