Conceived as a new generation of Rans aircraft focusing on quicker built times and higher performance, the Shekari is stressed for dual aerobatics. The Shekari has a 4130 steeltube-and-fabric forward fuselage with composite covering and 6061-T3 aluminum tube rear fuselage and tail. It is available as either a tail wheel landing gear or tricycle landing gear versions. The wings are removable by one person in ten minutes for storage or trailering.
The S-16 has been flown with the Rotax 912UL of 80 hp (60 kW), but is typically equipped with engines such as the Continental IO-240 of 130 hp (97 kW) and can accept engines up to 160 hp (119 kW). Construction time claimed is 600 to 1500 man-hours, depending on builder experience.
Production of the S-16 was ended as part of Rans' extensive reorganization of its product line on 1 June 2006, after the kit had been available for 8 years. Twenty-two had been completed and flown by the end of 2005.