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Old Mar 09, 2011, 08:45 AM
Always looking for lift...
sky_surfer_fra's Avatar
Germany, HE, Offenbach
Joined Oct 2003
379 Posts
the bad news

... at the end of the downwind leg, Tracer moved into a 45 degree decend abruptly.

As it was a quite fast (not to say high speed) downwind leg and she was not more than 25m high, I was only able to pull out the dive, but not to avoid the 8m high tree line below the regular approach route a couple of meters in front of her.
What a impact! Loud!

Half of the left wing is destroyed to the spar, right V-tail wing destroyed, several cracks in fuse around wing joiner, V-tail attachment ripped out.

Not sure if I can repair this.
I assume at least left wing is a total loss.

! 900Euro grounded at the beginning of the 2011 season. Budget will not allow a replacement during the next months.
So all my 2011 international European F3F competition participations seems to be killed.

Creeping feeling is that I had set the flaps too early without elevator compensation, but why using crow at this position??? Lack of concentration...???
I filmed all the flights with my new helmet cam, except the last one. For the last one the helmet cam angle was a bit too high. So this is no analysis option. (will upload a short video mix, including my crash comment , somewhen later)

A club mate lost control over his 12kg motor plane 30 mins before close to this location as well and crashed into bog in front of the trees. Luckily only little damages.
But as far as we know 2.4 GHz is safe and cannot be violated from outside.

By far the most expensive damage I have in my 33 year R/C glider career.
I am quite frustrated...!!! Especially as Tracer came closer and closer to my expectations...

Cheers, Tom
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Old Mar 09, 2011, 07:32 PM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
Joined Oct 2003
21,558 Posts
That's terrible, Tom!

Sounds like there is a turbulent piece of air in that one spot that upset both your Tracer and your friends plane.
Maybe since your plane is much lighter, and of course flying more slowly, it got the worst treatment by the air.

It sounds like you had your plane really flying much better though before that happened.
One thing to note- the Tracer is not a pure TD plane, but more all arounder, and as such, shouldn't be asked to do what a true TD plane can do slowly. But who knows if this is even what happened.

I'm sorry to hear of it, maybe Bob at www.soaringusa.com can get you a reasonably priced replacement wing? Is there a possibility of fixing that one? Looks like the spar is intact?

So sorry to hear of your misfortune.

BR,
Target
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Old Mar 11, 2011, 07:49 AM
Always looking for lift...
sky_surfer_fra's Avatar
Germany, HE, Offenbach
Joined Oct 2003
379 Posts
Thanks for your sympathy, Target !

I would like to blame the trees, turbulent air, any R/C related causes or too little speed (she was close to hypersonic speed at this moment ).
But to be honest the reason was a confused pilot .

Yesterday I checked the Tracer again, the vid I took of her last flights and some photos.
The flap position after the crash was at +45.
You can see it at the (boring) vid during one of the finals that I had mixed too much deep elevator for crow when Tracer's nose went done a few seconds before landing.
Same happened during the high speed approach when the crazy pilot (myself) had set 100% crow.
That explains why I was able to stop the dive but not to jump over the trees.

In the past I did this for all planes.
With full high elevator and max crow it was not possible to get a stall at all.
But you have always keep in mind to use full high elevator, otherwise you run into a <=45 dive.
For me the configuration was helpful for e.g. far away valley outlandings. You don't have to think about speed, at this moment, only to meet the landing zone...

For all other planes I changed this intense crow behavior to a more moderate last year...

And to answer your question: Yes, at her last day I was really happy with the Tracer! Thank you!!!

Lessons I have learned:
  • F3F is very different to F3J, means for me: When you are good in thermal and "normal" slope flying, it is no guarantee to be a good F3F style Fast Flyer
  • High tech mouldies like the Tracer are very sensitive to minimal setting changes (I couldn't believe before that a 1 or 2mm tolerance decides on success or failure)

PS: I am already in contact with Bob and now have to check the German custom costs I would have to pay.

Tracer fine-tuning and crash (5 min 47 sec)




Quote:
Originally Posted by target View Post
That's terrible, Tom!

Sounds like there is a turbulent piece of air in that one spot that upset both your Tracer and your friends plane.
Maybe since your plane is much lighter, and of course flying more slowly, it got the worst treatment by the air.

It sounds like you had your plane really flying much better though before that happened.
One thing to note- the Tracer is not a pure TD plane, but more all arounder, and as such, shouldn't be asked to do what a true TD plane can do slowly. But who knows if this is even what happened.

I'm sorry to hear of it, maybe Bob at www.soaringusa.com can get you a reasonably priced replacement wing? Is there a possibility of fixing that one? Looks like the spar is intact?

So sorry to hear of your misfortune.

BR,
Target
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Old May 02, 2011, 03:10 AM
Always looking for lift...
sky_surfer_fra's Avatar
Germany, HE, Offenbach
Joined Oct 2003
379 Posts
my 2nd Tracer

Hey Target!

Yesterday I bought my second Tracer from a slope guy I know casually.
She is 5 weeks "old" (I attended the maiden), has only few hours in air, looks 100% new and I got her RTF (except battery, Receiver) for 20% under material new price (after 1 week price negotiation).

Some photos will follow next days.

Cheers, Tom
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Old Aug 04, 2011, 07:31 AM
Always looking for lift...
sky_surfer_fra's Avatar
Germany, HE, Offenbach
Joined Oct 2003
379 Posts
Was too busy to upload some photos of my Tracer #2 earlier as I needed all my little free time for flying with Tracer #2, F3F practise with my Typhoon and her recovery .

Meanwhile I have flown Tracer #2 several hours in the flat land (~20 aero tows, ~25 high starts) and I am really happy with her.

Had amazing thermal flights with her last Friday. The best (but not longest) thermal flights I ever had!

Having an acceptable basic setup and started this morning before driving to the office with the fine tuning and doing some high starts.

Will compile a short video as I need some advise from you pros for setting up the rudder.

Cheers, Tom
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Old Nov 13, 2011, 06:40 PM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
Joined Oct 2003
21,558 Posts
OK, Budget F3B fans:

I have a new Tracer (customer's build) on the bench, so I thought I'd add a few more pics to the thread here.

He decided to go with this for gear:

MKS 6125 Flaps
MKS 6126mini's Ailerons
ATX 94809 for v-tails
AXT Rx
Hyperion 1450 2S with
Castle Creation BEC as a regulator

I didn't weigh the fuse and joiner yet, but the wings are @ 640g each, and the tails still nice and very light at 33g each.

The quality of this plane is GREAT, especially for the $$$. The hinges on the wings and tails are perfect, I only needed to run a tap in the threaded holes for the control horns, before starting on tunnels for the linkages. SWEET!

Since Mike supplied frames for the wings servos (a good idea) and the servo bays aren't huge on Tracer, I was wondering how to have access to the screw on the end of the servo??

Here is what I came up with: slide the servos into a slot attached to the frame, and then use the two primary screws to lock it in place. I probably could have not bothered with this, but, well, you know....

R,
Target
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Last edited by target; Dec 29, 2011 at 06:40 PM.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 06:17 PM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
Joined Oct 2003
21,558 Posts
Mike Murphy's Tracer is done, its RTF!

It has a fuse mounted rectangular ballast tube that holds (7) 5.9 oz lead slugs, for 41oz.
The wings each hold 7 cylindrical lead slugs ab for 14 total in the wings weighing about 30 oz.
So, total combined ballast is @ 71 oz.
Plane balanced and empty is @ 83oz. Its a little heavier than I had hoped, but mostly it was out of my hands. I would like to see NAN use the hollow pushrods instead of the solid .045" ones, they weigh about 14g each, and most of the weight is behind the CG....

The plane features a 1450MaH LiFe pack and a Castle Creations BEC feeding the MKS 6125's (flaps) and 6215 mini's (ailerons) and Hyperion DS11 resin gears for the V-tails. The wings are plug and play for ease of assembly, with MPX connectors doing the duty.

The battery, although completely out of sight, is replacable by removing the servo tray.
The servo tray is extending from the LE of the wing, all the way forward to nose, and epoxied in to provide good support and strengthen the area that hopefully be the only place that gets any pounding.

I hope Mike likes the plane.

R,
Target
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Last edited by target; Dec 29, 2011 at 10:53 PM.
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Old Aug 05, 2012, 07:52 PM
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Australia, QLD, Gold Coast
Joined Sep 2008
2,461 Posts
Hi Bro or Target,
Can you get the Tracer in the new Spread tow layup like on the Xplorers ?? Would make a great all rounder and sexy lookin ..... NAN must be busy.
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Old Aug 06, 2012, 08:20 PM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
Joined Oct 2003
21,558 Posts
That is positively a Bob Breaux question. It seems totally do-able, although I would expect a jump in price since the materials will cost more.

I would imagine a Tracer could be built at 70oz or less with STF...
If you do that, you might ask also for STF tails. The tails on Tracer are nice and light, but being glass, they are easy to get hanger rash on.

Just a thought.

R,
Target
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