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AGLyme

F2... hellova plane... wow.

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So, the FD USA guys phoned letting me know that my plane was ready to be picked up as the Annual was completed.  No Parts or issues fortunately (150 hours Hobbs).  Tom P suggested that he was going to be in the neighborhood and that he would pick me up in Chester (KSNC) and fly me to Woodstcok.  He showed up in the first F2 in North America:

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He let me fly left seat which was cool.  I am not a professional plane reviewer but I will attempt to compare the F2 to my plane which is a CTLSi...  impressions are as follows:

1) Cabin is spacious and more "refined" than the CT.  Nice car-like touches such as shoulder seat belts and air bags... the throttle/brake lever is a linked system, meaning, only one lever.  The plane has a Rotax 912 injected motor, there is now only one lever... no carb heat, no mixture and no brake lever... just a single throttle/brake lever.  Fairly elegant solution.

2) Upon startup, a noticeable reduction in noise level.   Moreover, instead of the high pitched Rotax noise we have all gotten used to, it is a low pitch grumble... note in the above pic, the nose is longer.  The engine was placed more forward than the CT which probably has a lot to do with the noise reduction.  I forgot to note the sight picture difference as we were barreling down the runway for takeoff and landing... my bad.

3) Takeoff, the nose was raised at 40k's with two of us on a 85 degree muggy day... it climbed similarly to the CT.

4) Since every small plane maker's standard is a 172-like feel, I would say this plane has definitely achieved that.  The flying characteristics feel like a far heavier plane than the CT.  Literally, like a 172 which I trained in.  It is astounding that they designed this heavier feel into a plane that is the same weight as the CTLS.

5) We flew without autopilot, didn't need it... literally hands off 80% of the way after trimming.

6) I asked Tom to land it as I didn't want to pay for it if I broke it...; )  Plus, I always like to study how/what the FD pros do re landing config, etc.

I love it, it is a gem of a plane and a legitimate pilot trainer/cross country machine that is a joy to fly.  I think FD has it right on this one.  If they can keep the price in line with other new models, this plane will be a major contender... well done FD.

photo 2: Superb visibility, even better than the CT due to the F2's bigger door...  It was easier to get in an out of as well.  Note we are flying over the Connecticut River and my beloved Goodspeed Airport is in the upper left of the photo just below the Goodspeed bridge.

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photo #3: Flying during Covid... note the borrowed headset from the nice A&P guys at KSNC... 

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Photo #4: Woodstock airport... home of FD-USA.  It's a 30 degs flaps experience... fun to land and takeoff from.  The new owners of the airport are spending scads on a new hangar, rebuilding an old hangar and adding several paved tied downs for the local flyers.  It would be an ideal spot for an FD fly-in... hint...; )

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Thanks for reporting on thr F2. If it is price comparable to the CT and handles like you report, it may put the CT out of business.

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Nice post, someday maybe 10 years from now one will be in my plans.

Convince Tom to make that ride available for some demo's, and name the day, sounds like a great destination for a later summer gathering.

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Thanks for the pics.

Do you recall the cruise altitude, indicated Cruise airspeed and engine RPM to maintain that airspeed?

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4 hours ago, sandpiper said:

it may put the CT out of business.

I think it will put the LS out of business, but not the recently jazzed up SW... Remember, the SW has a 80-100 lb advantage over the LS which makes it a highly differentiated plane altogether IMHO...  

3 hours ago, WmInce said:

recall the cruise altitude, indicated Cruise airspeed and engine RPM to maintain that airspeed

Bill, we climbed to 3,000' @95% of WOT... when we got there Tom adjusted the throttle to WOT and we clocked 115 knots w/ a 16 knots direct crosswind... he backed off to about 5,000 rpm and we were cruising around 105 knots... at 92% throttle (sorry I forget the RPM - I think about 4,600) we were about 95knots... and burning 3.6 gals/hour.

The thing I love about this plane is the handling... the engineering was well done.

3 hours ago, GrassStripFlyBoy said:

Convince Tom to make that ride available for some demo's

He was going to go on a long trip for rides/demos, but the Covid thing, especially down south, needs to settle down.  As you can see we did the mask thing and it worked in spite of the hot day, but not a lot of people would want to do that - yet.  Darrell, see if you can plan a trip up this way again, he'll take you up.  As you can imagine, they are proud of it.  I was the second non FD passenger, and the first to ride in the left seat.  

I forgot to add, one could put a folding bike behind the front seats - similar to a C-152 layout but way deeper/wider... 

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Pricing will be interesting.  There are a few competitors in this “class” that are priced in the 200’s... if FD keeps the F2 at $180’s ish, and buyers try it, FD should own that end of the market due to the high perceived value.


like everything, if it gets popular the price will rise not unlike the early CT’s vs later CT’s (excluding extra screen and fuel injected engine options).

In time, I’ll bet the non certified F2 will cost as much as the most expensive Tecnams. And the F2 will have a decent  weight advantage assuming the 1320 LSA category weight ceiling remains in place.

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Thanks for the write-up AG.

Looks like there's not vent in the door window?

Also, how do you do a run-up with a single lever throttle/brake? Just rolling run-ups???

Mike Koerner

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Mike, 

correct no window venting.  I asked about that.  There are car-like Fresh air vents in the cabin that are directional...   We were flying on a hot humid day and the cabin temps were similar to the CT.  

re the runup... the brake lock was applied and the throttle was pushed forward normally.  Brake lock released and off we went.

Anim, this would be a great performer with the 914 or the 915... and from my absolute amateurish perspective, the plane could handle tons more weight above 1320... solid.

Ps: climb rate was similar to CT with the 912 injected 

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1 hour ago, AGLyme said:

Mike, 

correct no window venting.  I asked about that.  There are car-like Fresh air vents in the cabin that are directional...   We were flying on a hot humid day and the cabin temps were similar to the CT.  

re the runup... the brake lock was applied and the throttle was pushed forward normally.  Brake lock released and off we went.

Anim, this would be a great performer with the 914 or the 915... and from my absolute amateurish perspective, the plane could handle tons more weight above 1320... solid.

Ps: climb rate was similar to CT with the 912 injected 

Maybe one day in the near future we can hope to see a 914/915 variant. 

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Andrew,

Great write up!

 I agree, at the very least, a 914 would be a good addition. You could climb quickly to a reasonable cruising altitude on a hot muggy day (like the one you describe) and have the full 100hp available at a higher density altitudes - another big plus. 
I hope that FD does add window vents - cool is well cool. 

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One other interesting note about the F2, it has a maximum takeoff weight of 650 kg or 1430 lbs. This is according to the general Flight Design website - the one in Germany. I wonder if the airframe was beefed up and parachute size was changed to accommodate the weight increase.

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On 8/2/2020 at 7:22 AM, Ergo1 said:

One other interesting note about the F2, it has a maximum takeoff weight of 650 kg or 1430 lbs. This is according to the general Flight Design website - the one in Germany. I wonder if the airframe was beefed up and parachute size was changed to accommodate the weight increase.

We will still see 1320lb weights in the USA unless FD got an exemption from the FAA or if rules changes go through.

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FM,

yes, single lever.  During runup, the brake lock is applied and the lever is moved forward for runup.  When it was time to go, brake lock was released.

I don’t know/remember how the rpm adjustment from say 1,600 to 2,100 and vice versa was managed without stopping the plane... I let Tom land and I forgot to notice how it works.  It’s slick and the single lever mechanism is solidly built.

Carlos, they are taking orders for December delivery I think.  

 

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https://www.bydanjohnson.com/

F2 featured in Dan Johnson's site.

Note: he said this about weight below... he is right, he just used the wrong CT...; )

Size doesn’t come free, of course. The extra interior room, longer span, wider tail, and stretched fuselage add 107 pounds to F2 compared with CTLS, using basic empty weight facts from company brochures (717 pounds vs. 824 on F2)

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I didn't realize they were already shipping F2's...   That makes it very real...    Question on the single lever throttle and brake...   There must be a dead spot where you can be at idle without the breaks being applied?  I'm thinking here comes a casual guy over the numbers, he is doing a throttle off float landing (where most of us keep some throttle in), touches down but because he is at idle the breaks are already applied and the fresh acrid smell of rubber fills the cabin...

For that matter, are we still using split wheels and Matco brakes or have we moved up to solid wheels and Berringer brakes?  So many questions!  ...."ring ring, hi Tom, tell me all about the F2". 

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The CTLS has a lot of room... this plane feels substantially wider.  It is still an "egg", but a much wider egg.  Evidently, they will use the same engineered shell for the eventual F4... they will move the seats forward and create 2 seats in back.  The key I think is the upfront engineering they did... as modern a structure as they come.

A 915 is the perfect motor for the eventual "certified" version (higher weight limit than LSport I hope)... which is what I would be interested in re IFR... IFR is an obvious transition for me.  I would opt for the two place, but certified.  I have no idea as to the cost of these new models other than the statement in the AvWeb interview "about $200k". 

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On 7/29/2020 at 2:33 PM, GrassStripFlyBoy said:

Nice post, someday maybe 10 years from now one will be in my plans.

Convince Tom to make that ride available for some demo's, and name the day, sounds like a great destination for a later summer gathering.

Haha, same here, 10 years from now, I will trade in my SW for this F2 :D

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1 hour ago, AGLyme said:

A 915 is the perfect motor for the eventual "certified" version (higher weight limit than LSport I hope)... 

Bistell is selling a 915 equipped as an E-LSA.   Sure would love a 915 in the F2!

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2 hours ago, Adam said:

Bistell is selling a 915 equipped as an E-LSA.   Sure would love a 915 in the F2!

Unfortunately their price tag (280k+ ) is a bit out of this world for what it offers.

Fortunately there are planes available with 915is for about 160k ...http://savage.aero

Hopefully others will follow.

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The 915 is a major breakthrough in GA I think... Looking forward to seeing all the planes out there that will embrace this new engine over the next few years.  That Savage looks nice.  If I ever fell off a ladder, got up and decided to build a plane, I would build this with a 915.  I flew in one when I was plane shopping at Sun n Fun.... it had a 912 and flew beautifully with two of us in it... 

https://www.rans.com/s-21-outbound

If the F2 is priced right, I would def. buy one with a 915... with 34 gals, it would fly forever... 

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