With the onset of World War II, the Navy launched a wartime expansion that would produce nearly 65,000 pilots by the end of 1945. Ryan's NR-1 (ST-3) Recruit was one aircraft selected to help meet these demands. The original ST evolved from 1933 to 1943, with combat versions flying with the air forces of the Netherlands and China during World War II and trainers equipping both the Navy and the Army Air Forces.
A product of the Ryan Aeronautical Company, which in earlier days had built Charles Lindbergh's famed Spirit of St. Louis, the NR Recruit trainer was derived from the ST, a series of two-seat, low-wing monoplanes developed beginning in 1933. In 1941, the ST-3, with more powerful Kinnear B-5 engines and landing gear modifications, appeared, serving as the basis for military versions ordered by the Army Air Forces and the Navy.
At that time, the number of aviators trained by the Navy had increased from 708 to 3112, launching a wartime expansion that would produce nearly 65,000 pilots by the end of 1945. The ST-3 was one of the aircraft chosen by the Navy to meet the training demands of this great number of fliers. The first of 100 airplanes ordered by the Navy and designated NR-1s entered service in 1940, the total production run of the aircraft for the U.S. military totaling 1,023 models. Until 1944 they could be seen at Naval Air Stations (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida, and Memphis, Tennessee, as well as at Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS) Cecil Field, Florida.
The Museum's aircraft was donated in 1982 in flyable condition.
|Manufacturer:||Ryan Aeronautical Company|
|Crew:||Instructor and student|
|Powerplant:||One Kinnear R-540-1 radial piston engine|
|Dimensions:|| Length: 22 ft., 5 in.|
Height: 6 ft., 9 in.
Wingspan: 30 ft., 1 in.
|Weight:|| Empty: 1,314 lb.|
Gross: 1,860 lb.
|Performance:||Max Speed: 131 mph.|
Ceiling: 15,500 ft.
Range: 352 miles