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Beal

Air Force 1 Air Force 2 Air Force 3
Air Force 1 Air Force 2 Air Force 3

Overview


Air Force 1
(#2687)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my Beal Air Force 1 from Absolute Snow in 2017.

The Beal Air Force 1 is a notched belay tube. Mine is 24 mm. long, 58 mm. wide, 99 mm. high, and weighs 45 g. It is forged from aluminum alloy and then soft anodized. It has 1 slots with a ribbed V-groove on one side and a smooth V-groove on the other. The slots are 32 mm. long and 16 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 18 mm. below the ends of the slots. The keeper is plastic-covered stiff cable.

One side of the Air Force 1 is printed with a Beal logo, "Ø8,5 - 10,5mm," "EN 15151-2," a book-with-an"i" icon, and "AIR FORCE 1." The other side is printed with a Beal logo a climber icon, a hand-holding-a-rope icon, a different beal logo, and "IdN IA 1093 0916."

Comments

The Beal Air Force 1 is designed for single ropes only. Although this saves a tiny amount of weight, it does not compensate for losing the ability to do double-rope rappels. Although there is nothing "wrong" with the Air Force 1, it is far too specialized for my taste. Weight is not normally a factor when belaying "sport climbs," and for "real climbs" I would rather carry a few more grams and have the capability to do double-rope rappels.

The Air Force 1 has V-grooves on both sides, which help it provide a bit more friction than devices such as Black Diamond's ATC Sport that have grooves on only one side. One groove has smooth sides, while the other has two rounded grooves that provide "teeth" to grip the rope more effectively. I'm not convinced that this accomplishes much, but it does no harm.


Air Force 2
(#2705)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my Beal Air Force 2 from Expé-Spelemat in 2017.

The Beal Air Force 2 is a notched belay tube. Mine is 45 mm. long, 55 mm. wide, 101 mm. high, and weighs 75 g. It has 2 slots with a ribbed V-groove on one side and a smooth V-groove on the other. The slots are 28 mm. long and 16 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 19 mm. below the ends of the slots. The keeper is a moderately-stiff plastic-covered cable.

One side of the Air Force 2 is printed with a Beal logo, "Ø7,3 - 10,5mm," "EN 15151-2," a book-with-an"i" icon, and "AIR FORCE 2." The other side is printed with a Beal logo a climber icon, a hand-holding-a-rope icon, a different Beal logo, and "IdN IB 0872 1016."

Comments

The Beal Air Force 2 is designed for single or double ropes only. Although this adds a tiny amount of weight, it gives the ability to do double-rope rappels. Weight is not normally a factor when belaying "sport climbs," and for "real climbs" I would rather carry a few more grams and have the capability to do double-rope rappels.

The Air Force 2 has V-grooves on both sides, which help it provide a bit more friction than devices that have grooves on only one side. One groove has smooth sides, while the other has two rounded grooves that provide "teeth" to grip the rope more effectively. I'm not convinced that this accomplishes much, but it does no harm.


Air Force 3
(#1890)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my Beal Air Force 3 from Expé-Spelemat in 2016.

The Beal Air Force 3 is a notched belay tube. It is forged from aluminum alloy and then soft anodized. It has 2 slots with ribbed V-grooves, a vertical carabiner eye, a release loop, and a stiff plastic-covered cable keeper. Mine is 44 mm. long, 101 mm. wide, 90 mm. high, and weighs 91 g. The slots are 40 mm. long and 16 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 21 mm. below the ends of the slots.

One side of the Air Force 3 is printed with a Beal logo, "Ø7,3 - 10,5mm," "EN 15151-2," a book-with-an"i" icon, and "AIR FORCE 3." The other side is printed with a Beal logo a climber icon, a hand-holding-a-rope icon, a different beal logo, and "IdN IC 0953 0416."

Comments

The Beal Air Force 3 has a large body, but the large holes in the sides and central rib, along with the thin walls help to keep the weight down. The Air Force 3 performs well, and the V notches are more effective than those on many other notched belay tubes.