With an inexpensive and well-deserved
pilot figure sporting a white scarf in the rear
cockpit, the little Ryan looks fantastic!
Although I doubt that the original Menasco “four banger”
could generate this much oomph in the full-scale Ryan, the
NTM brushless outrunner is capable of pulling this model
through the skies with a vengeance.
I had fun racing the Ryan around the skies and found that it
is a capable aerobat. Inverted flight was easy, with only a touch
of elevator required to keep the nose from falling through. The
Ryan was happy to slice down the center of the field in knife-edge, with the power of the 1, 100 Kv motor more than making
up for the small rudder. I guess Durafly decided that if the
company was going to call its model an STA version, it better
have enough power to proudly wear that label!
With my transmitter signaling the need to return to the
runway, I slowed the Ryan and entered the pattern in the
downwind leg. On my first approach, the aircraft retained
too much airspeed, so I added a small amount of throttle and
went around for a second attempt. With slightly more airspeed
scrubbed, my second landing approach saw the airplane come
across the numbers at a more appropriate speed.
Keeping the throttle a few clicks above the off position
allowed the Ryan to slowly sink toward the runway. I dropped
the throttle and carefully feathered in up-elevator until the
aircraft reluctantly settled in on its main gear. Although I found
landing to be fairly easy, it requires the skillset and active
throttle management that is commensurate to tail-dragger
On the way home from the field that day, I stopped at my
hobby shop intending to find a pilot figure for this model. Jake’s
Performance Hobbies in Rohnert Park, California, maintains an
amazing inventory of airplanes and replacement parts. I seldom
leave empty handed, and this time was no exception.
Lurking at the bottom of the stack of replacement pilot
figures was a ParkZone Albatros pilot—his goggled face and
white scarf were a perfect fit for the Ryan. I used a razor saw to
cleanly trim a little off the bottom of his bust. With a few dabs
of hot glue locking him in place in the rear cockpit, my Durafly
Ryan looks even better!
Those with intermediate-level piloting skills should enjoy
the challenges offered by this model. Whether you prefer
flying in a scalelike manner or enjoy ripping and tumbling
across the skies at speed, the Durafly Ryan will not disappoint.
The included power system possesses a broad performance
envelope and can easily accommodate both flying styles.
Opt for the recommended 3S 2,200 mAh flight battery and
you will enjoy potentially longer flight durations. Drop back
to a 3S 1,800 mAh as I did and you may notice improved
slow-speed performance and a lower stall speed because of
decreased wing loading.
Although the included rigging required more patience than
I could muster, the balance of the assembly can be quickly
and easily completed. I would prefer that a pilot figure, (or
in this case figures), be included in the box, but acquiring the
ParkZone Albatros pilot helped me forgive Durafly for its
This first release in the Durafly Balsa Series does not
disappoint! The quality, fit, and finish are nice, and the inflight performance is satisfying and versatile. Encore, encore,
70 Model Aviation M AY 2014