The Ryan STM-S2 is a part of the Royal Australian Air Force’s Temora Historic Flight.

The Ryan ST's were a series of two seat, low-wing monoplane aircraft built in the United States by the Ryan Aeronautical Company. They were used as sport aircraft, as well as trainers by flying schools and the militaries of several countries. The ST featured two open cockpits in tandem with a metal fuselage of two main frames – one steel, the other half of steel and half of aluminium alloy.

The Ryan ST was built in strict accordance with military requirements. In the redesign for the YPT-16s, the basic and familiar ST airframe underwent its first external appearance change. The cockpit openings were cut larger, down to meet the channel stiffeners, addition of a turnover mast at the front cockpit windshield, a Bendix hand-cranked direct drive inertia engine starter, toe brakes and parking brake completed the redesign. This met the immediate military specifications and was the first low-wing trainer to convince the Army to break away from their 30-year precedent of biplanes being used for initial instruction of aviation cadets.

The first of the STM-2s were ordered to be equipped with Menasco C-4S “Pirate” supercharged 150hp engines. The first group of STM-2s were shipped to the Pilots and Observers School (Army Primary Flying School) at the Kalidjati Air Base to the north of Bandung in Western Java. These ships replaced the Koolhoven FK-51s as basic trainers.

Although training was the main duty of the Ryan, during World War II they were constantly being dispersed and used in other roles. The airplanes were pressed into service as reconnaissance aircraft and to supply remote outposts and patrol ships. It was not unusual for the pilots to strap a five-gallon fuel tank in the front cockpit and go out on a long coastal patrol. When the fuel became low, the pilot would land at a convenient clearing, refuel the aircraft and continue his flight.

This aircraft was built in 1940 and purchased in July 2004 for the Temora Aviation Museum. 


Ryan Aeronautical Company






Menasco C-4S 150 HP


Length 6.54m, height 2.11m




491 kg basic, 726 kg maximum


560 km


17,500 feet

Max Speed

228 km/h  (123 knots)