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Ryan Look-alike Kit More Capable Than Original

By Randy Dufault

July 27, 2018 - Known for its classic looks and clean lines, Ryan’s prewar two-seat, open-cockpit ST-A is a design many pilots crave. The problem is that not very many of them — or their military cousin the PT-22 — remain, and certainly none remain that an average airplane owner could reasonably afford.

Timber Tiger Aircraft is looking to solve that availability problem by creating a kit airplane that shares the Ryan’s looks and lines, but at an affordable price.

The company debuted the kit at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017 and is back this year with more progress and some changes last year’s crowd made clear they wanted to see.

When asked what those changes were, Timber Tiger’s designer Nick Pfannenstiel said, “When I initially designed this, we thought it would be a Sunday flyer type of thing. But a lot of people are saying if you go anywhere around this neck of the woods, you have to have a lot of baggage space. So that’s what drove it: customer feedback.”

The design now contains two separate baggage areas, a small one behind the front seat and another larger space ahead of the front seat and above the fuel tank.

Scaled at 95 percent of the original’s size, a finished kit will weigh 300 pounds less than an original. One concession is that the kit will not be aerobatic, but according to Nick, it will have a higher useful load.

The first example is expected to fly early next year with a 125-hp, six-cylinder, D-Motor powerplant, which is another change from last year’s planned configuration.

Timber Tiger’s is displaying its prototype at Booth 644 in the North Aircraft Display.