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
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.
Long-time forum member/lurker