Romantic Side-by-Side

Kay’s Speedster is the latest from Timber Tiger. It has a definite Gee Bee look from the front.

We knew Nick Pfannenstiel was an incurable romantic (just like us) but now we’re finding out he’s a prolific one, too.

His Timber Tiger company’s Ryan STL look-alike has been a hit, and now he’s following it up with Kay’s Speedster. Designed specifically to capture the looks and experience of golden era flyers, the new low-wing does not follow any previous airplane, but does embody a range of classic lines suggesting Gee Bee Super Sportsters, Mystery Ships and any other number of between-the-wars classics.

Of course the Speedster is all-new and designed for modern builders using a welded steel tube fuselage and aluminum wings, which also fold for easy transport and storage. Power is designed around the Verner Scarlet 9S radial of 158 hp but practical romantics(?) can pound a square peg into a round hole via a Lycoming O-320 or -360 if they insist.

Seating is via a fixed bench obviously designed for a happy couple.

Notable features are the hot tub-like side-by-side seating. We didn’t try sitting in it, but the cockpit looks expansive and the adjustable, under-hung rudder pedals look appropriately bridge-abutment sturdy. The windshield and some of the cowl are hinged forward and tilt up for easy cockpit entry and behind the seats is a cavernous storage area looking like it came out of a bulk loading cargo ship.

Nick says he’s planning on a removable hardtop for romantics that don’t like to get their hair mussed or prefer heat to icicles. Timber Tiger is based in Montrose, Colorado, after all and they’re used to a range of weather.

Looking straight out of a Stearman, the Speedster’s rudder pedals are both beefy and adjustable for leg length.

While it’s difficult to design a side-by-side sportster that doesn’t come off looking a bit guppy like, in its early, still-a-project state Kay’s Speedster looks more fun and disarming than awkward. We especially like the double-bubble or heart shaped windshield which is carried through by the seat styling.

Work on Kay’s Speedster, which is named after Nick’s wife, began this spring and first flight will be sometime next spring with kit sales the summer of 2024. Expect the basic starter kit at approximately $25,000 and to be all in kit-wise at $65,000. Builder assist within the 51% rule (think fuselage weldments ready to go) are definitely part of Nick’s business plan, plus he offers all sorts of fabrication assist to builders of any sort of kit in his Montrose shop.

The tea for two theme carries throughout the Speedster and is especially pronounced from the rear.
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Tom Wilson
Pumping avgas and waxing flight school airplanes got Tom into general aviation in 1973, but the lure of racing cars and motorcycles sent him down a motor journalism career heavy on engines and racing. Today he still writes for peanuts and flies for fun.


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