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Old Jan 12, 2010, 06:22 PM
Detail Freak
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It'll be a while before I feel that I know the plane well enough to write a report, but you can see my impressions so far in the Tracer thread in the F3X forum.

R,
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Old Apr 04, 2010, 08:41 PM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
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I commited to changing the tail incidence pins. Here is what I came up with:

Distance between one tail rod centers is 61mm, the other 58mm; using pi times diameter yielded just over 364mm circumference on the 58mm side, so right at 1mm per degree of change.

So I dremeled out the holes in the fuse up @ .059" on the short side, and @ .063" on the longer side.

Then I waxed and PVA'd the parts, and used some WS+fibers in the holes and plugged the tails on, rigged "up" at the LE's and they are drying.

Hope my math is close! I'm sure it will fly fine eitherway.

Even though ChiChi believes that this is not the culprit, I can tell you that the plane was very well mannered at 109 with a reasonable amount of elevator, and it did want to tuck at speed but not slower.
I think I will end up at @108 on my cg, and I also think the tail mod will help.


I love the wings on this plane.

R,
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Old Apr 04, 2010, 08:42 PM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
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Flight report:

I had a "double re-maiden" to perform today-

The new tail incidence on the Tracer, and I just got my EVO back from MPX upgraded to "Evo Pro", and had to get the radio setup dialed in within reason. Unfortunately, even though all the model memories are "in there", some things are a little bit different between the two software versions, so you are NOT going to just get the radio back, charge and fly it....But they have some new wizardry inside that is appreciated and worth the hassle, IMO.

So, I broke loose the tail panels from the epoxy fibers mix in the new incidence holes, and "fitted" the pieces more precisely. And added a little 5 minute epoxy back-fill in the holes where it had sunk into the fuse a bit. Then re-assembled the tails and checked the linkages, stabs/ruddervators perfectly aligned. Servos perfect, she's RTF!

Headed out to the "SULA" field, with a 12-15mph SW breeze, triple-staked in the Hose Monster. Made a test glide with the wing in section. All is well, added 2 clicks of down on the finest trim setting. Off to the bungy.

First launch. I failed to walk far enough from the parking lot to get a really stout pull, but it was good enough to not be dangerous. Twang! Up she goes, and keeps going. One more click of down added, looks happy. Penetrates well in the 15 MPH wind, even empty. Re-stake the bungy.

Second launch: Stout pull, there she goes! Much better! Got about 200' with a too-deep ping off the line. Circle at the far end of the field, find a little lift, maintain some altitude for a couple circles. Test the crow, needs less down comp. Stayed up for @ 2 minutes on that one.

Basically, I can tell you that I feel like I can feel the difference with the tail mod, and I think it was worth the minimal effort. The plane seems to want to speed up faster with the nose down, and didn't feel like it wanted to tuck anymore. I believe my CG is still at @ 108-109mm. I even got ballsy and flew inverted for a couple seconds, but was fairly low, so not much a test. The plane feels better to me, and seems faster. Conditions were pretty crappy, so it really wasn't much of a test. I'll post more later when I have had more time to wring it out.
But for now, I'm happy with the decision I made to try the adjustment.

After landing, I looked at the trim, sighting the paint edge where the red and white paint meet on the stabs: no perceptible trim whatsoever. So I think my measurements may have been on.

R,
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Old Apr 04, 2010, 09:27 PM
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Nice report Target!

Juan
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Old Apr 04, 2010, 09:41 PM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
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Hi, Juan-

It's too bad your Tracer met such an untimely demise!!

I'm excited to get more stick time on it now, and see just what the difference will make. I think it will be noticable, and it was really pretty easy.

R,
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Old Apr 05, 2010, 01:00 AM
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Hi Target, Do you know if Bob is talking to M'ftr about changing this on future models that will be built ? I am still in love with this plane and saving pennies to get 1
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Old Apr 05, 2010, 06:55 AM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
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I'm not certain, I did mention it to him a while back.

I get the impression that some of the manufacturers are tough to communicate with on details such as this.

You may want to send him an email and see.

I also hear that there is a cross tail fuse available with a full flying tail, so that may be an option as well.

R,
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Old Apr 11, 2010, 07:46 PM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
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I flew the tracer on a TD winch yesterday, and tested the tail mod a bit further.

I did a "bad thing" by also insisting on using the newly updated "Evo Pro" that I recently got back form Hitec after updating, so I had to reset a bunch of settings, like camber for launch, etc.
I should have brought BOTH the EVO Pro, and the regular Evo 12 that I had been flying it on, so that all my settings were the same, but hey, I'm human (read, "Not always the smartest!")....

So, after a few downwind launches that were ugly, we moved the hook back. And it was better, but still lack-lustere on launch. So, finally, we added camber, and my buddy Tuan had a little angle gauge and we measured and found it was less than 10* that I had been using to launch with cambered.

After adjusting to 10* of camber, the thing was transformed, and went almost straight up, but was a bit squirrely (the hook was a bit too far back). Next launch, we put the Tracer up and it was on rails and pretty good on the climb angle!

So, I think that I amost have the tuning sorted out, and when I feel that the plane is a bit more "dialed in", I will post my settings here.

The plane is pretty easy to thermal, so long as you don't try to make it fly as slow as a TD plane. Just let it cruise, and she stays up easily!

R,
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Old Feb 16, 2011, 09:46 PM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
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Man, I really miss my Tracer....
I hope that Tom (Sky_Surfer_Fra) gets his going and enjoys it as much as I had enjoyed mine. It's a GREAT all around plane.

R,
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Old Mar 02, 2011, 08:28 AM
Always looking for lift...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by target View Post
Man, I really miss my Tracer....
I hope that Tom (Sky_Surfer_Fra) gets his going and enjoys it as much as I had enjoyed mine. It's a GREAT all around plane.

R,
Target
Hi Target,

how much aileron and flap throw do you recommend for thermal, speed and snap-flap?
Do you fly the F3F turns only with e.g. ailerons, ailerons + little flap throw or ailerons together with rudder?

Thanks, Tom

PS: Today we have really good wind (30km/h) but I need another evening to finish my Tracer mods.
Inter alia I found a bit tolerance (1.5mm at the trailing edge) in the flap linkages last night that I want to remove before the re-maiden.
Btw, LiFe battery for the Tracer is not yet delivered, so I have to stay on the Eneloops a bit longer.

Forecast for tomorrow afternoon is quite good, cold but ~20 km/h with a 75-80 heading relative to the edge of the "local" slope (local means "only" 55km away ;-)).
Should be enough to do some test flights and to try to transfer some of the theory I have learned during the slope-free winter months from the F3F profs here at rcgroups.
Hope forecast becomes true. If yes, I will leave the office very soon as I need a slope session after more than 4 month abstinence urgently ...
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Old Mar 02, 2011, 09:35 AM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
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Hi, Tom-

I am a big fan of mixes of all type, but depending on what it is, less is better than more sometimes.

Rudder mixed into ailerons: Yes! Depends on airspeed (Less airspeed = more mix)
Flaps mixed to ailerons: Yes, @ 33% measured
Snapflap with full elevator: Yes! 2mm in "Thermal" and "Cruise", 4mm in "Speed", measured at the flap root, match ailerons to that.
Also, I mix snapflap BOTH directions, but only 2mm up in all modes.

Make sure that the differential in the flaps matches closely the diff in the ailerons.

Mixing the Flaps as ailerons reduces your aileron throw, which reduces drag, so use it.

If you have a lot of throw in any surface, and never move the transmitter stick fully ever, TURN DOWN THE THROW!!!!
Lots of people prefer to have the planes set up this way, but I find it much better to use most of the stick travel all the time. Excessive throw makes the pilot make too many corrections, robbing the speed of the plane.

I set up my planes with "Dual rate" and when the air is good and the planes making sub 45 second runs, I use "Low rate". When the air is lighter and the planes slower, I use "High rate".
Low rate is 85% of high rate.
At no time do I have enough elevator throw to "Flick" the plane if full up is given....

Landing mode for me has slightly higher rates (air speed is usually low landing, at least I hope it is!), and less Expo.

Expo: @ 20-25% on ailerons, just 10% on elevator for speed mode, nothing more.


Hope that you find this helpful.

R,
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Old Mar 04, 2011, 08:03 AM
Always looking for lift...
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Thanks Target. Again very helpful recommendations!

As others had the same needs (going out at fly ), slope was pretty busy yesterday afternoon.
It's a slope with a small turbulence free area and therefore 5 other planes in light air means no F3F close to the slope edge .

So F3F practice was limited to 5 or 10 tracks.
(It's a private slope with an amazing view over the vineyards and so I am happy to get approval to fly there at all. Do not want to risk this privilege...)

But nevertheless the Tracer made a great 30min thermal session.
She left all other including two very light moulded TD ships behind her.


DSC08011 Don't think about flying too close to the slope because of the rough turbulences or much worse about landing in the bushes


DSC08006 I love this outlook!

Quote:
Originally Posted by target View Post
Flaps mixed to ailerons: Yes, @ 33% measured
Snapflap with full elevator: Yes! 2mm in "Thermal" and "Cruise", 4mm in "Speed", measured at the flap root, match ailerons to that.
Also, I mix snapflap BOTH directions, but only 2mm up in all modes.
I had too much throw. Now the turns come much better!


Quote:
Originally Posted by target View Post
Make sure that the differential in the flaps matches closely the diff in the ailerons.

Mixing the Flaps as ailerons reduces your aileron throw, which reduces drag, so use it.
Have to check whether my MC19 can do this


Quote:
Originally Posted by target View Post
If you have a lot of throw in any surface, and never move the transmitter stick fully ever, TURN DOWN THE THROW!!!!
Lots of people prefer to have the planes set up this way, but I find it much better to use most of the stick travel all the time. Excessive throw makes the pilot make too many corrections, robbing the speed of the plane.
Makes sense to me. Have to change this as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by target View Post
At no time do I have enough elevator throw to "Flick" the plane if full up is given....
Ok, I know this since long time but I didn't change this by now. But I had attached no importance to this. Most of my gliders flick with 60 or 70%. So will change this also...


Quote:
Originally Posted by target View Post
Landing mode for me has slightly higher rates (air speed is usually low landing, at least I hope it is!), and less Expo.
MC 19 has only 3 flight phase (Thermal, Standard, Speed). I already missed a highstart phase for my e.g. Organic.
So will check if I can use a trick for a fourth flight phase
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Old Mar 04, 2011, 08:29 AM
Always looking for lift...
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Germany, HE, Offenbach
Joined Oct 2003
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After implementing Targets throw recommendations, turns come much better and my Tracer does not loose so much speed than before. This part of the F3F task is now ok for me and I have learned my lessons!
Thanks again Target!

But, what do I do still wrong, that I get her not a bit faster
I guess my fault, similar to the solved turn issues I had.

Flying at 150m, giving 1 or 2 down clicks - nothing happens.
Giving 3 or 4 down clicks and the Tracer goes down with an angle of 20-45 increases the speed but becomes not really fast and a gentle pull out of the dive (at 5 - 10m) absorbs the speed very quickly and climb is limited to 50, 60m.
I did this yesterday together at the slope with a 10 year old Elipse and she was much faster with a siginficant better energy retention ...

Longitudinal dihedral is already reduced, self flare out after dive test is flat and unhasty.

Or do I have to live with the fact that the Tracer is a very nice thermal and alround ship (no doubt about this) but not capable to fly fast?
I understand NAN advertisement (High perfomance F3B/F glider. Model is suitable for ... competitors) that the Tracer can fly fast...!?
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Old Mar 04, 2011, 03:51 PM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
Joined Oct 2003
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Are you using any reflex in your speed mode?
Where is your CG ??
I believe that somewhere between 107 and 109mm is correct.
Start at 107 or 106, add 7g weight on the tail boom behind the wing TE, and move back a little each flight. Make sure to trim the elevator for flat flight each time you change the CG...
When you get to where it is worse flying, move the weight back forward to the "good spot".
Then measure where that is at home and remove the weight from the tail boom and from the nose to get to that "good CG".

I think that the Tracer has a bit liftier wing profile than some other designs, so it could be you are flying it a bit too light for F3F (?)

Also, that slope, while beautiful, doesn't appear to have much of a "rise" slope to it, and as such the lift there will be light, not allowing a lot of speed.
You say that on the same slope another plane is faster?? What are the particular specifications of that plane?? Wing airfoil, wing loading, especially.

BR,
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Old Mar 09, 2011, 08:10 AM
Always looking for lift...
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Germany, HE, Offenbach
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the good news

Hi Target,

Yesterday we had a very calm late afternoon here and so I absconded from work early ~ 4:30pm to try out your proposals without any wind influence.

I did several hi-starts to test little CG, mix and throw changes.
At the end performance (including speed ) increased significantly and the energy retention became better and better every flight.

To enjoy the increased speed I decided to do a final flight regardless I recognized lack of concentration after a very short night and a challenging work day...
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