Fischer Twin Tec

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
Classic Racquet Talk forum regulars will probably recognize me as an enthusiast of Austrian-made racquets of the 1980’s. Quite right, having used Kneissl, Head, and finally Fischer frames in competition play between 1985 and 1993.

My association with the Fischer brand began in 1991, which coincided with probably the tennis arm of that company’s biggest success, Michael Stich winning the gentlemen’s singles championship at Wimbledon, with the Vacuum Pro Mid, an excellent but demanding ball-striking weapon.

Other pros were using that frame, and the midplus-sized Vacuum Twin Tec Pro was another frame pressed into service in the pro ranks, most notably by German Davis Cupper, Karl-Uwe Steeb.

The Twin Tec frames featured a novel engineering concept, with technology creatively borrowed from the ski side of the Fischer house: the composite body of the Twin Tec consisted of two symmetrical molded halves, with a layer of Vestoran (used commonly as a ski base) sandwiched between them, machined out, and drilled to accommodate the stringbed, without orthodox grommets. It was marketed as a “player’s widebody”, with good power from its size and weight, excellent feel, goid spin and control from the then-ubiquitous Fischer 16x20 stingbed with 10mm grids, and really good vibration dampening from that Vestoran inlay.

I have played a bit with the 1991 Vacuum Twin Tec Pro, have had some Pro Stock examples as well, and recently came into possession of a sample Twin Tec “sandwich”, as pictured here. It’s noteworthy that braided carbon fiber and Kevlar can be seen in the unpainted molded halves, that the grip pallets are integrally molded into the frame (which meant that Fischer needed separate molds for every grip size they intended to produce), and that the Vestoran layer started much wider than the composite halves that eventually were bonded together.





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Sanglier

Semi-Pro
Very cool demonstration piece, Retro! So the strings are suspended entirely by the Vestoran middle layer? Others also made frames by joining two tubular halves together, but none like this!

Using this production method, each molding step produced only half a racquet, and the gluing, trimming, and drilling of the Vestoran piece probably took a lot longer than drilling a conventional frame and installing a grommet strip; all of which must have slowed down production while increasing cost relative to the conventional method. What was Fischer's main justification for going to all this extra trouble? Vibration control?
 

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
One of the Fischer project managers, who also covered (pro) player development in the time span when these racquets were developed, was a personal friend of mine, and I wish that I had thought about asking him about the backstory of these original Twin Tecs (Fischer resurrected the model name in the 2000’s for a pretty orthodox recreational model that had nothing in common with the Vestoran sandwich models of the late 80’s/early 90’s), but he passed away rather unexpectedly a few years ago, much too young.

I would guess that the entire concept was about maximum vibration dampening, but from a manufacturing standpoint, it’s far too complex, with twice the molding and extra steps per frame, and must have been correspondingly expensive to make. When Fischer shifted racquet manufacturing from its Ried, Upper Austria facility to asian OEM contractors in 1993, the model suddenly died. Either the asian factories could not—or would not—make such an unorthodox frame, or the unit costs or consumer demand did not pencil out favorably.
 
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Retro YOU are the man! AWESOME POST!!!

Only you can post "and recently came into possession" and get away with that [emoji1787]

None of "us" just happen to come into possession of things like that [emoji1430][emoji56]

What I did happen to come into possession of this past Thursday at a thrift store was a Fischer Vacuum Twin Tec Pro (purple one) for only €1.30! It was used and the letters were a bit faded on the frame, but it still had the glossy shine [emoji16]

I will post pics in the appropriate section [emoji6].

It is a bit stiff in the upper part of the hoop, so I will have to try a softer string or a multi as you had recommended to me!

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retrowagen

Hall of Fame
Congrats on an excellent addition! I can’t take any special credit for obtaining this Twin Tec blank—one of our forum colleagues, based in Austria, obtained it recently from an ex-Fischer tennis employee, and thoughtfully offered it to me for my collection. Being a tennis player, collector of euro racquets of the 80’s, and an engineer, I was thrilled to have it.

I don’t know if this was the sort of thing that Fischer would give to sales distributors, as a sales tool, or if it was kept in-house as an example of the concept, or whether it was grabbed from production as a souvenir by an employee. Your guess is as good as mine!

Here are a few more (rather bad) phone camera photos, revealing some of the secrets of the Vacuum Twin Tec:


A look down the handle, at the “sandwich” and dual hairpins.


Carbon weave peeking through.


View of the inner face of one half. This would be the side bonded to the Vestoran slip, and one can clearly see the path of the braided carbon layup “tubes” through the handle. These were molded with Fischer’s proprietery “Vacuum Technic” equipment, which evacuated the air out of the molding process, for more precise and consistent product.


A thin layer of Vestoran was laid into the upper hoop on each half, as a “skid,” in lieu of a replaceable plastic bumper guard.


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Classic Racquet Talk forum regulars will probably recognize me as an enthusiast of Austrian-made racquets of the 1980’s. Quite right, having used Kneissl, Head, and finally Fischer frames in competition play between 1985 and 1993.

My association with the Fischer brand began in 1991, which coincided with probably the tennis arm of that company’s biggest success, Michael Stich winning the gentlemen’s singles championship at Wimbledon, with the Vacuum Pro Mid, an excellent but demanding ball-striking weapon.

Other pros were using that frame, and the midplus-sized Vacuum Twin Tec Pro was another frame pressed into service in the pro ranks, most notably by German Davis Cupper, Karl-Uwe Steeb.

The Twin Tec frames featured a novel engineering concept, with technology creatively borrowed from the ski side of the Fischer house: the composite body of the Twin Tec consisted of two symmetrical molded halves, with a layer of Vestoran (used commonly as a ski base) sandwiched between them, machined out, and drilled to accommodate the stringbed, without orthodox grommets. It was marketed as a “player’s widebody”, with good power from its size and weight, excellent feel, goid spin and control from the then-ubiquitous Fischer 16x20 stingbed with 10mm grids, and really good vibration dampening from that Vestoran inlay.

I have played a bit with the 1991 Vacuum Twin Tec Pro, have had some Pro Stock examples as well, and recently came into possession of a sample Twin Tec “sandwich”, as pictured here. It’s noteworthy that braided carbon fiber and Kevlar can be seen in the unpainted molded halves, that the grip pallets are integrally molded into the frame (which meant that Fischer needed separate molds for every grip size they intended to produce), and that the Vestoran layer started much wider than the composite halves that eventually were bonded together.





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I have two TwinTec, one in purple color and another in light blue with silver color. This is great information and thank you for posting the pictures.
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
Classic Racquet Talk forum regulars will probably recognize me as an enthusiast of Austrian-made racquets of the 1980’s. Quite right, having used Kneissl, Head, and finally Fischer frames in competition play between 1985 and 1993.

My association with the Fischer brand began in 1991, which coincided with probably the tennis arm of that company’s biggest success, Michael Stich winning the gentlemen’s singles championship at Wimbledon, with the Vacuum Pro Mid, an excellent but demanding ball-striking weapon.

Other pros were using that frame, and the midplus-sized Vacuum Twin Tec Pro was another frame pressed into service in the pro ranks, most notably by German Davis Cupper, Karl-Uwe Steeb.

The Twin Tec frames featured a novel engineering concept, with technology creatively borrowed from the ski side of the Fischer house: the composite body of the Twin Tec consisted of two symmetrical molded halves, with a layer of Vestoran (used commonly as a ski base) sandwiched between them, machined out, and drilled to accommodate the stringbed, without orthodox grommets. It was marketed as a “player’s widebody”, with good power from its size and weight, excellent feel, goid spin and control from the then-ubiquitous Fischer 16x20 stingbed with 10mm grids, and really good vibration dampening from that Vestoran inlay.

I have played a bit with the 1991 Vacuum Twin Tec Pro, have had some Pro Stock examples as well, and recently came into possession of a sample Twin Tec “sandwich”, as pictured here. It’s noteworthy that braided carbon fiber and Kevlar can be seen in the unpainted molded halves, that the grip pallets are integrally molded into the frame (which meant that Fischer needed separate molds for every grip size they intended to produce), and that the Vestoran layer started much wider than the composite halves that eventually were bonded together.





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Thanks Retro!
 

mctennis

Legend
Does all the Twin Tec line have the same sandwiching? Or is the Vacuum series have a different manufacturing process different then the other Twin Tec series line?
 
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