The ST-3KR, PT-22 was designed and manufactured by the Ryan Aeronautical Company at Lindbergh Field in San Diego, California to be the primary U.S. Air Corps pilot trainer. These were the first monoplane trainers acquired by the military. Prior to 1940, the Air Corps used bi-planes. Other trainers included the Stearman Kaydet and the Fairchild Cornell, but the Ryan was considered superior because it was more demanding and less forgiving.
Ryan Aeronatucal entered the military trainer market in 1934 with the ST, sport trainer, equipped with a 95 HP Menasco engine. The next model, the STA, was produced in 1939 and sported an improved 125 HP Menasco engine. General Henry “Hap” Arnold requested the engine be changed from the Menasco because of reliability issues, to a stronger more powerful Kinner R-5 radial engine for the PT-21 model. In 1941 and 1942, the Army purchased 1,023 Ryan PT-22 “Recruits” which were wire-braced monoplanes with an improved Kinner engine and without landing gear fairings. The Navy also ordered 100 of this model and it was designated NR-1.
The PT-22 was used heavily both for military training and civilian flight schools but was retired after WWII. The PT-22 has become a popular civilian and sport plane. Many are displayed or still flown in demonstrations at air shows across the world.
Pioneer Air Museum Records
Aircraft Owners and Pilot's Association