13:20 PM

Silvered Wings: Kinner 'Sportster B'

Kinner “Sportster B”, NC14201

  • Capacity: 2
  • Length: 24 feet 2 inches
  • Maximum speed: 112 mph
  • Cruise speed: 98 mph
  • Range: 440 miles
  • Service ceiling: 15,000 feet

Built in 1934 by the Kinner Airplane & Motor Corp. in Glendale, California, the “Sportster B” offered several improvements over the earlier “K” model. Among other niceties, performance was boosted with a bigger 125-horsepower Kinner B5 engine. Launching the Sportster B during the Great Depression was risky, but customers for the sleek, tandem-seat monoplane slowly grew over 1934-35.

Easy to fly and with particularly good manners, the Sportster B earned a reputation as a very pleasant airplane to fly. The fuselage was built up of welded chromoly steel tubing, faired out to an oval shape with wood formers and covered with fabric. Likewise, the fabric-covered wings were laid over spruce spars and plywood ribs with sheet metal reinforcing the leading edge.

Civil Air Patrol flew NC14201 as an independent courier during World War II. Now registered out of Florida, this 89-year-old is still flying and turning heads.

Maj. Ron Finger is a freelance illustrator and member of the Minnesota Wing’s Crow Wing Composite Squadron. He is an Air Force Art Program artist, where a select pool of artists are assigned “art missions” to document specific U.S. Air Force operations. 

Among his duties as Civil Air Patrol’s national artist, Finger researches and creates art that portrays our historical emergency service. A personal goal is to complete paintings documenting every aircraft type CAP has flown. 

This is the eighth painting in Finger's second series of depictions of vintage CAP aircraft. More of Finger’s CAP artwork can be seen at redpine.net.

Silvered Wings No. 1 – Fleetwings Sea Bird F-401
Silvered Wings No. 2  Curtiss-Wright 15-D Sedan
Silvered Wings No. 3  Rearwin Sportster 7000
Silvered Wings No. 4 - Cessna U-3B “Blue Canoe”
Silvered Wings No.  5 - Aeronca C-3 (1932)
Silvered Wings No. 6 - Rearwin Sportster 900-L
Silvered Wings No. 7 - Travel Air C-4000