The Ryan ST family of aircraft(including the ST, STA,STB,STM,STK and STW)were one of the most popular and successful lines of civilian sport airplanes in history. First introduced by the San Diego company in 1934, the original ST (sport trainer) design was a two place, open cockpit monocoque fuselage aircraft fitted with a 95-hp Menasco B4 inverted inline engine. Only five were built before Ryan introduced its peppier successor, the STA. Fitted with either a 125-hp Menasco C4 or 134-hp Menasco D4 engine, the STA helped the ST line reach its true potential. A total of 66 STA's were manufactured, with an additional 31 STA-Specials that featured a supercharged Menasco C4S Pirate engine for even higher performance.
The STA was loved by pilots for its speed and elegance and attained international acclaim in 1937. Competing against the world's best aerobatic flyers, famed Hollywood stunt pilot Tex Rankin flew his Ryan STA to victory at the 1937 International Aerobatic Championship in St. Louis, Missouri.
The success of the STA led to additional ST variants that featured engines with even higher performance. The military recognized the STA's potential and, in the late 1930's, placed orders for trainer derivatives: the PT-16 and PT-20.
About the Museum's Aircraft
This STA was donated to the Museum by none other than T.Claude Ryan himself, the founder of Ryan Aeronautical Company. Mr. Ryan purchased the aircraft (Serial Number 166) from Aaron Berkowitz of Arizona in April 1979 specifically for the Museum to help rebuild its collection after the devastating fire in 1978. Ryan's estate officially donated the aircraft to the Museum in December 1982 after his death the previous September.
The Ryan STA is now displayed in the Museum's Golden Age of Flight Gallery.
air & space gallery
currently there are no photos in this gallery.