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Auto-retracting spool for auto-towing gliders?



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 12th 18, 07:15 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Luke Scharf
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Default Auto-retracting spool for auto-towing gliders?

Does anyone know of auto-towing gear that will automatically retract the rope the glider releases?

My club has just moved to a new airport, which has a runway long enough for auto-towing. However, we'd like to be able to clean up the runway quickly -- preferably while the tow vehicle is still moving.

Any pointers would be appreciated.

It's worth mentioning that my club has at least three active members who've done auto-towing in the past, so we have some idea what we would be getting in to. We also have some fabrication abilities. I'm just looking for pointers to good designs (or devices we can buy) to update our gear.

Thanks,
-Luke
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  #2  
Old November 12th 18, 03:57 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Waveguru
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Default Auto-retracting spool for auto-towing gliders?

I have a pay out winch, which is an auto tow that pays the line out under tension, and then we real the line back in as it drops. When everything is working perfect, the chute drops right in back of the truck. Feel free to call me.

Gary Boggs
six oh too-too ate for-9977

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWPbB2hxPKo
  #3  
Old November 12th 18, 04:02 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Waveguru
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Default Auto-retracting spool for auto-towing gliders?

Here's another video from the glider end:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP8bVgG8xJc&t=11s

Boggs

  #4  
Old November 12th 18, 05:39 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Dan Marotta
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Default Auto-retracting spool for auto-towing gliders?

When we auto towed on safari, we would only do one launch per day. We'd
simply stop the truck, transfer the rope from the hitch to the spool and
wind it up while parked along the side of the runway. When doing
multiple auto tows on a dry lake bed, the tow vehicle would stop,
disconnect the rope and leave it on the ground, drive to the opposite
end of the rope, hook it up, and drive back to the launch point.* While
the glider pilot is completing his checks, the truck would drive back to
the other end of the rope, hook up, and be ready to go.

On 11/11/2018 11:15 PM, Luke Scharf wrote:
Does anyone know of auto-towing gear that will automatically retract the rope the glider releases?

My club has just moved to a new airport, which has a runway long enough for auto-towing. However, we'd like to be able to clean up the runway quickly -- preferably while the tow vehicle is still moving.

Any pointers would be appreciated.

It's worth mentioning that my club has at least three active members who've done auto-towing in the past, so we have some idea what we would be getting in to. We also have some fabrication abilities. I'm just looking for pointers to good designs (or devices we can buy) to update our gear.

Thanks,
-Luke


--
Dan, 5J
  #5  
Old November 12th 18, 06:11 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tony[_5_]
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Default Auto-retracting spool for auto-towing gliders?

my cousin built me an electric powered reel for christmas a few years ago. It uses an old starter motor. A few other club members have built similar rigs but with small briggs & stratton engines.

Here's a video of the first trials: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VHwhx93foU&t=8s

Since then we've realized that it needs to be connected to the cars battery, with the car running, to pull in all the rope. We've also double backed the rope so that its only pulling about 1000 ft at a time. Overheating of the starter motor is still a concern. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKUZZ5Wt9kw

Happy to answer any questions and give any advice on auto tow. We are just getting into auto tow season here in Kansas. Lots of fun.
  #6  
Old November 12th 18, 07:32 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Waveguru
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Default Auto-retracting spool for auto-towing gliders?

We have done auto tows for years from a dry lake in SE Oregon, where we used a solid steel wire and dragged it back after each tow. That's why we fabricated our pay out winch. It is much more efficient, and quicker than dragging the wire, and there is much less wear on the cable. We use a spectra like cable now, and I get very few brakes and splicing is much easier and better. It will also crush the drum if you don't make the drum very stout. Our first version of our winch used a large starter motor, but it just didn't have enough power to pull the chute down in high winds, which is when the winch works best.

Boggs
  #7  
Old November 15th 18, 04:56 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Luke Scharf
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Default Auto-retracting spool for auto-towing gliders?

On Monday, November 12, 2018 at 8:57:27 AM UTC-6, Waveguru wrote:
I have a pay out winch, which is an auto tow that pays the line out under tension, and then we real the line back in as it drops. When everything is working perfect, the chute drops right in back of the truck. Feel free to call me.


Thank you! I actually found this video the last time I researched this, but I have many questions.

I'll follow up off-newsgroup.

Thanks,
-Luke
  #8  
Old November 15th 18, 09:04 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Default Auto-retracting spool for auto-towing gliders?

For winch ops we built a little 6.5 hp retrieve winch with a 30 inch drum on a trailer years ago to pull back our winch line to the launch start point.. Small electric motors don’t perform over lengths of 5,000-6,000 ft (2000 M).

Suppose you could place the retrieve winch between the auto tow vehicle with an appropriate emergency guillotine, if you don’t have the payout winch type equipment. Rear spotter would have to be quick and vigilant to get all the line in before the chute hits the ground, but maybe with practice.

Works better on grass surfaces than rocks, sand and dirt because of the drag friction and wear as has been noted. We still keep the little retrieve winch for traveling to non airport sites, but it’s just way easier to land the chute six feet in front of the winch. Then, drive the whole winch back to the takeoff point, anchor and lay out the line with “zero” abrasion.

The Boy Scouts and grandkids love the retrieve winch for their wake boards and crossing the bay at the lake.

Karen
 




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