Great Planes Tracer

I was wondering if a great planes tracer would be as fun and forgiving to fly as a super stick?

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I have two Tracers. I used to have three, but you know what happened. It's a different animal, designed for precision maneuvers.

good points: 1) When you release the elevator at the bottom of a loop, it flies out on a perfect tangent line. Release the ailerons during a roll and it stops rolling NOW. 2) The long moment gives it pretty good handling for a tail dragger, especially if you can perfect a wheel landing.

bad points: 1) I have never figured out how to control the end of a snap roll or a spin. Kicking a touch of opposite aileron helps. 2) If you are like me and start your airplanes without help, you will need to tether the plane. The airplane is too small to stand in front of the wing, and it's a long reach to the needle valve if you stand in front of the stab. 3) Inverted engines are a pain. 4) It needs quite a bit of rudder to handle it on the ground, but that is a bit much for flying. This is due to the long tail moment. I plan on trying some experiments with dual rates and snap rolls.

I enjoy mine. The first one I built was the subject of several experiments with fuel tank locations and Perry pumps. By the time I was done, it weighed 6 lbs, 9 oz. The second one was built with a standard setup, and had lighter wood; it weighs 5 lbs 13 oz. The third one was electric and weighed in at the same weight as the first. It used six packs of 3 cells 1500 mAH making a 6s3p pack. I had over 100 flights on it, and I really wish I hadn't crashed that one.

As far as being forgiving - crank in too much up elevator at low airspeed, and it WILL snap roll into the ground without warning. Pattern planes with thin airfoils and tapered wings are designed to snap and spin, and they will.

-- Mike Norton

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Mike Norton

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