Text, photos, and website
Copyright Nick Pfannenstiel (303) 725-5439
are back from AirVenture and what an experience it was! We took multiple
deposits and had an overwhelming response from our fan base. Thank you so
much to all who came to show support for the project. We look forward to
providing each of you with the best value we can cram into a kit!
It's structurally complete! Well, aside from the wingtip leading edges, but
close enough to celebrate with an update. The rest of the pre-bent leading edge
was simply wrapped by hand. It took a piece of wood and help from an employee to
get it started, but it was smooth sailing once a few clecos were in.
that we're on to the systems and the remainder of the covering, I'm hoping the
pace picks up a bit. We're scheduled to be flying in late April/early
As it is, the plane weighs 376 lbs, including the controls, fuel
tank, seat belts, upholstery, instruments, etc. This is putting us on track to
meet the weight goal of 745 lbs empty.
For those who haven't seen, we've
also gone through some numbers to fine-tune the gross weight. After a few
adjustments, the gros weight for sport pilots will be 1260 lbs and the gross
weight for private pilots will be up to 1320 lbs. The 1260 sport pilot
gross is based on stall speed requirements. This number is subject to
change after the test flights.
What a crazy few weeks it has been. Iíve gotten the ELT installed, drilled
holes for various antennas (hidden as well as possible), built and installed the
lower rudder hinge V, got all controls hooked up and adjusted, and installed the
brake cylinders and rear pedals. A lot of small stuff got done, but two things
really stand out for this update: the nose bowl buck and the new
Yes, you read that right. A new tailwheel. During Oshkosh
2018, there was a lot of talk about tailwheels. As a response, we changed the
tailwheel to a more modern steerable-castoring unit. This unit offers easier
maintenance and replacement, but more importantly, it is what people know.
Listening to our customer base is our #1 priority as we finalize the kit for
manufacturing this coming summer.
Now letís get to this nosebowl buck.
While our plane will accept the Rotax 912 engines, we are designing it
specifically for the direct drive D-Motor LF-39 of 125 horsepower. Modern engine
choices were a huge driving force in deciding on 95% scale for the replica. You
can read more about that on our FAQ page. The original Ryan ST has a narrow
cowling to house its rare-as-henís-teeth Menasco engine. This presents a
challenge, as most modern engines are horizontally-opposed.
Enter our CAD
Consultant, Glenn Gordon. Glenn, a master at his craft, was tasked with stuffing
the D-Motor LF-39 into a cowl that was originally meant for an Inline-4. After
countless hours of work and with the help of a CAD model from D-Motor, Glenn was
able to fine-tune the cowl for a perfect fit, fooling the eye where required to
maintain an authentic Ryan ST look.
The result of his work is shown here
in the CNC cut nose-bowl buck. I added a few hand-cut parts for locating the
inlet holes. This form is currently at the metal shop to see what they can do
with it. Weíll have updates on that in a future post.