Ranger Ryan History The Ranger Ryan was the Brainchild of John Gokchoff. John took the basic PT-22 airframe and modified it with three STC's to transform it into a larger version of the Ryan STA.
The transformed aircraft uses: • Ranger engine • Wheel fairings • STA style landing gear • Thicker fuselage skins (for strength and to allow for countersunk rivets)
THE PROJECT We started out with the purchase of one previously modified and unfinished aircraft. in researching this aircraft and locating parts, two more previously converted aircraft became available. Since there were only five originally done by John, we began to feel like the caretakers for the breed.
Later the STC's were acquired and two more aircraft found their way to us. At this point the project had significant momentum. Since the learning curve on projects like this is quite steep and we would spent quite a bit of energy getting the first ship done, we decided that we should convert a few more aircraft to the Ranger Ryan configuration.
Because the PT-22 is a historically significant aircraft, we elected to start with damaged aircraft that were not economically feasible to rebuild as PT-22's. Since the conversion required reskinning of the aircraft and replacement of the FWF, the condition of these airframes was ideal without destroying aircraft of historical value.
As we disassembled the aircraft and inspected the various parts, we decided that 70 odd years of flying, rebuilding, patching and scabs were no longer going to be good enough. Many of the structural parts such as motor mount longerons, lower longerons and bulkheads were either bent, drilled beyond repair or otherwise compromised, and were replaced. Hydro form tooling was made and the parts rebuilt as equal or better than the original. Additionally, since the ice box rivets used on the main structural bulkhead are no longer available, modern E rivets had to be specially ordered to insure the integrity of this member.
Many of the parts we have remanufactured are available to PT-22 rebuilders. They are not inexpensive, however they do make a better part.
current progress We are currently working on rebuilding the fuselages in accordance with the STC conversion. New skins have been made, rolled and are being trimmed for assembly. Castings and control components are being stripped and refinished. Longerons and bulkheads are new manufacture or rebuilt, cleaned and refinished. The new skins are thicker than the original and will feature countersunk rivets.
Wings are being disassembled and new spars made. All the wing parts will be striped, cleaned, primed and reassembled with new hardware and cables. New leading edges will be made and the wings recovered in Stitts Poly Fiber process.
Firewall forward parts are being tooled up. Cowl Mount rings and side skins are being formed for all six aircraft plus spares. Motor mount tooling is being verified and when confirmed will be transferred to a CAD program and parts cut and welded for new mounts. Parts are being acquired for the various components, many of which are no longer manufactured new but found piece by piece across the country.
goal We intend to offer completed aircraft for sale. Once we have the first ship done and flying we will accept deposits on future serial numbers. Build times will vary, please be patient. By the time the first aircraft is flying, many of the components will already be completed for future aircraft, however actual completion is determined be the speed of some outside vendors and our own shop schedule. We intend to keep the operation manageable and not promise anything that cannot be delivered.
When completed, a Ranger Ryan will be a true flying work of art. Structurally refreshed with new parts, yet retaining the nostalgia of the golden age of aviation. Modern brakes, freshly overhauled engine and instruments, modern yet classic and built to be flown. Only a limited number of aircraft are planned. In order to insure the continued serviceability of these aircraft, aircraft are going to be offered with an optional fly away kit which includes a freshly overhauled engine in a display case and spares.
future We are making extras of all the components specific to the Ranger Ryan, and of the components we have remanufactured for PT-22's to support these aircraft. Furthermore the future rights to these parts, the STC's and our tooling will eventually be passed on to the owners of the aircraft in a living trust to insure the continued serviceability of the Ranger Ryan. We will set up a register to list the future owners in an owners group and facilitate communication about the aircraft. Since there are only three Ranger Ryan's (Gokchoff versions) currently airworthy and a limited number planned to be built, we encourage owners to keep in touch with each other in order to facilitate the safest operation and maintenance.
overview The Ranger Ryan Project started with the appreciation of this great design and the desire to have and fly such a beautiful aircraft. Whether it be the art deco design, the romance of the golden age or just the pure aesthetics of the form, this aircraft commands attention wherever it goes and makes it's own statement. We found that in order to build one, we had created the capability to build several. As the project progressed it seemed to take on a life of it's own. Ranger engines seemed to migrate to our shop, hart to find parts became found. More Ryan projects became available and soon we were building six airplanes.