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Stits SA-1 Junior

stits-jnr


Ray Stits built his first small plane in 1948, the Junior. The incentive to build “Junior”, the monoplane, came from a discussion about the world’s smallest airplane. Someone mentioned Steve Wittman’s little racer with a 13’ span and Ray Stits queried whether or not he could fly something with a 10’10” wingspan. One of the participants in that conversation said it wouldn’t be possible and that was all it took. Ray started building. He’d actually been thinking about it for a long time and proceeded with a 40hp engine from an Aeronca. That got changed to a 65 hp Continental. The plane was a handful and after the third crash on the fifth test flight, Ray shortened the wings to 8’10” and attached tip gates to generate more lift and better aileron control. He found a new pilot, Bob Starr, a former P-51 pilot. In 1950, Junior was a big hit in airshows. He began thinking about a larger sport plane that would be easy to build and fly, but he got side-tracked with another design: his quest to create the world’s smallest biplane.

 

 Stits-SA1-02
SA1A Junior                                         Courtesy Don Stits

 

Junior wound up on a scrap heap after an off airport landing.

 

Engine: 65 hp
Wingspan: 8 ft 10 in
Length: 11 ft 4 in
Empty weight: 393 lb

 

 

 


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