With the rapid expansion of U.S. air forces in 1941 came an increase in the need to train pilots and aircrews. In that year, Ryan Aeronautical received orders for the PT-22, officially named “Recruit,” which was powered by the larger Kinner R-540 engine of 160 hp. This was to be the major production model of the “Recruit,” with 1,023 built. On the PT-22, the landing gear fairings, also called “spats” were removed from the design, as they had made it difficult to inspect and repair the landing gear. Since a military primary trainer spent at least half of its time practicing landings and take offs with beginning pilots, care of the landing gear was more important that the slight gain in top speed that the spats provided. Over 1,000 PT- 22s were built before production stopped in 1942.
This aircraft is on loan from Carl and Darci Neuzil.
As part of the Adopt-A-Plane program, the Ryan PT-22 is adopted in memory of WWII pilot Col. Thomas Ruckman.