Ridge Rat (oz7475)
About this Plan
Ridge Rat. Radio control slope soarer model.
Quote: "If slope soaring is your bag, you're in for a whole new world of excitement with the Ridge Rat, an easy to build, easy to fly machine that can vitually turn itself inside out with aileron and elevator control. And, if you want a surprise, put a tow hook on it try a winch or hi-start - you'll be amazed at what you can do with the next thermal that comes along. Ridge Rat, by Ed Slobod.
This is a construction article for an R/C sailplane designed for slope (or ridge) soaring, so if slope soaring is not your bag, pass us by and pick up on the lotsa other good stuff in this month's issue. However, if you are a slope nut, stick around. This just might be what you have been looking for.
Now we all know that if the slope is a good one, and if the wind blows hard enough, just about anything will fly. If you've spent any time at all on the slopes, you know what I mean. It is also true that some machines fly better than others. If you have the capability to design and scratch-build your own, you can tailor the ship to your needs. If, however, your experience in these areas is limited, you are stuck with what is available on the market. When I say stuck, I am not maligning the many fine kits available but if you look on your dealer's shelves, you will find that most are thermal sailplanes, and the very few slope sailplanes available are usually too expensive, too hard to fly, or are compromise sailplanes that won't do much more than the thermal ships.
What has been needed for some time is an easy to build and fly aiieron-elevator slope machine and we feel the Ridge Rat should fill the bill. It was designed for the slope flyer who has been flying a thermal machine on the slope and would now like to step up to a machine that will do more than turn and loop, yet is not too fast or tricky for him to handle. The Ridge Rat was designed with you in mind.
It is light enough to fly in 6 mph wind, will fly inverted easily, does inside and outside loops, rolls, etc., but is docile enough for the transition from rudder-elevator to aileron-elevator to be an easy one. To verify this, we had a number of people who had never flown an aileron ship before try it out and all managed very well. Interested?
Okay, the first step is to send to RCM for a set of full size plans. While you are waiting for the plans, you can check the magazine plans for the materials that you will need. Clean off your workbench and put fresh sandpaper on your sanding blocks. A building aid that I find useful when scratch-building a new ship is to get a few square feet of drafting mylar..."
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Supplementary file notes
Article pages, text and pics, thanks to hlsat.
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User commentsHi, Steve. It's great to finally see the Ridge Rat plans posted. I built seven Ridge Rats from the kit and several more from plans. It's an excellent flier and perfect for anyone making the transition from rudder/elevator floaters to something with a little more performance. Since I've never had an airplane saved by rubber bands, one modification I made was to bolt the wing on using nylon bolts. This will eliminate some drag and just looks cleaner, in my view. I also set the ailerons up so that they had roughly 1.5:1 differential (aileron goes up more than it goes down), by using a servo arm with the holes swept back. This eliminates adverse yaw and just makes rolls more axial. The airplane only needs a few knots of wind to stay airborne, so you don't need to wait for a gale to go flying, and it slows down enough to allow hand catches. Photo shown is my last RR, built in 1991 [see more pics 003]. Keep up the great work!
Moeregaard - 22/02/2016
The construction article is well documented with photos during the construction of the airplane, and there is a lot of useful information for the new scratch builder and those making the transition from rudder/elevator models to aileron ships. For those "not in the know", designer Ed Slobod also designed the famous Paragon and Gemini sailplanes. He kitted these airplanes under the Pierce Aero banner, and they were known for their extremely high quality, with band-sawed pieces and excellent wood. Where did the "Pierce Aero" name come from? For many years, Ed and other members of their local club flew on the property of Pierce College, at the west end of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, and many of the top sailplane flyers of the 1970s and beyond developed their skills while flying Ed's designs. Just a little southern California soaring history ...
Moeregaard - 27/04/2016
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