Ritz Standard A
ultralight aircraft, Ritz Standard A experimental aircraft, Ritz Standard A experimental light sport aircraft (ELSA), Light Sport Aircraft Pilot News
Light Sport Aircraft Pilot is a directory of aircraft that generally fit
into what are described as ultralight aircraft, advanced ultralight
light sport aircraft, experimental light sport aircraft, experimental
aircraft, amateur built aircraft, ELSA or homebuilt
aircraft in the United States and Canada. These include
weight shift aircraft, more commonly known as trikes,
powered parachutes, and powered para-gliders.
Ritz Standard A ultralight, experimental
lightsport, amateur built aircraft.
Ritz Standard A - no
longer in production, no longer in business.
The following taken from a Ritz Aircraft brochure.
During the late seventies, when they
started converting hang gliders to power, I was alarmed at
the dangers of the floppy sails and wire jobs, and in
protest I designed and built a rigid wing ultralight
constructed mainly of wood with tight covering.
With a 36
foot wing span, standard fuselage with seat inside, 7 hp
engine, and total weight of 92 pounds, it was quite strong
and flew very stably and safely.
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In flying this plane, all the remembrances
came back of the many enjoyable years I'd spent building and
flying planes sincethe early '30s, and I determined to
try to develop and simplify the construction systems
used, to make it possible for many others to also enjoy the
sport of flying as I had.
To keep the cost and weight down, I was
using an all wood construction, with a strong emphasis on
geodetic structure such as we'd used so much back in the
thirties. Out of my efforts was evolved what I call
"structure-in-the-slots", a system of slots and mating
pieces machined for fast, simple and clampless assembly. One
unit after another was designed to this system ? wing ribs,
spars, leading and trailing edges, fuselage formers,
longerons, and assembly structure.
After four years of development, and the
building of eight planes, the plane that finally evolved was
called the Ritz Standard "A," and retains the 36 foot wing
span with 3 axis control. After trying many different
engines, we settled on the 252CC Zenoah engine as the best
in the size we needed. This 22 hp engine coupled with the
low drag of the plane is ample to get the plane to the 65
mph maximum speed allowed.
The relatively low price of wood versus
aluminum or plastic, enables a plane or kit to be priced
considerable lower, and with the present booming in
ultralight prices, the difference is outstanding.
In the hey-day of the light-plane ? back
in the '30s ? practically all planes were built of wood, and
the art was advanced to a very high degree. There are few
planes built now days that come anywhere near to the
excellence of construction that was practiced in those days.
Some of the planes we built in the thirties are still flying
? 50 years later. One of the reasons for this is that wood
does not fatigue as metal does, and if properly cared for,
will literally last a lifetime.
Coupled with the lightweight, durability
and the longevity of the wood plane is its relative ease of
construction and also its low cost. However, one of the
basic problems with most wood aircraft construction is that
they are highly labor intensive, so this was one of the
areas where we did a lot of research. The end result was a
system of slots and grooves in all structural members which
then mated with truss strips and geodetic strips epoxied in
the slots ? without any laborious clamping ? permits a very
fast and simple assembly with great strength.
For example ? the 32 wing ribs (which
usually take about 8 hours per rib to construct) can
literally all be assembled in one evening using the
"structure-in-the-slots" technique. Included in the kit is
one completed rib sample to get the novice started easily.
The wing spars can also be easily assembly in one evening,
and the third evening you can start to assemble the wing
structure. When the wing is assembled with the geodetic
strips and thoroughly dry (overnight), the wing structure ?
before covering ? is so strong that with a man at each end
of the wing, it cannot be twisted even 1/2 of an
inch!! The covering of regular lightweight aircraft dacron
is simply glued in place and shrunk with a medium hot
household iron to take out the wrinkles and taut the
The main structural members are macninea
OT ponaerosa pine, which is very close to spruce in
weight and strength, anain
much more reasonable in cost. The curved pieces such as the
rib caps, wing and stab tip bows, and fuselage nose are
laminated of multi-ply poplar or aspen veneer. The
cantilever landing gear is laminated of hard maple veneer
for maximum strength and durability. This pre-molded unit is
completely machined and sanded-ready to be bolted on to the
fuselage and wheels.
Practically the only structural work that
needs to be done is snipping the geodetic strips to length
with a small hand tool which we furnish, applying the glue
and slipping the parts together to set up overnight.
A very minimum of tools is required, such as
a carpenter's snap line, a small stapler, a small electric
drill and bits, a small square, small wrenches, sandpaper,
All of the metal fittings are completely
machined and welded, ready to be bolted or epoxied to the
main structure. Most of the fittings are of aluminum, but in
all the high stress and vibration subject areas, 4130 chrome
moly steel is used for safety and fatigue resistance.
We chose the Zenoah 22 hp engine after
many tests of various engines, and found it to be one of the
best engines available. We have several hundred hours of
flying time with the Zenoah engines, and have not had the
slightest bit of trouble in anyway.
A close inspection of this crafts' wing
will give you a clue to its superior performance. The
carefully chosen airfoil ? one of the designers own foils
that has been used successfully for many years ? is also
very faithfully adherred to in the construction. The sag
between ribs is only about 1/8 of an inch ? as compared to 2
inches or more on most other designs. This accounts for the
high lift/drag ratio and excellent performance.
The Standard "A" can literally fly circles
around most ultralights that have double the power ? and its
range is about 250 miles on 5 gallons instead of the usual
100 to 125 miles of most ultralights.
The plane can be assembled in 20 minutes and disassembled
in 1/2 of that time.
|Ritz Standard A
ultralight aircraft specifications
||54 x 27
||30 to 50 mph
|Set up Time
||200 hours, approximately
Ritz Standard A ultralight -
experimental lightsport aircraft
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