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Apr 05, 2004, 08:18 PM
Thread OP

GP Ryan STA ARF Problems

Well I have run into a couple of problems on my Great Planes Ryan STA ARF.

The wing is the problem area so far, first the string included in the wing to pull the servo wires through was glued to the inside of the right wing panel, what a pain that was, I lost the string trying to get it unstuck from the glue but I was Lucky that after about 5 minutes of working with the wing I was able to get the string back down to were I could reach it and was able to pull the servo wires through.

The second problem on the wing is on the right wing again, the hard wood block of the back side of the landing gear was notched in the wrong location, it was to far to the outside of the wing, I was able to notch the wing and it appears there was enough hard wood to attach the gear.

I have read good reviews about this plane, but I have to say so far I am not impressed, the covering is all full of wrinkles and bubbles that I will have to use the heat gun on to get them out.

I must have gotten one of the planes built on a Monday or a Friday afternoon.

Has anyone else ran into problems like these on a Great planes Ryan ARF?
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Apr 06, 2004, 08:55 AM
Registered User

GP Ryan

Let's see: You had to work 5 extra minutes fishing a servo wire through a wing, you had to modify the gear mount (actually a "real problem") and the covering is bubbling and wrinkled.

All ARF's, I don't care who makes them, have wrinkles in the covering. If they don't have them in the workshop, they WILL have them when you take them outside in the hot sun. Fact of Life.

Granted, those are all valiid concerns and I agree that after you spend your hard earned $$$ on a product, there shouldn't be anything wrong with it.

But, things like this do occur all the time. Big ones and little ones, they're gonna be there.

I'd say that what you found so far should not be enough to make you unimpressed.

Keep us posted if you find other problems.

Dick Pettit
Associate Editor
Apr 06, 2004, 10:55 AM
Thread OP
Well I feel Great Planes gluing the servo string inside the wing as a pretty big item, I was lucky that i was able to retrieve the string and feel very lucky that the wing did not receive damage trying to break the string free, it was glued inside pretty good, good enough that I was sure the string would break or wing ribs would break before I would get it loose, Lucky it did not break.

As far as the landing gear, when they completely misplace the hard wood block that is a pretty big concern, and for the wrinkling and bubbling of the covering, sorry but this is not just a few small wrinkles and bubbles here and there, this one was not covered very well at all. It is going to take a good couple of hours of work to get the covering shrunk down properly as it has large bubbles on the airframe, the wings I can deal with better, but covering over sheet balsa applied as bad as this one was is not as easy of a fix.

Also I think I ended up with piano wire for landing gear instead of spring wire.
Apr 07, 2004, 08:55 PM


fly-in-ryan: I agree that there should be better quality control on the planes even if they are an a.r.f. I just bought a ryan sta-m arf, the covering was so rinkled it would not shrink, but it is silver and that color on a solid surface is hard to deal with. I also agree with Dick, every a.r.f. i ever bought had something wrong with it. Hanger-9 and world models are one of the best i have bought. Anytime i buy an a.r.f. i figure i may have to recover it or do something to it. The only way to be satisfied is build them yourself.

Apr 08, 2004, 08:08 PM
Thread OP
I am continuing on, the wing is done, I don't like the way they mount the wheel pants and struts, they are only held on with 4 small screws, I am thinking that I may use some epoxy to help hold them to the wing after a few flights to make sure nothing needs to come off.

I am now onto the tail feathers, and am about to start on the linkage.
Apr 09, 2004, 04:32 AM


Fly-n-ryan: I have just stripped the fuselage, it looks like they threw rocks at it before they covered it. I have just about finished the G.P. Gee-BEE, The wheel pants go on the same way,only i used the robart scale gear. This puts less pressure on the pants, but you better make sure you put the screws in the right place or you will hit balsa instead of hardwood. I used longer screws on the gee-Bee, the ones they send are too short, they don't go into the wood far enough. MR>ED
Apr 11, 2004, 09:24 PM
Registered User
T6Junkie's Avatar

G.P Ryan

I, for the life of me, am trying to figure what the complaining is all about. I just finished building the same model and it was great. Anytime you get an arf that was built in another country where the temperature is different from what you have you WILL always have wrinkles in the covering. This is to be expected. Mine was the same way and it took a whole hour to shrink it up. Big deal. Once it's shrunk it looks great. My landing gear blocks are in the right place. Are you sure you are putting the right landing gear in the right side of the wing? The landing gears are plenty strong enough. They are made of music wire so they will have some spring to them.
My only thought is that if you have so many problems then you shouldn't build an arf but then rather build a kit so the only complaints you can have are for mistakes you made yourself.
Sorry for being so long winded but mine came out fine, besides where else can you get an IMAA legal size airplane that is all built and covered with a fuel tank, wheels, and a motor mount for $220.00. I can't build anything that cheap.
Pete Frankenthal
Apr 12, 2004, 04:40 AM


Pete; I not talking about the landing gear, it's the wheel pants and where the screws better put the rear screws where they tell you or you will miss the blocks in the rear. My screws weren't long enough to suit me so i changed them. As far as the covering, i know what they look like after being shipped so far.Silver doesn't shrink good on a solid surface and besides i wanted to fix all of the bad places on the fuselage. This one had more bings and bangs than usual. You would have to have seen this one before you can make a judgement on how good it is. Thanks ED
Last edited by MR>ED; Apr 12, 2004 at 04:42 AM.
Apr 19, 2004, 10:56 AM
CO of The Flying Circus
The Blue Max's Avatar
I have never owned any of the GP ARF airplanes so I cannot comment on any of the problems you have experienced. But I do know one thing, when anything is mass produced on a production line where the object changes hands and work stations numerous time during it's building sequence, there will be variations in the quality of construction and the quality of the finished product. That is why I have shyed away from the ARF kits, but as a whole ARF's have come a long way since they first showed up in the 70's. I am going to buy an ARF eventually (when the time to build isn't available and the right model comes along) but for now I will keep building from kits or scratchbuilding from plans. I don't see any of the problems explained here as being major (except for having to completely recover one, but I have used alot of coverings over the years and if GP is using any of their iron on coverings I think it could have been easily fixed) but I do think that anyone experiencing a problem with an ARF should definitely contact the manufacturer and make sure you get ahold of the right person to let them know what kind of problems were experienced, otherwise how will the people that are building these things even know there is a problem! I have also dealt with GP (F4-Phantom fiasco) and I know for a fact that if you thought the problem was severe enough and you let GP know of your displeasure with their kit, they probably would have just shipped you a new wing panel. Like pettit and T6 said, I have never seen a film covered ARF come straight out of the box with perfectly tight wrinkle free covering. Temperature, handling, G-forces and vibration during shipping, or just being removed from the box in a careless manner can all cause wrinkled saggy covering, nothing a heat gun and a little patience won't cure!

Good luck with your Ryan's.
May 05, 2004, 11:15 AM
You think you have problems? I just finished the Pacific aero Laser 200 and here were some of my problems, 1) they didn't include the instructions in my kit. 2) they left the landing gear out as well. Wheel pants were in the kit but nuttin' else. 3) The tail is so wrinkled up that no amount of work with an iron is going to fix it, and to make matters worse, the coveing is some off the wall stuff that cannot be duplicated in the states. Now I am depressed.
Jan 22, 2005, 03:17 PM
Registered User

need tailwheel details for GP RYAN STA

I managed to get all major parts for the civvy version GP Ryan STA. don't have any detail of the tailwheel. Can anyone help?
Jan 26, 2005, 10:25 PM


Efurche: I have the sta-m version. I didn't like how theirs went on so i bought a Dave patrick tailwheel assembly. I marked where it screwed on and put two dowels in and rounded them to the shape of the fuselage. Theirs uses two straps that screws into balsa. That will last about as long as a fart in a whirlwind. I do have the original,it basically a one piece wire. MR>ED
Feb 02, 2005, 10:39 PM
Registered User

Ryan Tailwheel

Did You Get The One That Uses Springs? Do The Springs Come With It? And Is The Tailwheel Ahead Of The Rudder Horn??

Thanks, Ed
Feb 03, 2005, 06:06 AM


Efurche: I only bought the tailwheel, the rudder horn and springs come separate. I usually don't use the springs, i hook it straight to the servo. It works a lot better, especially off of a grass field. Ed
Feb 20, 2005, 06:56 PM
Registered User

Ryan STA

I chuckled a bit over the problems with the GP ARF. The builder should have attempted the old SIG kit. I just finished it and was pulling my hair out more than once. Have not had a chance to fly it yet due to winter WX, but I've read posts that indicate it isn't the greatest. Any comments here?

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