Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Ryan T-22

 On a recent trip to Old Warden Aerodrome we saw the Ryan T-22 trainer aircraft in US Army Air force colours.
 The aircraft was wheeled out of the hanger for a flight .  It is a really distinct trainer with its bright yellow wings and silver fuselage.  This was the primary army trainer in the USA from 1940 with over 1000 being built by 1942.
 The owner and pilot of this aircraft (001) is Tracy Curtis-Taylor.  Starting the engine is always a smoky affair.  On displays, she will fly alongside a second Ryan T-22 (854) which is currently being refurbished in the maintenance hanger.
 Take off is smooth and relatively short.  This aircraft is designed for stability and not speed, though the design is based on a racing aircraft, strengthened for military training use.
The under wing markings only become apparent when the aircraft is flying overhead.

The Shuttleworth Trust is an organisation which strives to keep these old machines in working order.  It is a real treat to see them in the hangers.  On a good day there may well be an unscheduled display for the lucky visitors.  It is not unknown to find yourself sitting next to the pilots or mechanics in the cafeteria.

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