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Glider Towing

Newbie type questions

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Martyn K11/03/2014 09:40:35
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5104 forum posts
3701 photos

Hi all

I am putting together a 'club' project - assembling a Precedent T240 as a glider tug. It will be powered by a 32cc Petrol.

I have been asked a question by a member on the maximum size/mass of model that can be towed. On the grounds that it could be expensive getting it wrong, can anyone provide guidance for this tug/engine combination?

Secondly, how long should the tow line be?

Thanks

Martyn

cymaz11/03/2014 09:53:39
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9396 forum posts
1217 photos

Some useful comments and web sites..

Here

Bandit11/03/2014 09:57:20
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287 forum posts

It's a good question that doesn't seem to have a difinative answer but they seem to be more concerned with weight of the model than wingspan.

A favourite tug size is the 62cc which seems to handle large scale gliders around the 6m wingspan mark.

For a 32cc it would probably be best to trial a small say 3m first and get some experience and a feel for how much more the tug can handle.

MAKE SURE the release is fitted on both tug and glider and that it will release from ANY ANGLE as strange things can happen and it is not unheard of for the rope to get caught around the glider's wing if the glider overtakes the tug by mistake.

I have used a 20m tow line before and it felt comfortable, don't think there is a definitive answer on that either.

Try get the glider maidened on the slope to ensure it is trimmed and not pitching like a bucking bull!

Martyn K11/03/2014 10:37:52
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5104 forum posts
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Thanks both, That's a good start. We will probably practice on a 2m sized foamie glider while we build up some experience..

Just need to find a suitable victim.. (Ian...?)

Martyn

David Ashby - Moderator11/03/2014 12:10:40
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Hi Martyn,

Clubmate Andy and I have been trying this over the last few weeks.

We use his Hangar 9 Super Cub 26cc for towing and my 2.8m Pichler Bergfalke weighs around 5lbs. Power isn't a problem, there's loads on tap and they're both soon at a good height. I think he has a 30cc in the model and reports that the load isn't really noticeable.

I asked a few learned sources about tow line length and 120ft was the popular answer although we used 80ft (that's all we had) without a problem. I wouldn't go with less than this though.

It's pretty easy really. I just keep the glider wings level and leave Andy to steer a very straight steep climb from the off. By the time we enter our first (very gentle) turn we're pretty much at release height.

We're still practicing and fine-tuning but it's great fun.

 

 

Edited By David Ashby - RCME on 11/03/2014 12:13:02

Martyn K11/03/2014 12:20:16
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5104 forum posts
3701 photos

Thanks David

That's very reassuring.. I am looking forward to trying this out.

Martyn

ceejay11/03/2014 12:43:46
487 forum posts
419 photos

A lot depends on what sort of aero tow you are intending to do, the haul it up at 45 degs as soon as poss route, for this you will want, to quote a certain J Clarkson ..POWER..., as you are lifting a weight as much as towing a flying glider, if on the other hand you are after the nice gentle scale tow, which i must admit we like best, then you require much less power, i have a 1/3 scale piper pacer with a zenoah 80. at 38ilbs weight and we have towed gliders of a simmilar weight, this does require a longer take off and i would,t go for a shorter line than 30 meters, but once the glider is airborne its great fun to make them look real as you stooge about climbing on the wings lift rather than a huge engine, i am looking at a larger engine , only to enable bigger gliders to be towed, upto 1/2 scale poss.

chris

Bandit11/03/2014 12:59:10
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287 forum posts

**LINK**

This is a good option to get started, all foam etc wink

David Ashby - Moderator11/03/2014 13:13:32
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11099 forum posts
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I'm sure Simon Cocker wrote an article on it but can't find it, I've asked him if he can remember.

Bandit11/03/2014 14:40:57
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287 forum posts

When the tug turns, tell the glider pilot to count like 2 seconds before he turns otherwise the towline will go slack which is not so good.

ceejay11/03/2014 15:37:57
487 forum posts
419 photos

to be honest the glider pilot does not need to turn only needs to keep the wings level the glider will follow the tug this will keep help line tight in turns, the big thing is communication tween tug and glider pilot, and i would and do use a helper to keep an eye on the overall situation as you are concentrating hard on your bit! if your doing the "clarkson" tow the line wont have time to go slack as you will have gravuty on your side.

chris

Frank Skilbeck11/03/2014 16:01:54
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4847 forum posts
107 photos

Type in Funcub Towplane in google to see what you can tow up on limited power, and here is a good source of all things aerotowing.

We are just building an Ampley to do some aerotowing.

Pete H11/03/2014 21:42:24
72 forum posts
58 photos

I have a 67in Perkins Piper Cub modified to run on 6 cells that I use as a tug. It tows a 11ft, 6lb glider fine provided the climb angle is less than about 45 degrees after that the weight of the glider slows the Cub until the glider stalls. Smaller and lighter gliders such as a West Wings Orion can be towed amost vertically.

We found that a longer and heavier tow line helps to smooth things out because it acts like a shock absorber especially with the smaller gliders.

Martyn K12/03/2014 09:30:30
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5104 forum posts
3701 photos

Some very useful comments and suggestions.

Thanks very much all.

Best wishes

Martyn

Bandit12/03/2014 11:40:50
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287 forum posts

Another thing to mention is there are Airtow events you can visit at Middle Wallop.

Guys have tugs there and you can take along your glider, hopefully I'll be there this year with my 4.5m Scaley. wink

Ian Jones12/03/2014 17:05:28
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3229 forum posts
1401 photos

I went to the one at Rhyl a few years ago, 'twas good fun.

Ron Gray30/09/2020 16:24:34
2383 forum posts
965 photos

An old thread but I'll update it as I've just done my first sessions of glitter towing! The tug is a SIG Rascal 110" leccy powered Turnigy G160 running off 10S. I fitted a release in the top of the fuse just behind the wing TE with a servo connected via a bell crank.

 
 
The action, best watched in full screen mode as you may not easily see the glider!
 
First go:
 
Second go:
 
As it worked I then 3D printed a neater release pin locating plate for the Rascal.
 

Edited By Ron Gray on 30/09/2020 16:27:17

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