Attempted to join up the Navy and then Army when the military made a plea for pilots during World War I, but he was too young. He enrolled in the American School of Aviation where he convinced his instructors to write a letter indicating that he had had some training. The Army then accepted him for flight training, but the Armistice was signed and World War I ended before his call-up date.
Became a barnstormer offering rides for $2.50 or $5.00. He set up shop at Dutch Flats and opened the Ryan Flying Company, advertising passenger transport and a school of aviation.
Opened the Los Angeles-San Diego Airline, the nation’s first regularly scheduled airline, in 1925.
Designed the open-cockpit Ryan M-1. In March 1926, Ryan and the partners who owned Pacific Air Transport, set off in the M-1 on the Los Angeles to Seattle airmail route where the M-1 set a record seven hours, three minutes flight during the San Francisco to Seattle leg.
Created the Spirit of St. Louis (a plane based on the M-1), the historic plane that Charles A. Lindbergh (enshrined 1967) flew across the Atlantic ocean.
Designed the Ryan Fireball which became the first jet fighter for the Navy in 1944. Jet-pushed, propeller-pulled, the Fireball could fly either on its jet or conventional engine, or on both.
Created the Firebird, the first Air Force air-to-air research missile which was portable by fighter aircraft.
Demonstrated the dramatics of vertical takeoff and landing operations with his Ryan Vertijet in 1957.
Developed a landing system that was used on the Apollo 11 lunar module.
The National Aviation Hall of Fame is excited to announce its Annual Membership Meeting scheduled for November 30, 2023, from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM. Members are invited to join this significant gathering, where key updates and future plans will be discussed. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with fellow aviation aficionados and learn more about the hall’s endeavors for the upcoming year.