Ridge Runner motor glider soaring adventure


Elite member
Ridge Runner is back, baby!

I had some time last night so I spent it breaking apart my old flippy floppy wing and putting it back together without any di/polyhedral and with some support. I still haven't ordered any carbon fiber tubes; I keep waffling about what size to get and also I keep spending my hobby money on other bits. I knew I had a scrap piece of aluminum L (1/16"x1/2"x20" or so) and figured it would work. The weight of the aluminum was 49g. Peep this Pro(tm) Install:

Cut a slit, hot glue goes in the slit, insert the scuffed up aluminum L, top with packing tape (note wing is flipped backward in that image). To offset the weight of the L and the 2x extra servos I went with a 450mAh 3S. I never even used the majority of the old 1400mAh 3S battery anyway. Drops the battery weight from 120g to 45g. I also took the opportunity to add more down thrust by measuring 4mm back from the nose on the bottom of the fuselage and cutting off the angle to match. The battery has to be all the way crammed against the nose now to balance out so I made the front part a flip open hatch which means I don't have to take the wing on and off to plug in the battery. Bonus (fist pump).

Let's see how she flies!


Whoops. Preflight check found that the elevator was backward so I reversed that. Oh and (wiggle wiggle) the ailerons aren't even so I fixed that. Failed to notice that the ailerons were going in the opposite direction as well. Nothing a little hot glue and tape didn't fix.

After that I got to remind myself I how terrible I am at finding thermals. It was probably too windy anyway, with winds over 10kt, but I floated around for 10 minutes on 4 minutes of motor on time. The 5x3.5 prop was plenty to get the 440g AUW up into the sky, but the gusty wind could stop any gliding dead. With the reinforced flat wing it feels quicker than it did, and I don't see the wings turning into a V in a tight turn so the aluminum is doing its job.

The battery ended up being a little on the small side due to me never really finding much lift, but I have 3 of them (4 if you count the one I keep in the lake) so it is easy enough to swap it out as the model comes by. 800mAh might be a better general purpose size. I made my ailerons smaller than Whistlinginthedark's and they are too small. Many times the wind held more influence than the control surfaces when gliding slowly, and even full stick deflection was barely doing the job. I made them 12" long, starting 1" from the old polyhedral break. If I rebuild the wing with no break, then extending them another few inches would be a good idea.

Haven't put iNav back on it since the receiver, camera, and VTX now are on my quad. I really like having the ailerons to feel more in control of the model though, so this is a great upgrade.