1931 Stinson JR(S)
Donated By: Jack Lowe
The 1931 Stinson JR (S) NC-12165, S/N 8074 is probably the most well known, visible and most flown airplane in the APM's collection of aircraft. Not many of our members know little of the history behind the JR (S) and how the APM acquired it.
This particular airplane was manufactured on September 11, 1931 and purchased by Charles O'Conner of Springfield, Massachusetts in May of 1932. Mr. O'Conner was to own, operate and maintain NC-12165 until 1964 when the Stinson was purchased for the APM through the generosity of founder and president of the APM, Jack Lowe, for the sum of $3,500.00.
During the time Mr. O'Conner owned the airplane it was based in Springfield, Mass., Schenectady, N.Y., Albany, N.Y., and Hartford, Conn. When purchased for the APM, NC-12165 had a total time of 2458 hours and was on its fourth engine, still an R-680 Lycoming of 215 h.p. This is the old style Lycoming with the open rockers that allows you to see if all the valves are working, as a result it tends to be messy because it constantly spits grease. The engine now on NC-12165 is S/N 672 and was installed in 1945.
The airplane was used by Mr. O'Conner in the operation of his FBO as well as his surplus business and it is unusual that the aircraft was not stored or drafted during WWII but continued to be flown throughout the War. Mr. O'Conner told Bob Taylor during the sale and pick-up at Hartford, Connecticut that NC-12165 was involved in a secret cargo flight on July 9-11, 1944 to haul components for the atomic bomb from Schenectady, N.Y. to Knoxville, Tenn. for the General Electric Company. A log entry dated July 9-11, 1944 indicates the hauling of cargo for General Electric from Schenectady, N.Y. to Knoxville, Tennessee so maybe it is quite possible that these claims are true. No one has ever complained of radiation sickness after riding In NC-12165.