QuadPlane Conversion of Volantex Ranger EX

Hi Josh,

It’s probably just a matter of setting the PIDs for your power system. You could simply use the slider controls on the Basic Tuning Screen in Mission Planner.

I haven’t gotten back to testing my Ranger EX for transitions yet as the winter weather still lingers. On my other thread below, Rollys has had several successful transitions and flights. You could post more information on your setup here and there. For example, what is your motor Kv, prop size, and cell count. What does “the pods are way off” mean? Can you post some images?

APM: QuadPlane, Tiltrotor, and Tiltwing

sorry I meant pids. I have a Ranger Ex, octoplane. 8x 3506 650kv with 14x4.8 props. I posted a log for tridgell, but no response yet. I only had a test hover so far

Interesting, a Ranger EX Octoplane. I would love to see some photos so feel free to post them here. For an initial attempt to fix your PIDs, try adjusting the sliders in the appropriate direction of the Basic Tuning Screen. This should get you close.

Here’s a pic. I found my problem to be mag interference and since it didn’t react to yaw inputs I just assumed something else was wrong.

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Ahh, now I see how it is an octoplane, it is an X8. :slight_smile:

It looks like a good high position for your compass now.

Is that a Here+ GPS for the pixhawk 2.1? Great looking build!

Just the normal HERE GPS and 2.1, thanks

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Hi Greg,
What glue did you use for the carbon tubes to the foam wing as well as the balsa wedge? Do you recommend anything like a guerilla 2-part epoxy?

GotMyNina…How’s your progress been with the Octo QuadPlane? I’m currently in the middle of my build and curious what I should looking for.

Hi Alex,

The problem with Gorilla glue on this project is that it expands. You really want a glue that just adheres firmly.

I decided to use Foam-Tac since it also adheres nicely to carbon and balsa. For extra security, I’ve added a custom cut right-angle piece of balsa stock to counter any rotational forces. I did the gluing in two stages and weighed down the carbon tube during the drying period with a 2.5lb plate. I can hold the carbon tube and shake the wing half so it seems reasonably strong.

Today is “Ranger Day” so I finally get to test out transitions on my Ranger EX QuadPlane. I’ll post a video later this week if it is successful.

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Great tip thanks Greg! Good luck on your upcoming Ranger transition flights. Looking forward to seeing the videos.

My initial flight test of the Ranger EX QuadPlane didn’t go as well as expected but it was a good learning experience and I got lucky that the damage was minimal.

The take-off in QSTABILIZE mode was perfect into stiff winds about 15-18mph. Initially, I accidentally selected LOITER mode but got it sorted quickly to FBWA mode. It flew great into the wind but just after the turn, with the wind at its tail, the Ranger EX stalled and luckily recovered before hitting the ground.

I made a second mistake by changing to MANUAL mode (my normal bailout for APM Plane) and should have left it in FBWA. The mode change cut the quad motor assist and the Ranger landed hard (and out of sight) without much forward speed. Fortunately, the damage was limited to my front gimbal and the right wing half was broken. I was happy to see that both carbon booms handled the crash without issue.

Looking at the logs revealed the stall and an interesting issue with the Q_ASSIST_SPEED setting of 10 meters per second. When not using an air speed sensor, as in my setup, I believe that GPS speed is used. My GPS speed ranged from 9 (into the wind) to 17 with the wind. So flying into the wind, not only did I have good lift from the air flow, I have additional help from the quad rotors. Flying with the wind, even though my GPS speed was 17, the actual speed was much less and it was without help from the Q_ASSIST_SPEED setting of 10.

So I do not know the exact stall speed of the modified Ranger EX QuadPlane but I am now thinking that adding an air speed sensor will help negate the effects of the wind on the Q_ASSIST_SPEED setting. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Thank´s Greg to share all your good and bad experiences, I´m some steps behind you, very usefull for me, I have my flywing near to first flight, I was thinking if add an airspeed, perhaps looks a good idea. Waiting good wheather (I´m in winter :frowning: )

Greg thank you for sharing your experiences and latest progress. As Cala2 best stated: sharing both good and bad experiences. That’s the beauty of this hobby…reaching to our final objective is that much sweeter. I can share the pain as well going through a ranger conversion and as well ended with some wing damage. Thank goodness for the spare parts out there!
In regards to a wind speed sensor…I as well contemplated the same thing. I currently am not using one but figured it would be a helpful tool. However, won’t you get false readings given high wind conditions? At the end, I figured both options have their pros and cons
Keep up posted on your progress…you are in inspiration to many of us out there.

There shouldn’t be any false readings due to high wind conditions. The sensor is logarithmic so that as the wind gets stronger, the voltage reading goes up less and less.

I now see the need for an airspeed sensor, especially for larger plane and quadplane applications. I had not used one before because most of my APM experience was using copters. My APM Plane experience was using a Skywalker with FBWA and Loiter modes and the smaller Bix3 quadplane project. I started a thread below which reveals much good information and it is consistent with my other thread on RC Groups.

Airspeed Sensor Benefit on QuadPlanes

In summary, we need the airspeed sensor and digital sensors with I2C bus are preferred. That being said, I have an analog sensor which I will try first while waiting for a new digital sensor from here because it is located in the U.S. This will give me experience with both sensors. It seems to me that using a short cable for the analog air speed sensor will not have interference and they are about 1/2 the price of the digital sensors. However, the analog sensor unit uses a MPXV7002DP Differential pressure sensor and the I2C digital sensor unit uses a Measurement Specialties 4525DO sensor, with 1 psi measurement range so it may indeed be more accurate and have better noise immunity.

Just a heads-up that I am loading APM Plane v3.8.0 Beta 5 (or newer) onto my Ranger EX and will start a new thread in the Plane 3.8 forum to continue our Ranger Ex project. I hope that others find it and will add their experiences.


Awesome Greg thanks for the insight! Shoot me an invite or link once you setup the new thread. I’ve been reading on 3.8 and seems there will be support now for Y6 and bi-copters. Is that correct? That would be great and extends the range of custom airframes to design.

Yes, that seems right. My hope is that we will see some larger ARF tilt-rotor frames from manufacturers soon. Until then, converting a relatively inexpensive plane into a quadplane seems the way to go…

Hi Greg,

why do you not take the newer MS5525 sensor. Jordis shop https://store.mrobotics.io/mRo-Next-Gen-MS5525-Airspeed-Sensor-NEW-p/mro-ms5525v2-mr.htm ist located in U.S.



I will also get one of the new MS5525 sensors from Jordi’s shop as I just upgraded to v3.8.0 beta 5. I hadn’t realized it was in the U.S.A. so I ordered the standard digital one from a U.S.A. location so it will come quickly. The analog one I already had on hand so I can test it now.

I updated my Ranger EX to APM Plane v3.8.0 beta 5 and started Part 2 of this thread in the v3.8 forum here.