Glueless assembly makes for an overall short build time. The instruction manual features thumbnail sized black and white photos. Larger photos would be of more assistance in completing the build but it is not difficult to figure out what needs to be done to get the Ryan ready for flight. I really like how HobbyKing is designing some of their kits to go together with nothing more than a dozen or so fasteners. It was difficult to completely thread some of the fasteners into their receivers, E.G. landing gear. The screws were excessively tight. This was further complicated by the wheel pants obstructing a clear path to the fastener with anything other than a stubby length screwdriver.
The details on installing the various lengths of reinforcing wires are not really covered in the assembly manual but it is pretty easy to figure out which lengths go where by using trial and error and a little deductive reasoning. No extra springs are provided in the box. I decided to use a small pair of needle nose pliers to crimp the open ends of the springs closed after attaching them to the flying wires. Another approach to inhibit the springs and wires from coming apart is to anchor them with drop of cyanocrylate glue or clear silicon. I could not get the ends of the springs fed through the holes in some of the plastic attachment points without sanding some of the thickness of the plastic parts away first.
I encountered problems hitting the recommended Center of Gravity with this model. The Ryan comes out of the box with a circular slug of ballast installed in the nose of the aircraft. However, this weight is not in itself enough to achieve a CG of 40mm from the leading edge of the wing. Up sizing to a larger lipo in an effort to achieve CG is often the first thing many modelers will try but this can at times adversely affect in-flight performance due to increased wing loading. I wanted to keep the wing loading as light as possible and decided to to stick with the recommended 3S 1300mAh, even though a 3S 1800 or 2100mAH would fit. The speed controller is installed by the factory inside the main part of the fuselage. Inserting the flight battery all but blinds off the hole used to allow cooling air to enter the fuselage. This factor, combined with the need to shift some weight forward in order to hit the recommended CG, convinced me of the need to make a few minor modifications. I relocated ESC to the bottom of the nose of the aircraft. The first step was to lop off the bottom radius of the nose section all the way back to where the cowl meets the fuselage. Relocating the speed controller meant that I had to shorten the motor leads a little and lengthen the battery leads by a few inches. I used a little hot glue to secure the ESC in it’s new location. To allow connecting the ESC to the receiver and battery, I drilled a hole diagonally from the rear of this new shelf up and into the inside of the fuselage. I also cut a small nocth into the aft section of the cowl bottom, in order to create an exit hole through which the cooling airflow could leave. I still was unable to hit the recommended CG of 40mm. Adding approximately 25 g of weight to the firewall in the form of moldable putty was the final step in getting to that magic number of 40mm. AUW = xx.xx oz. The removable cowl is held in place by nothing more than the way it fits tightly over the nose of the Ryan. I used a few strategically placed drops of CA to make sure it would not slip forward and contact the rear of the spinner while in flight.
The 3S 1300mAH flight battery needs to be positioned as far forward in the interior of the fuselage as possible. I found it best to connect it to the speed controller before sliding it forward, as the battery pigtail almost disappears into the fuselage when the battery is in place. I normally use hook and loop to secure my flight lipos but doing so on this model would be problematic due to the battery’s resting position against the rear of the motor firewall. I instead cut a rectangular piece of scrap foam and used it as a retaining wedge of sorts, in order to prevent the battery from sliding rearwards in flight.
No pilot is provided for this model. The open cockpit is in my opinion thus conspicuously vacant. I rummaged around in my parts bins and found a civilian pilot of the appropriate scale and size. A couple dabs of hot glue and he was locked in place and committed to fly the Ryan.