Primary trainers represented the first of three stages of military flight training -- primary, basic and advanced. Prior to 1939, the Air Corps relied entirely on biplanes as primary trainers, but in 1940 it ordered a small number of Ryan civilian trainers and designated them as PT-16s. They were so successful that the Air Corps then ordered large numbers of improved versions, among them the PT-22. By the time production was completed in 1942, the Air Corps accepted 1,023 PT-22s. In 1942 the U.S. Army Air Forces took 25 additional trainers, originally ordered for the Netherlands.
The PT-22 on display was donated by Mrs. Nickolas A. Romano Jr. and her son, Nicky, of Hampton, Va., in 1969 in memory of her husband who lost his life in Vietnam on July 1, 1968. Chief Warrant Officer Romano had served as an enlisted man in the USAF for 22 years prior to retiring. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army to attend flight school and become a pilot. The airplane was restored by the Department of Aviation Technology, Purdue University.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Engine: Kinner R-540 of 160 hp Maximum speed: 125 mph Cruising speed: 100 mph Range: 205 miles Ceiling: 15,400 ft. Span: 30 ft. 1 in. Length: 22 ft. 7 1/2 in. Height: 7 ft. 2 in. Weight: 1,860 lbs. maximum