The vintage Ryan ST that crashed Thursday with actor Harrison Ford at the controls was designed and built by famed Ryan Aeronautical in San Diego.
A predecessor of the company built the Spirit of St. Louis, the first airplane to fly nonstop from New York to Paris. Ryan’s factory was located in buildings along North Harbor Drive adjacent to Lindbergh Field.
Nearly 1,600 Ryan ST, for “sport trainer,” aircraft were produced between 1934 and 1943, including more than 1,000 of the ST3KR variant that Ford was flying, according to Wikipedia. The plane was used as a trainer in World War II.
Company founder T. Claude Ryan arrived in San Diego in 1922 and went on to build trainers, fighters, missiles and drones. His company was sold to Teledyne Corp. in 1969. Ryan died in San Diego in 1982.
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