F2D is extremely high performance with restrictions on the engines that just make no sense to some. Fast, expensive compared to general modeling, and hard on models (2 per match) the event has one thing going for it: There is more combat flown per match than any other event. Highly organized around the world, it is an event you can learn and fly anyplace. The U.S has embraced this event in the last five years. Fast Combat is dying out and replaced by 2D style contests for the real high performance addicts. Some contests use full FAI rules and others just the models in a Fast combat format to take advantage of the "kill," perhaps the one wild card in combat.
This event is not for everyone, but guaranteed to get your blood pumping as soon as you fly one.
As some of you know, there are a few of the Bod Busters that keep a stash of F2D gear
At the ready and perhaps not so ready. I purchased a formula of equipment in 2000 and it was fine for those days and some is still competitive today, however time marches on.
When I was buying equipment back then, it was supplied primarily by Thomas Mejzlik, his company allowed many of us to obtain the things needed to really give this event a run. GRW followed with varying degrees of models and availability.
Engines have always been shrouded in mystery. "Billy Goats," Redko's, Fora"s Zorro'swe didn't know which way to go since many were in the Ukraine and what little we could read about didn't seem to help much.
I bought Redko's and had Jari Valo ("the fastest man alive") set mine up. This took months as the man lives in Finland where weather is cold, (really cold) much of the year.
As time went by, we tried Cyclon, Fora and a couple of Zalp engines.
The props were another story, which one of the many to use? It was a lot of trial and error and to a large extent was and still is a matter of preference. Some like the high revving props and others keep them torqued down a bit with more pitch.
The game (and there is one) is to buy the prevailing engine just before the world championships, the engine designers want the best flyers to take their "new and improved" motors and win with them. Don't hold your breath for getting this engine, it's sold to a few who have earned the top spots. Most of us have to settle for the best we can get from a reliable source. Currently the "best" is arguably the AKM and is a very well hand made engine selling for about $500.00 each
The engine of today other than the AKM, is still in hot debate. Profi is making a new engine that is rumored to be very fast. It is not available yet but they make excellent engines so keep an eye out for this one to surface in the next few months.
Currently Fora has the lead and is producing a new generation (Liedler's) modification.
I don't really know much about them so I bought one $190.00 and will review it for you when it arrives.
The two designs that keep coming back again and again in varying forms are the Balaev and Wakkerman type.
Some have a Wakkerman style stabilizer before the elevator while most have a simple hinge right at the peak of the trailing edge. Both fly excellent so it's up to you.
The plain Jane all wood and foam runs about $40.00 while the ones made with Carbon Fiber can be as high as $100.00 depending on how much CF is in it. What seems to be an advantage is to have a CF trailing edge. I have had many 2D ships explode when barely hit in the back. Ones reinforced with CF have reportedly "shredded the prop" of an attacking plane.
I have listed below the suppliers that have either been recommended to me by competitors or ones I have had good dealings with and trust to quality supply products on time.
Suppliers are always difficult for this event. The equipment is made in Europe so cottage suppliers must buy what they believe they can sell in a reasonable time frame.
There are a few to choose from in the U.S., some better stocked than others.
My experience has been good with the following people
Alexy Tuponov: Alex sells Redko engines, F2D airplanes and equipment, 1/2A engines and airplanes.
Tom Siegler: Tom sells F2D equipment, planes and the new Foraengine. Plan ahead as most do not carry a large inventory and must coordinate with the actual builders, it's not a last minute thing.
Cyclone Engines Note: Cyclon has made some changes and is selling a new series we have not tried. Always a good barging and ship when they say they will, their engines are fast.
There are of course other suppliers that sell F2D items, these are just the ones I have known to be quality suppliers or come highly recommended by active fliers.
If you know of any other good U.S suppliers, please pass them on so we can all know it.
F2D is a very specialized event so this primer article is simply the basics.
The formula you choose needs to be all the same engine, airplane, prop, line, handle. Everything interchangeable in order to have the most organization to fly the event.
You can of course mix and match, but the chances of things going wrong with a non standard set of equipment is too risky. An excellent way to get started is to purchase older equipment from another modeler who is upgrading. You will pay a fraction of the original cost.
This page was upated Oct. 1, 2007