R/C Tank Combat

Support Vehicle #SV005


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Type: M520 Goer Armament: None
Built: January, 2004 Armor: None
Builder: Steve Tyng/Frank Pittelli Rating: 0/1
Status: Operational Battles: 31
Owner: Frank Pittelli Points Earned: 81,938
Call Sign: Bronco Buster Points Given: 29,250
  • Joint Tyng/Tri-Pact Project
  • Cheap, Rugged, Easy-to-Build

  • Click Photo For Enlargement (64 Kb)
    The M520 Goer was a true work-horse in the U.S. Army, serving in a lot of different configurations, including a basic tractor/trailer, fuel tanker, rocket launcher, etc. It had a very simple design, rugged suspension and it was cheap to produce. All good qualities for an R/C supply vehicle as well.

    Photo courtesy of TanxHeaven.com, which provides a wealth of photos and information about armor modeling, including a number of M520 Goer photos.

    The basic frame for the M520 was designed by Tyng Labs, using their advanced CAD-CAM system and patented wooden construction. A single piece of plywood serves as the frame for the tractor and a piece of pine serves as the trailer frame.

    Click Photo For Enlargement (50 Kb)

    Click Photo For Enlargement (45 Kb)
    The M520 isn't very wide, so Tyng Labs developed a simple solution for mounting two kiddie car motors back-to-back. The motors, shaft, wheel couplings and wheels are all held in place simply by a cotter pin on both ends of the axle; remove either pin and the entire assembly comes apart for maintenance or repairs.

    The tractor body, windscreen and canopy will be built separately and will sit over top of the frame, concealing the motors. The batteries will be mounted in front, to keep weight over the drive wheels.

    The trailer design is equally as simple, yet effective as the tractor design. Two standard door hinges allow the trailer body to tilt to either side, relative to the trailer frame, which is keep in-line with the tractor. This provides the vehicle with a simple, yet robust suspension that is much like that on the full size vehicle. That is, the front and rear axles can be twisted relative to each other, allowing the wheels to travel over rough terrain.

    The rear axle may be powered in the future if extra traction or power is needed on the battlefield.


    Click Photo For Enlargement (35 Kb)

    Click Photo For Enlargement (38 Kb)
    The tractor and trailer are connected by a coupling that allows them to pivot from side to side, but not up and down. It is made from a block of wood, with a large bolt serving as a hinge pin. Springs attached to both sides of the joint allow the pair to turn when power is applied to only one of the wheels, while bringing the tractor and trailer back into alignment when power is applied to both wheels.

    Even with only the basic frame and systems installed, the M520 Goer is put through some initial tests to ensure that the design will work as expected. Although some tweaking of the steering and suspension is needed, overall it worked well (in the shop) and should prove to be a reliable supply vehicle on the battlefield.

    Click Photo For Enlargement (263 Kb)
    Here are the plans developed by Steve Tyng for the prototype vehicle with all of the critical measurements. Click on the photo for a much larger view.

    September 2004: The Goer proves its value during Operation Coxsackie Freedom where it hauls supplies through thick grass without any mechanical problems. Although it did bog down once in mud, everyone agreed that it performed very well despite the rough terrain and that it's simple design and construction has been a success. All of the controls are contained in the tractor, with a clear plexiglass windshield to allow a video camera to be mounted in the future. A large 26Ah battery is carried in the trailer to provide all-day run time, as well as additional weight to help with traction.

    Click Photo For Enlargement (130 Kb)

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