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Thread: Game Tracker by Joe Ball

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  1. Game Tracker by Joe Ball 
    #1
    I am building my first scratch built plane. I really liked the looks of the Game Tracker in the Jan. 2005 Model Aviation . What I liked about it was the size, that it is light, and that it is capable of slow flight and small field flying.

    Building it has proved challenging so far. The plans call for a carbon tube for the fuselage. The author used a hunting arrow described as having a 5/16 inch diameter and "400" thickness. I thought finding an arrow shaft seemed difficult, so I looked at the suppliers of carbon fiber rods and tubes to see if I could find something suitable. The problem was I had no way to translate the "400" thickness to the listings I saw on the carbon fiber vendor pages. So, I gave in and went to a sporting goods store with a hunting section. There I found arrows with 300 and 400 thicknesses. They were 6 to a box for about $30.00. I did not want to pay that, so I asked about archery clubs where I might pick up a broken one- none very near. I ended up leaving the store with one that had been returned due to a defect. They did not charge me for it.

    For the record, OD of the arrow I got is 0.294 inches, the ID is 0.245 inches and the wall thickness is .025 inches. It is a Beman ICS Hunter 400.

    So far I have cut the balsa strips and shapes, made the laminates for the wing ends, stabilizer and rudder and built the "pod" for mounting the engine.

    When making the laminates I found I was getting "kinks" as I tried to bend the 1/16th balsa strips around the foam forms I made. I had soaked the balsa and also tried steaming it, but still, the kinks occurred, and in the sharper bends, they propagated out in each layer of the laminate. Suggestions for next time? The laminates I made (with kinks) seem strong enough and well shaped enough to use when the glue dried and I took them off the form.

    I had on hand 30 inch rather than 36 inch balsa, and therefore had to add some splices in my laminates. Now I am waiting for an order of 36 inch balsa to cut the strips again for the wing trailing edge before I start building the wing.

    Anyone else building the Game Tracker? I'd love to here from anyone who is. I'll post more about my project, including photos, as time permits. This will be more likely if there are any replies with suggestions or questions or encouragement.
     

  2.  
    #2
    Join Date
    10-05-2001
    Location
    Farmville, VA
    Posts
    2,291
    Hi,
    I too work with laminated edging. My solution to the kinking issue is to fasten one end of the bundle of wet strips to the form, and then stroke and pull the strips onto the form, mantaining tension as I go. My forms are made from white styrofoam, and I use masking tape strips to clamp the laminate in a number of places. As far as preparation, I soak the wood strips in hot water, and then apply a bead of Elmer's White Glue between each strip. This soggy mess then gets clamped to the form under tension. So far I have had good results in a variety of sizes.
    I hope this helps, Dave
    Dave Robelen
     

  3. Cool Game Tracker photograph 
    #3
    Although I just recently have soloed for the first time, I have found this plane as easy to fly as my trainer (with the dual rates at 45%). It's easy to carry around and a lot of fun.

    Jim
    Attached Images
     

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