F2B Aerobatic Competition Models


The idea of C/L aerobatic pattern flying is to perform a series of prescribed manoeuvres in a set time period. everything is a manoeuvre from starting the engine until the model rolls to a standstill at the end of the manoeuvre. To see the full schedule, minus the landing manouvre, click here.

This process leads to a lot of discipline, which in it's turn, made me much more meticulous about my approach to the hobby. As there is a set time to start the engine, easy starting and reliability are all important. The fact that most F2B fliers can start their engines with a single flick almost every time (we are talking 10cc sizes here, as that was the size becoming popular at the time), speaks volumes about the hoards of RC fliers lugging heavy batteries around, frantically ramming electric starters onto prop hubs, and still having problems

lavellete The photograph on the left features a personal hero, a French flyer named Mark Lavellete. At the 1977 uk nats together with a small group of fellow contestants we watched him practice on the eve of the contest.

If you look carefully at the F2b schedule, all level flight should be 1.5metres above the ground; roughly head hight for an average person.

What had us all staring open mouthed, was the fact that he was consistently pulling out and flying level at about 70cm above the ground. We could all get a splendid view of the top of his model, or a detailed view of how the undercarriage was attached, depending on which way the model was going at the time, as it swept majestically by literally level with my midriff.

I had never seen this done before, or since. The model is not small, as can be seen from the photograph on the left, and to see it consistently pull out at this very low altitude, inverted, after a textbook square corner, left me more than a little gob smacked; I could only dream about having nerves that strong.

nottingham spacehound redshift
Juri Sirotkin's Spacehound. All I can remember is, it was awkward to build and did 'not' repay the effort by flying well. Another Spacehound variant left, with what was an early incarnation of what was to become my Redshift series left, that I had given to Bob Stanley The tapered wing was later abondoned in favour of a constant chord and thicknes to aid accuracy in building.
firstF2B redshift
An early view of my own design stunter. It met it's demise when the wing fixing bolts came loose and the fuselage parted from the wing in flight. What the Redshift eveolved into. A later version with more safeguards added to the wing fixings. The picture on the below-left, is the same model being flown in a competition
flying spectators
1978 UK C/L nats. This is the only picture I have of flying in any F2B event, taken by my mother. The 1978 uk nats had glorious weather and the interest in F2B was high, as can be seen from the spectators.
under carriage
This experiment looked pretty, and was an attempt at building a foam core wing. The wing turned out to be much too heavy, making the model feel like it was trying to tear my arms out of their sockets on a windy day. This variant was a much later design. I replaced the foam core wing with a convetional built up one to help bring the weight down to sensible limits. I had also come to the conclusion that a wing mounted undercarriage helped with ground handling. The straked fin was later replaced with a more conventional one.

Sadly, this was the last model I built before circumstances prevented me pursuing the hobby.