Ryan ST3KR          N56081                     (c/n  1926)


                                           With the rapid expansion of the United States Army Air Corps in 1939 and 1940, a big market
                                           for trainers opened up.  Claude Ryan had sold a more or less standard STA which became the
                                           YPT-16.  However, it turned out that the Menasco engine fitted didn't hold up too well under the
                                           harsh handling that fledgling pilots gave it, and hence it was decided to beef up the power plant by
                                           replacing it with the rugged Kinner B-54 engine.   Stripped of niceties like the wheel spats (pants
                                           in the U.S. of A.), rudder fairing and spinners it amounted to a new design and hence the ST3
                                           series was born.   Unfortunately it turned the sleek looking Menasco ST into something of an ugly
                                           duckling.  Nevertheless, some 500 ST3KRs (ex-military PT-22s) were released to the civilian market
                                           after WW II and the above example was photographed at Compton Airport in the Los Angeles area
                                           in 1960.   Nowadays it appears almost mandatory to paint these ex-military machines in either authentic
                                           or imagined 'warbird' regalia as per the aircraft (below) photographed some thirty years later at Santa
                                           Paula, California. 

                                       Ryan ST3KR              N78J                       (c/n   1682)