Timber Tiger Aircraft | 95% scale Ryan ST-A Replica
In 2017, I was searching for an original Ryan ST-A aircraft to restore to flying condition. A quick reality check showed me just how rare and unavailable a Ryan ST-A project actually is. My next step was to see if there were any replica kits or plans on the market. Not a one. My research did, however, steer me towards rumors of someone in Colorado, Nick Pfannenstiel, who was starting to design a replica that he could offer for sale as a partial kit.
I tracked down Nick and suggested we collaborate on the project. Not knowing me, but in desperate need of help, he guardedly agreed. At the time, he was four tailcone bulkheads into the build.
I quickly helped bring the project to the world of CAD. The construction rate of the prototype grew exponentially as did the comprehensiveness of the kit that could be offered for sale, leading to great appeal to a wider builder market. I helped create tooling and models that would be directly used for the fabrication of the parts. In addition, I created all of the surface models for the complex shapes. These models would later be used to create tooling for molds and bucks for the challenging compound-curved aluminum which defines the beauty of the design.
Once the prototype airframe was inspected and received its airworthiness certificate, Phase I flight testing was completed by the company test pilot. This consisted of an FAA prescribed testing regime which is intended to show that the aircraft is capable of safe flight in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations. Soon after, I completed a flight checkout in the airplane with the company test pilot.
In 2021 and 2022, I flew it to cross-country to AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI; an annual aviation exhibition hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association. There, the airplane was displayed and offered in kit form for sale to prospective builders and buyers. Kits are currently in production, and to date, over 50 sub-kits have been shipped to customers across the country and in Europe.
Kitplanes Magazine, September 2021 – “Ryan ST Reimagined: Timber Tiger Aircraft’s STL-L brings modern technology to a classic design”
Kitplanes Magazine, December 2023 – “Ryan ST vs. Timber Tiger ST-L: Can a modern replica actually be better than a classic original?”
Related Document – Letter of Recommendation from Nick Pfannenstiel, owner of Timber Tiger Aircraft, Inc.