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Two New Airplanes From Timber Tiger

Retro designs complement company’s Ryan replica

Robbie Culver

EAA

July, 2023 — Timber Tiger Aircraft of Montrose, Colorado, best known as the designer and supplier of the Ryan ST-L replica kit, announced two new aircraft at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023. A reintroduced “early bird Jenny” replica and a retro-looking classic called the Kay’s Speedster.

Company owner Nick Pfannenstiel said the rereleased early-bird Jenny now has kits open for sale and is not in a prototype phase, with kits ready to ship in three months. The airplane has been flying since it was originally designed in 1985, with numerous examples flying, and the design was recently purchased by Timber Tiger.

Pfannenstiel told AirVenture Today that he took the kit, upgraded the hardware, and increased the fuselage size for larger people, giving it a more advanced level of finish. Engines for the early-bird Jenny have historically been Suzuki or Honda conversions, with at least one example sporting a Franklin two-cylinder. Also available as firewall-forward options are the Rotax 582 and Rotax 912. Pfannenstiel emphasized he is supporting all of them, and he will help anyone working with an engine he has faith in.

Now that Timber Tiger is the sole kit manufacturer, support for generation one or generation two early-bird Jenny kits is also supplied by Timber Tiger.

Also released is the new clean-sheet design Kay’s Speedster, which Pfannenstiel emphasized is not a replica. Named for his wife Kayla, the design features a two-seat side-by-side cockpit “with vintage flair.” Pfannenstiel said the goal was to build a lot of imagination around the airplane so customers can see what they want — like a Gee Bee Model R Super Sportster or a Travel Air Type R Mystery Ship, but redesigned for modern requirements.

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The aircraft features folding adaptable wings, with a wingspan of about 25 feet. The windshield folds forward for easy entry into a spacious cabin, and Pfannenstiel is planning on adding a removable hard top in the future.

Also available are adjustable rudder pedals and a BRS option. (The updated early-bird Jenny also allows for a BRS option.) A huge baggage compartment is also part of the design, which was developed after listening for years to “what people wished was in the ST-L.”

Pfannenstiel spent years refining the shape of Kay’s Speedster and said the design goes “back to the imagination.” Pfannenstiel added he is “not just selling an airplane, but is selling an emotion or a feeling.” He wanted a little more speed from this design so the engine is in the 160-to-180-hp range, intended to be a Verner Scarlett 9S with 158 hp — other options include a Lycoming O-320 or O-360. The Kay’s Speedster is still in development — Timber Tiger started cutting metal for the prototype in mid-May 2023, and is hoping to have it flying by spring 2024.

Pfannenstiel and his wife are trying to grow a family around their products. They are not just selling kits to customers but bringing together builders — their ultimate goal is that builders travel and go to events together. Describing homebuilders as “dreamers and doers,” it is easy to envision squadrons of early-bird Jennys or Speedsters drawing a crowd at local fly-ins. Timber Tiger is in Booth 628 across from Van’s aircraft. Learn more at TimberTigerAircraft.com.

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