FIELD REPORT ON THE ONEWINCH
More detail here if you are interested
We spent 8 hours at the field yesterday. About 5 of that was spent
with the Onewinch.
Bottom Line - winner! This thing works as advertised and I like it.
Note that I own a FLS winch and two hi-starts so I have a full range
of tools for comparison. And I am a member of a glider club that has 4
club winches. Some members have sport winches and we have a variety of
hi-starts. We launch gliders by various methods all the time.
What it is not - The Onewinch is not a replacement for a Ford Long
Shaft based competition winch. The Onewinch simply can not generate
the 200+ pounds plus of pull that a FLS winch can generate. And it is
not advertised as a replacement for a FLS winch.
What it is - A clear alternative to a hi-start and maybe an electric
What I learned.
Conditions - Clear, 78 degrees. Breeze was about 3-5 mph in the
morning going to about 10 in the afternoon.
* The Onewinch is easy to use
* Just like alternative launch methods, you have to work on your
* Proper tuning of the plane to the launch method will improve
* The average guy can easily manage the pull and the coordination
* I was launching in fairly rapid succession and I did not feel overly
* More fatigue was probably from the walk to get the chute than the
* There is a lot less walking than when using a hi-start
* You can use it on a shorter field than a hi-start and get a full
* shortening the length is very easy if you don't have room for the
full set of line
* You get similar power to a hi-start but you can control/sustain it
throughout the launch
* Hook position is the critical factor to success - more on this at
the link above.
Three planes were used. A Radian that has had the motor removed and a
hook attached. Several of our members have done this. Works quite
well. This amazing little glider has been launched with hi-starts and
with a winch, so putting it up on the Onewinch was a valid test. Net
results were very good.
My Thermal Dancer, which I have launched on the Onewinch before,
launches great on the Onewinch. My techique is getting better and I am
starting to get a good feel for when and how to use my launch mixes.
My Graphtie, a 3.4M built up competition plane, had problems. The
problems were caused by the hook position, not the launch method.
What I learned is that it is not the plane that is the difference, it
is the set-up of the plane. This is a critical factor to understanding
where and how the Onewinch fits into the range of launch options we
have for string launched gliders.
The Graphite is set-up for all out competition climb on a FLS
competition winch. When I launch it I strain the winch to tension the
line and when I throw it it goes almost straight up on a full pedal
launch. I have the hook set so the plane rotates hard and immediately.
I have broken 200 pound test line with the Graphite. I can not
duplicate this launch power with the Onewinch so the Graphite's set-up
is not optimum. If I moved the hook forward a bit it would launch much
better on the OneWinch.
As a result the Graphite, in the current configuraion, tends to stall
on launch. I have to really run back fast with the One Winch to try
and generate enough speed and tension to keep it from stalling as it
tries to climb straight up. After 3 attempts I finally got a full
launch but if I were to use the OneWinch as my main launcher for the
Graphite I would move the hook forward a bit so it would take a less
agressive angle and could pick up speed more easily.
Note that I have the same issue with the Graphtie and my Supra when
launching on my 3M hi-start. My hi-start is strong, providing 24
pounds of pull at launch and both of these planes tend to stall on
launch with that hi-start unless I have a breeze to help. It is not
the weight of the Graphtie (60 ounces) or the Supra (65 ounces) it is
the hook position.
The Thermal Dancer wings are not as strong as the Graphite's so I have
the hook placed less aggressively, a little more forward. When I
launch on the FLS winch I don't tension up as much and I tap it up the
line. The hook position on the Thermal Dancer is much closer to
optimum for the Onewinch. It gains speed easily and climbs nicely.
Conclusion: The setting of the tow hook is a critical factor in the
success of launching with the Onewinch. If your plane is set up to
launch well off your hi-stat it will launch well off the Onewinch. If
you have it set up for aggressive launch on a FLS winch, it is going
to be tough to get it to launch well with that hook position. Move it
forward a bit and it will launch well.
But it was a good day and my friends seemed to like the Onewinch. I
hope to get some of their comments too,
Newsletter Editor ESL