Falcon Basetubes Not Interchangeable by Mike Meier
Falcon Basetubes Not Interchangeable
It has come to our attention recently that there is a possible source of confusion with the control
bar basetubes on the Falcon 3's as compared to those on the Falcon 2's and Falcon 1's.
THE FALCON 3 BASETUBES ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE with those of the Falcon 2 /
Falcon 1 - because they are different in length. They are the same construction (unlike the Falcon
3 downtubes, which are obviously different from the AT downtubes used on the Falcon 2 / Falcon
1 models), so it is possible to mistake one for the other, and it is possible to install one in place of
the other, but the AT basetubes are shorter, so the glider geometry will not be correct.
IF you install an AT basetube from a Falcon 2 or Falcon 1 on the corresponding size of Falcon 3,
it will be difficult or impossible to tension the crossbar, because the side wire loop will go tight
before the sweep wire tang reaches the anchor bolt at the rear of the keel.
If you install an F3 basetube on the corresponding size of Falcon 2 or Falcon 1, there will be
excess slack in the bottom side wires, and excess dihedral in the glider, which will result in
inappropriate flight characteristics. This would be particularly extreme on a Falcon 1 or Falcon 2
140, if the basetube from a Falcon 3 145 were installed, because the Falcon 3 145 uses the same
length basetube as the Falcon 3 170, which is much longer that the AT 60 basetube used on the
Falcon 1 and Falcon 2 140's.
Below are the various basetube lengths, for reference:
Falcon 1 / Falcon 2 140
Falcon 3 145
Falcon 1 / Falcon 2 170
Falcon 3 170
Falcon 1 / Falcon 2 195
Falcon 3 195
As stated in the Falcon 3 owner's manual, there are many parts on the Falcon 3's that are not
interchangeable with those on earlier Falcons. In the case of basetubes, because they are the
same configuration and can therefore be mounted to the wrong glider by mistake, and especially
in a school environment where basetubes may be fitted with wheels and then stored outside the
glider bag, it is particularly important that special attention be paid to this. When ordering
replacement parts you will want to be especially careful to order the correct item, and when
stocking parts in inventory you may want to clearly label each individual part to avoid confusion.
For your reference, below are the part numbers and descriptions for the Falcon 3 145, 170 and
195 control bar parts. (Falcon 3 Tandem control bar parts are the same as those for the Falcon