Low Wing, Aluminum, LSA-Targeted Sport Plane
It's just like every other RANS product, except the S-19 is also
completely different. While it is a two-seat sport airplane powered
by a Rotax engine, it's a major departure for RANS in that it is an
RANS has typically offered aluminum-tube-and sail or
steel-tube-and-fabric aircraft. Most of the RANS line have been
high-wing, too; the S-19 is a low-wing plane that manages to
resemble, slightly, Piper Cherokees, Van's RVs, and the Thorp
T-211, to name a few.
It has a look of its own, too. There's nothing radical about the
S-19 but it sure is pretty, in our subjective opinion.
As covered separately here, RANS of Hays, KS has
streamlined its product line to four models, including the new
The S-19 has two seats side-by-side in a 43.5 inch cockpit under
a sliding canopy -- and a solid steel roll bar, one of many safety
features quietly engineered into the ship. It is powered by a Rotax
912S 4-cycle engine of 100 hp. The cockpit is designed to
accommodate pilots and pax of up to 6'4", and can accommodate even
larger folks with modifications. It has tricycle landing gear,
a straight "Hershey Bar" wing and an all-flying horizontal
Flight characteristics are aimed primarily at safety -- with the
specifications targeted right at the Light Sport Aircraft sweet
spot. (While RANS makes no announcement at this time, since they
produce their other aircraft as ready-to-fly SLSAs, we consider an
SLSA version of the S-19 an inevitability). With the kit, the
interesting thing is the possibility of getting an aircraft that
can perform with the top European-designed SLSAs like the Sting
Sport or SportStar, for much less money, by putting in your own
time and sweat equity.
According to RANS, the aircraft cruises at 128 mph, takes off or
lands in a ground roll of 325 feet, and stalls at only 45 mph with
its (manual) flaps extended.
While few RANS aircraft have been designed with low wings --
notably the fast-flying, slow-selling S-16 Shekari -- the S-19 is a
whole new ball game for the company. In a first for RANS, it's
conventional aluminum semi-monocoque (stressed skin with supporting
structure) structure, with the whole thing being assembled using
pulled rivets, as pioneered by Chris Heintz's Zenith designs.
While the S-19 is new to the public, its design has been
underway for quite some time, as the structural testing image below
shows. The picture, which shows a wiffle tree being used to apply
loads to an S-19 wing structure, is dated October 7, 2004. That
illustration also shows the extent to which RANS is testing and
developing this aircraft. The aircraft is designed to a limit load
factor of a utility-ish +4.4, -2.0.
The aircraft is designed, they say, for durability. "The
airplane is built very sturdy and should provide 'life time'
service if it receives the required maintenance and adequate
storage," the website says. "Since the rivets are so easy and quick
to install we use a few more than needed to carry the loads,
increasing durability of the airframe."
It's also designed for ease of assembly. The wing spars are
factory assembled; there's no welding, bucked riveting or heavy
fabrication. Control cables are prefabricated -- the builder must
only install them. The high precision of the predrilled parts
reduces, really eliminates, the requirement for jigs or fixtures --
the aircraft is essentially self-aligning.
The kit is sold in modules: Empennage, Wing, Fuselage,
Finishing, Engine Install, and Engine. The Empennage Kit is $1,900
and the most expensive component in the current price list is the
engine, at $13,900. If you buy all the parts at the current price,
it'd be $37,800. (If you're ready to put cash on the barrelhead,
call Randy or Paula at 785-625-6346).
RANS wraps up their sales pitch like this: "We hope you will
enjoy building it as much as we do." the web site (see the FMI
link) has a lot more information about this promising sport