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Thread: Ryan ST Light Sport Nick Pfannenstiel Brighton, Colorado

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    Registered User 32fordboy's Avatar
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    Ryan ST Light Sport Nick Pfannenstiel Brighton, Colorado

    LSA Ryan ST replica, 95% scale

    Thanks for checking out my 95% scale Light Sport Ryan ST replica update thread!

    About 8 years ago, I set out to design a light sport Ryan ST replica. It wasn’t an easy road of learning and researching. This project is going slow, but at least I’m starting to see some kind of progress.

    Some of the desired goals for the airplane are:

    700lbs empty weight
    Stall of no more than 45kts
    70-100 horsepower
    Simple build with only one part requiring heat treatment
    Low build time, all things considered
    Low build cost with automotive or aero engines
    Blueprints must be made for future versions
    And, of course, it must look like a real Ryan ST, aside from maybe minor details. Even though I’m a stickler for absolute realism, I must work within the design parameters.

    Even though it looks like a Ryan ST, no part is the same. I do have blueprints for the real one, but a full size replica would have cost twice as much and is considerably more complex. Complexity adds time, which is something I don’t have a lot of. It is amazing how complex the original Ryan ST is to manufacture. Every time I look at those plans, I am so impressed with what Ryan was able to do back in 1934!

    As it sits, a lot of fabrication has been done. The tail has been riveted together, and nearly all of the weldments have been finished. Cutting and deburring things by hand has taken a very long time, but I am buying a production grade CNC router that can’t get here soon enough. There’s no way I want to cut a bunch of wing ribs by hand! So anyway, there is still a whole lot to do.

    So far, the hardest part has been designing parts for ease of fabrication/ease of maintenance. Design a part, build it, scrap it, re-draw it, rebuild it, scrap it, and on to part #3. As they say, the third time’s the charm.

    I hope you enjoy the updates as much as I have enjoyed re-designing this plane to fit the Light Sport category. Hopefully everything goes well from here on out! If anyone would like to PM me opinions or questions, feel free, as I am always learning and open to new ideas.

    The photos below show some of the completed and nearly completed weldments, my brother in the mockup cockpit (he's also the TIG guy on this project), and the nearly finished fuselage tail cone.

    Stay tuned for periodic updates.

    Thanks!

    Nick Pfannenstiel,
    Long-time forum member/lurker
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    Last edited by 32fordboy; February 13th, 2017 at 04:41 PM.

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    Registered User 32fordboy's Avatar
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    Re: Ryan ST Light Sport Nick Pfannenstiel Brighton, Colorado

    A few more photos before getting into a more current "log" format.

    One photo shows the first horizontal stabilizer and elevator made. It is overly strong (unnecessarily heavy) and I'm not happy with it, so it will be rebuilt. Note it looks almost identical to a real ST stabilizer, but has been redesigned for this lighter-weight plane.

    Another photo shows the fuselage jig I made. The jig made quick business of hanging and skinning the tail section. Notice the top of the lower skin is not yet flanged. A 10 foot brake was later used to flange the skins as required.

    And the last photo shows the lower rear tail stringers, which serve as an anchor point for the tail wheel shock.

    Nick
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    Registered User 32fordboy's Avatar
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    Re: Ryan ST Light Sport Nick Pfannenstiel Brighton, Colorado

    Well, we got an unexpected surprise today when the freight guy decided to drop off the CNC kit without warning. Needless to say, most of today was clearing out space to build the CNC and trying to manage the hot rod business. Notice here the test bulkheads and other wasted parts made. These parts won't be used. They were just lessons in manufacturing. We went through 3 tail wheel housings, 2 sets of gear treadles, 3 steel bulkheads, and way too many aluminum bulkheads. The flange style on these bulkheads do not reflect the final flange style chosen. We ended up going with flutes and doubled-up bulkheads just like the real ST (thinner material for easier forming). Costly lessons, indeed.

    Nick
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    Re: Ryan ST Light Sport Nick Pfannenstiel Brighton, Colorado

    But, at least something got done today. Torqued the tail wheel bolt, finished making the upper shock mounts, and installed the shock springs. These shocks are not like the original ST. Instead, I opted for a simple spring/rebound spring setup with nylon pucks on either side of the main spring. A little grease and nearly zero maintenance.

    Nick
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    Re: Ryan ST Light Sport Nick Pfannenstiel Brighton, Colorado

    I got a little bit done today on Bulkhead #3 Lower. This lower bulkhead is way different from the original ST, for the sake of manufacturing simplicity. The original ST had a steel tube structure that needed to be heat treated. This is fine and all, but it makes fitment of the stub parts a bit more technical and the steel tube version is way more difficult to jig up.

    The rear stub spar on this little replica was changed to a cantilever spar style, which helped control the loads in a more efficient manner. Because the wings are wire braced, the only substantial vertical load on this rear spar is due to the brace wires pulling the rear landing gear leg upwards. That load is a fair bit smaller than a bending load on a cantilever Piper wing or something similar. In addition, there is a compression load from the wires pulling the rear spar inward.

    The rear stub spars will (hopefully) be done this weekend, aside from maybe priming and final riveting. Notice the unfinished steel wing spar attachments that are on the outboard portion of the spar and the heavy steel reinforcements on the inside portion of the spar. The holes are all undersized right now and will be opened to the correct size once everything is fitted.

    Nick
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    Last edited by 32fordboy; February 17th, 2017 at 08:36 PM.

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    Re: Ryan ST Light Sport Nick Pfannenstiel Brighton, Colorado

    There hasn't been a whole lot of time the last few days, but a little got done today. All the holes are ready for match-drilling to the correct size and the stub spar's web has been cut. The upper and lower web will have flanges bent into it, hence the excess material above and below the caps. The web stiffeners will be added as soon as the needed material arrives. This whole unit, as-is, weighs 12.75lbs. The green stuff is masking tape to prevent marring the web.

    Nick
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    Re: Ryan ST Light Sport Nick Pfannenstiel Brighton, Colorado

    The last couple of days have been semi-frustrating. Remember the rear wing stub spar from a post above? Add that to the scrap pile. A new design that is easier to manufacture (but very, very similar) is in the works.

    But, at least one assembly got bolted up. This is the landing gear vee, shock fork, and treadle all bolted up. I'll switch out a few bolts to the appropriate size once they get here in a couple of days, but getting this thing together today gave a sense that something might actually be getting done. The rebound spring bolt is too long, but the correct-length bolt can't be ordered until the landing gear shock height is checked with the weight of the airplane on it. The stance has to be perfect, as that is a critical part of the Ryan ST look.

    On to the next one!

    Nick
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    Re: Ryan ST Light Sport Nick Pfannenstiel Brighton, Colorado

    It has been a little while since the last update. Well, the rear stub was slightly redesigned, built, and scrapped yet again. The design itself was fine. However, it was difficult and time consuming to build.

    Because I want to offer kits, things need to be easy and cost effective in the long run, regardless of how many times I have to redo things in the short run. So, the rear stub spar has been redesigned once more. It is now a cross between the original ST design and my webbed design. It should be very easy to build now and the weight is almost identical to the last designs. Sometimes, when looking at pages and pages of your own drawings, doing modifications and crunching numbers as you go, it is really easy to overlook a simple design in favor of a more complex one. This simple design is the one I should have started with. Apparently my eyes had glazed over when I designed the first two rear stub spars.

    As a side note, the CNC kit is really nice! As soon as I get some money I'll order the rest of the router kit. The router table is pictured here, along with what little work was done to Bulkhead 2 (drilling holes).

    Since I have been asked some questions regarding the future of the Ryan ST replica, I decided to start a website and facebook page.

    According to the forum rules, it seems I am allowed to place my website in this thread once or twice, but if I am wrong, please let me know. I will gladly take the link down if it is not allowed. Thanks!

    Nick

    www.timbertigeraircraft.com
    https://www.facebook.com/timbertigeraircraft/
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    Last edited by 32fordboy; March 7th, 2017 at 03:10 PM.
    http://www.timbertigeraircraft.com
    95% scale light sport Ryan ST replica

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    Registered User 32fordboy's Avatar
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    Re: Ryan ST Light Sport Nick Pfannenstiel Brighton, Colorado

    It's been a crazy couple of weeks! We are moving slowly on the rear spar stub, trying hard to make sure this third variation is the final variation. It is now all steel and weighs roughly the same as the aluminum stub spar. Being steel, we can manufacture it faster and be a bit less worried about a builder scratching it. The aluminum spar, while efficient enough for large companies such as Vans, really isn't the best option for my little shop. Note the rear stub spar in the attached photo is nowhere near done.

    Also, we are finishing up some work on the main bulkhead, BH2. Once it is finished, it'll be sent out of state for heat treating. I've heard horror stories about heat treating, but the shop's referral came from another shop here in Colorado who said they didn't have the capacity to do the bulkhead. So, here is to hoping the bulkhead comes back from the heat treating shop in its original shape.

    Who is going to AirVenture 2017? We'll be there with the fuselage on its gear in the Innovation Center. Come say hi!

    Nick
    Timber Tiger Aircraft, Inc.
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    http://www.timbertigeraircraft.com
    95% scale light sport Ryan ST replica

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