Wanted Plans for Rocky Mountain Wings "Ridge Runner" UL/LSA Aircraft

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Victor Bravo

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I have just purchased a Ridge Runner 1, mostly built and covered, and in reasonable shape. "Minor project" status, going through everything, major cleanup and inspection, etc.

Like so many "estate sale" deals, I got a great price and not a freakin' scrap of paperwork.I would loike very much to beg, borrow, purchase, or get a copy of the plans and instructions for this aircraft, so I can figure out how to assemble and balance it, what parts go where, be an educated owner, etc.

The original Avid Flyer begat the Kitfox, and then two Kitfox employees (the Schrader bros.) built kits for a single place version called Sky Raider, and then one of the brothers (Stace Schrader) broke off and sold a very similar single place kit called the Ridge Runner. That's what I got. But the company apparently no longer exists.

So anyone who can lay hands on a set of plans, instructions, or documentation for this airplane please contact me via PM, thank you.
 

Victor Bravo

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New Development for anyone interested in tis particular type of cute little off-road machine.

I have established contact with a fellow who is very experienced with this type of aircraft, and who was there on the scene when these were all being designed, built, brothers fighting brothers, etc.

Based on the few photos I have thus far, he was able to identify that my new purchase is a Ridge Runner 2, not a Model 1.

This is really good news, because the early original Model 1 was a somewhat humorous attempt to meet Part 103 weight (the joke was on the aircraft owner, it was just about impossible to get anywhere close), and the structure was far less robust.

In my position as Vice Pesident of Corpulence here at Obesity Industries, it occurred to me that flying around in an airplane with 170 pound max pilot weight was not an attractive proposition. We do get gusts and bumps out here in the Mojave Desert.

So the good news is that the Ridge Runner 2 was a very humorous 2 seater, where you could have two people in very very very tight quarters (rear occupant essentially piggy-back behind the front seater). The designers added structure and wall thickness to many of the tubes, and so apparently I have something that will likely have a 325-375 lb. empty weight and an 800-900 pound gross.

Most importantly, I have already located the attachment bolt for the nosegear, and I have already cleaned and polished the wrench... with which that bolt will be removed... upon the aircraft's arrival at my shop :)

RidgeRunner 1.jpg
RidgeRunner 5.jpg

 

Victor Bravo

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Its a 503 DCDI engine, which would be OK for out in the desert, but I have 5 miled of solid city between my airport and open country. So I would be very much looking to find a 4 stroke engine for it. An 80 HP 912 would be pretty neat, and I may have a line on one. The good news is it will fold up and fit in the hangar under the wing of my old 172. That's a major deal here, hangar rents $400 and up, having two hangars wold be hazardous to my health!.
 

FritzW

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In my position as Vice Pesident of Corpulence here at Obesity Industries...
As CDO (Chief Doughnut Officer) I feel confident in saying you and I will never fly together in the Ridge Runner.

About 100 years ago I saw a Ridge Runner at Copper State that had Storch inspired cabin windows, ...it looked cool and would probably be handy if you live in a cold climate.

Why are you removing the nose gear bolt? ...to move the nose gear to the back where it belongs? ...I hope
 

Victor Bravo

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Why are you removing the nose gear bolt? ...to move the nose gear to the back where it belongs? ...I hope
Oh yeah, remove the nose gear post haste, but there's even more to this wretched story :) This Ridge Runner has a tailwheel too... of sorts. Somebody put some sort of a shopping cart caster on the back, instead of a tail skid. But it ain't a proper steerable tailwheel.

So it has a nosewheel, and it has a tailwheel, and I'm removing both of them with great prejudice :)

RidgeRunner 4.jpg
 

FritzW

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I'm guessing these are the mounts for the gear? It would be criminal if the front mounts didn't fit the same gear legs as the rear ones.
Untitled.jpg
 

Victor Bravo

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I believe they will fit, and yes those are "multi-mounts" for nosegear, tailwheel, or floats. If they didn't fit the gear that's on it, then I'd modify the existing set or have a new gear set welded up. Or maybe I'd call Robbie Grove :)
 

addicted2climbing

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New Development for anyone interested in tis particular type of cute little off-road machine.

I have established contact with a fellow who is very experienced with this type of aircraft, and who was there on the scene when these were all being designed, built, brothers fighting brothers, etc.

Based on the few photos I have thus far, he was able to identify that my new purchase is a Ridge Runner 2, not a Model 1.

This is really good news, because the early original Model 1 was a somewhat humorous attempt to meet Part 103 weight (the joke was on the aircraft owner, it was just about impossible to get anywhere close), and the structure was far less robust.

In my position as Vice Pesident of Corpulence here at Obesity Industries, it occurred to me that flying around in an airplane with 170 pound max pilot weight was not an attractive proposition. We do get gusts and bumps out here in the Mojave Desert.

So the good news is that the Ridge Runner 2 was a very humorous 2 seater, where you could have two people in very very very tight quarters (rear occupant essentially piggy-back behind the front seater). The designers added structure and wall thickness to many of the tubes, and so apparently I have something that will likely have a 325-375 lb. empty weight and an 800-900 pound gross.

Most importantly, I have already located the attachment bolt for the nosegear, and I have already cleaned and polished the wrench... with which that bolt will be removed... upon the aircraft's arrival at my shop :)

View attachment 90170
View attachment 90171

Nuts to Butts...
 

Victor Bravo

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I just spent some quality time on the phone speaking with Troy Woodland of Just Aircraft. He had some personal knowledge related to these aircraft, and his memories were able to answer a few of my questions.

The reason I'm posting this is to say that Troy was very kind in the amount of time and energy he put into answering my questions, and trying to help me figure out these mysteries. Seems like a first class guy.

Helping me is not going to put any money in his hands, but he did it because a bunch of 15 or 20 year-ago ancient history he had in his head would be of some value to me... it's nice to know we have people like this in the E-AB world.
 
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Ingrampba

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I just spent some quality time on the phone speaking with Troy Woodland of Just Aircraft. He had some personal knowledge related to these aircraft, and his memories were able to answer a few of my questions.

The reason I'm posting this is to say that Troy was very kind in the amount of time and energy he put into answering my questions, and trying to help me figure out these mysteries. Seems like a first class guy.

Helping me is not going to put any money in his hands, but he did it because a bunch of 15 or 20 year-ago ancient history he had in his head would be of some value to me... it's nice to know we have people like this in the E-AB world.
Did you ever find an assembly manual? I have a Ridge Runner 2 but I lost the manual for it. I'm sure its in the very safe place i put it so I wouldn't lose it but now I can't find it lol
 

Pops

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Did you ever find an assembly manual? I have a Ridge Runner 2 but I lost the manual for it. I'm sure its in the very safe place i put it so I wouldn't lose it but now I can't find it lol
When you find your lost manual, would you save all of my stuff for me where I put in the same place.
 

Victor Bravo

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Did you ever find an assembly manual? I have a Ridge Runner 2 but I lost the manual for it. I'm sure its in the very safe place i put it so I wouldn't lose it but now I can't find it lol
I have gotten some manuals, which are helpful but marginal.

Fritz, I have indeed moved the main gear to the forward mounts, putting the airplane on its tail - as is right and proper in the world. The cabane assembly underneath the fuselage, where the tie rod or tension struts attach, was welded in at the rear (nosewheel config.) mounts. So we physically cut that cabane out, welded some ears on it, and bolted it between the forward gear mounts. This allowed the tension struts to hold the main gear against the weight of the aircraft.

But on this aircraft, there were no bungees or other shock/spring assembles in these tension struts like there ought to be. Troy said "oh yeah, they must have installed the cheaper solid gear version on that one".

So I cut the tension struts and had a friend weld a piece of telescopic tube, and some stub tubes, to create a traditional bungee gear strut similar to the Cub. Now I have something that absorbs impact more than just tire sidewall flex!

Got sidetracked on the lower engine cowl for a month (!), trying to make provisions to be able to remove the cowling without dismounting the entire exhaust system. I managed to design something reasonable, and safe, and maintain-able, but it's still not as nice as it should be. A section of the lower cowl is now mounted separately to the airframe, which allows the larger portion of the cowling to come off with the exhaust in place. It's plenty good enough to fly for a while, but I'm not happy with it.

I've also spent weeks of anguish trying to get the cowling Camloc fasteners sorted out. Camlocs were intended to be mounted in cowlings where you could measure the thickness of the sheet metal in one place and expect that thickness to be uniform throughout the cowl. Apparently they never imagined people having complete donkey-s**t quality hand laid fiberglass cowlings with five different thicknesses, resin blobs, and more patches than Microsoft Windows.

When I win the lottery I'm immediately rolling up on BoKu's shop and ordering a professionally made carbon cowling.

Ingrampba please tell me about your Ridge Runner, there ain't but a handful of us around. I need to become more educated on these airplanes - got thousands of little questions. Mine turns out to be a Model 2 and not a Model 1.
 

Ingrampba

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20191206_134002.jpg20191206_134002.jpg this is what I have. I got it as a trade for replacing an engine in a truck for a family friend. I believe it's a Ridge Runner Model 2. I had the manual for it but have misplaced it so I'm searching for another copy. I really need the manual to finish the wings and routing the control cables to the wings.
 

Victor Bravo

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Measure the wall thickness of the forward and rear main wing spar tubes.

If the aluminum tubes are .058 wall thickness (IIRC) then it is a 500 pound gross Model 1 ultralight.

If the wall thickness is .071 (IIRC) then it's a 900 pound gross Model 2.

But the presence of the fabric sling "seat back" in front of the fixed aluminum seat in your photo tells me it is likely a Model 2. They jokingly claimed it was capable of carrying 2 people.

If you want to trade something for that Ridge Runner, let me know.
 

Ingrampba

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I really would like to finish it and fly it. I need to get an engine still but without the manual idk how to compete the wings.
 

Victor Bravo

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My wings are not installed, and the flaps/ailerons are not installedo n the wings. They are all covered as well.

If you PM me your e-mail address I will send you what I have.

If you can locate any nearby builder of an Avid Flyer or Kitfox, I believe the Ridge Runner is very very close in construction, such that the Avid or KF buider will know exactly what goes where for most of it.

The Avid/KF flaperons are different than the RR flaps and ailerons... all the rigging of those controls will be totally different.
 
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