Legends Over Madera - Air Show 2009 - Madera, CA (Not affiliated with the 2010 Madera Air Show)  

May 2931, 2009California Air Shows
Madera Airport, Madera CA

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Mike Rhodes - Ryan Recruit - PT-22

The Ryan Recruit was the U.S. Army Air Corps' first monoplane primary trainer. Initial testing of a single RYAN S-T-A (Sport-Trainer-A) resulted in an order for 15 more aircraft, re-designated the YPT-16, for evaluation in 1939. Finding this tandem two-seater to be an excellent design, the USAAC ordered a production batch of 30 aircraft, designated the PT-20. In 1941, the Army decided a new more powerful engine was needed to endure the rigors of training new pilots. Ryan Aeronautical replaced the inline engine of the previous version with a Kinner radial engine. The resulting PT-21 was so superior that many PT-16s and PT-20s were upgraded with the new engine, becoming PT-16As and PT-20As.

With flight training programs expanding across the United States, 1,023 more planes were ordered. These had an improved Kinner radial, no wheel spats, and the deletion of the main landing gear fairings. This became the PT-22. The Navy also ordered the Recruits and re-designated them as NR-1s, and the Netherlands ordered 25 Recruits and called them NR-3s. The Navy used these trainers until 1944, and the USAAC would retire the Recruit at the end of World War Two.

Today there are flying examples of each variant to be found across North America. There are also examples operated by warbird enthusiasts in the UK and Australia. 

Diane Tjerrild - Photographer

 

The plane's owner and restorer, Mike Rhodes, was excited with this unusual find on the plane:
The image below is an extreme close-up of the surprise he found... it shows the tiny initials
"D.V.C." hand carved into the plane's metal exterior, possibly the initials of a young pilot who
flew or trained in this beautiful PT-22 a very long time ago!!

 


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