When a Quest Tracer hangs in a tree for a year, the fin can is all that's left. This mod uses the Nemesis nose cone with the Tracer fin can to produce a stable X-15 looking standard rocket.
The first and most important step is to gently "age" the Tracer in a tree for one year, teaching your son the important lessons of wind evaluation and patience. Naturally, after a full winter, even the engine hook is rusted junk. The fin can, however, is sturdy and reusable.
Using the same instructions as one uses for an original tracer, you:
The parts list:
PROs: Uses all stock parts with a minimum of cutting. Suitable for scratchbuild for your child.
CONs: Long build time due to tree aging process.
I used three As, one B (CATO fizzle), and two Cs. In calm air, the A8-3 is lots of small field fun. The C6-5 allowed me to demonstrate to my child that, indeed, I have a better idea how the wind works. The B fizzle melted one fin and warped it. I gently reheated it and flattened it inside a book while still soft. Voila! It is now straight and flat.
PROs: Strong fin can means small chute is a good option. Longer body tube makes for nicer flight. In a very stiff breeze, I launched it way out over the water with the wind drifting it back just about even with the launcher on a C6-5.
CONs: Embarrassment factor if I hang it in another tree and need to reincarnate it again.
I used about three 5-inch balls of crepe paper wadding with one fold-over envelope to protect the chute. Ejection has been uniformly perfect.
PROs: This was an easy, quick, and swoopy rebuild. The end product looks better and flies nicer than the Tracer. The added weight is modest and is a plus for ease of recovery. The long shock cord combo makes it look great during recovery. X-15 graphics will make this look fabulous.
CONs: The Quest Tracer is not being made any more. Soon, trees will be the only source of this film can.