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Ryan PT-20

Ryan PT-20
Click on the Ryan PT-20 photo to hear the wav sound.


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one pilot + student
Kinner R-540-1
160 h.p.
1,315 lbs.
1,860 lbs.
32 ft. 5 in.
30 ft. 1 in.
131 mph
1,100 fpm
350 miles
15,000 feet

Prior to their acquisition of the Ryan PT-20 the United States Army Air Corps only used biplanes as primary training aircraft.

In 1939 the U.S. Army was seeking a new primary trainer. When they tested the Ryan STA it was found to meet all of their requirements. As a result Ryan received an initial order for thirty aircraft. Eventually over 1,000 were delivered to the U.S.A.A.C.

Eventually the in-line aircraft engine was replaced with a more powerful, distinctive sounding five cylinder radial. The fuselage was made more round and strengthened to accommodate the new engine.

Other changes involved removal of the landing gear strut covers and wheel covers which resulted in an exposed landing gear. The main gear was strengthened and its track made wider. All control surfaces received aerodynamic upgrades for improved handling.

Another variant had interchangeable landing gear and floats. The cockpit was widened. Some aircraft had provisions to be fitted with machine guns.

Ryan PT-20 aircraft and their variants were exported throughout the world. During World War II, in addition to being used as primary trainers, a number of the aircraft saw action doing artillery spotting and reconnaissance.  Aircraft equipped with machine guns were used for light attack by the Chinese.

Some 1,273 Ryan PT-20 aircraft of all types were produced. Today a number continue to fly in the United States, Great Britain, and Australia.

Ryan PT-20
Ryan PT-20

Nitro Planes has a rc Ryan PT-20 ARF for sale.  Its wingspan is 64 1/2" and length is 46 1/2"  You will need from a .40 to .46 two stroke or a .52 to .70 four stroke engine up front.  Weight, ready to fly, is around 6 1/2 lbs.  It is shown in the picture immediately above.

Pictured immediately below is the Ryan PT-20 from AMD.  It has a wingspan of 82" and a length of 60".  Recommended engines are .60 to .92 two stroke and 1.20 four stroke.  Weight is around 12 lbs.  It appears that AMD is out of business, however you may occasionally find their rc Ryan PT-20 for sale on eBay.

Kit Cutters has a Ryan PT-20 from Nexus plans.  It has a wingspan of 45".

Kit Cutters sells a 60" Ryan PT-20 from Morgan/Novack plans.

The next largest kit from Kit Cutters is for a rc Ryan PT-20 from Dick Katz plans.  Its wingspan is 80" and length is 60".  From .90 to 1.20 engines are required for power.

Kit Cutters has a giant scale Ryan PT-20 kit.  The wingspan is 90" and weight is about 18 lbs.  It uses 30 to 45 cc gas or 1.5 to 2.1 glow engines. The kit is made from Jerry Bates plans.

The next picture below is of the Ryan PT-20 ARF from ESM. Its wingspan is 64 1/2" and length is 46 1/2". The fuselage is fiberglass and wings are built up balsa. It takes .40 to .46 two stroke or .52 to .70 four stroke engines.

Pictured third is the Ryan PT-20 built from E. Di Mezza plans. Wingspan is 46" and power comes from a O.S. 46LA engine.

The bottom picture is of the Ryan PT-20 (STA) ARF from Kyosho. It is made from balsa and plywood. Wingspan is 62" and length is 44". You will need a 800W motor for power.

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Ryan PT-20
Ryan PT-20 from AMD.

Ryan PT-20
Ryan PT-20 from ESM.

Ryan PT-20
Ryan PT-20 built from E. Di Mezza plans.

Ryan PT-20
Ryan PT-20 (STA) from Kyosho.