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  1. #1
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    A new glider launch system.

    I came across a highly portable (5 lb) launch system that could be an alternative to a hi-start or an electric winch. It can be used to launch HLG through Unlimited sizes.
    Here is the site. There are photos and video of the system in use.
    FIRST TEST REPORT
    I was in Sudbury Massachusettes with my friend Mike. We were there for a 2 day Eastern Soaring League TD contest at the CRRC field. We arrived Friday around 3:30.
    While I set-up my 122" 60 ounce Thermal Dancer, Mike set up the Onewinch. The box was opened for the first time. Mike took a quick look at the instructions and headed to the field. Neither of us had tried this before but Mike said it was very easy to set-up.
    There was very little breeze so this would be a good first test with no real wind assist.
    We did not use the belt for this test. It seemed better to have one focus on the Onewinch and one on the plane.
    On the first launch he pulled while I launched. I have to say this thing works very well. It was like a good hi-start launch. The plane went up steadily and I got a mild zoom at the end.
    Mike only had to pull back about 20 feet or so and said it was not hard to pull. I was pretty pleased.
    Now we switched. He launched while I pulled.
    Note that I have my tow hook set at a pretty agressive position so the plane tends to climb pretty steeply. You have to keep up the pressure or the plane will stall due to this hook position.
    Whether my pull was not steady or he got off angle, the plane went well off track and pulled hard enough that I felt I was stalled and should not pull any harder, I just kept the pressure on. Maybe I could have pulled harder, but this was a first test so I did not want to risk breaking anything.
    We did about 8 launches and everything worked well. I think I am going to like the Onewinch.
    As the pilot the feel is very more like a hi-start than a winch. But you don't need as much room on the field. Also you don't have the long stretch walk and no holding the plane aginst a hi-start's pull while you get ready. So in that respect I like it better than a hi-start.
    DON'T FORGET TO BRING A CORDLESS DRILL
    Included is a great adapter that allows you to use a cordless drill to wind up the line at the end of the day. I forgot to bring a drill. While we had no trouble winding up the line, and the process is very easy, the attachements are provided to use a cordless drill. The drill would make the take down and wind up a piece of cake. This process was well designed and very well thought out.
    First impressions are very good.
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  2. #2
    roaddog2's Avatar
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    RE: A new glider launch system.

    Bookmarked it! Tnx!
    RD
    Th\'\' Roaddog
    Montross, Va

  3. #3
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    RE: A new glider launch system.

    [B] As with any launch method, there are advantages and disadvantages. Here is how I see it after using the Onewinch. The following assumes the pilot is working alone, doing the pulling.

    My goal is not to promote or to knock the Onewinch but to recognize it for what it is, an alternate launch method.

    Advantages of the Onewinch over a hi-start:

    You can launch in a smaller area
    If the launch goes bad you can stop the pull
    No 300 foot walk to stretch the hi-star for each launch.
    If you lose your grip on the plane, nothing happens.
    You are not trying to lift the weight of the rubber during the launch
    You are not fighting the pull of the rubber as you prepare to launch
    You can keep up constant or even increasing pressure throughout the launch
    You can keep the OneWinch in a car wihout concern for heat hurting the hi-start rubber
    Probably smaller and lighter to pack for air travel than a 3M hi-start.
    Automated rewind using a drill to drive the rewind when it is time to go home.


    Disadvantages as compared to a hi-start

    Once you release a hi-start you just fly the plane, no pulling
    You need to back-up during the launch in order to pull.
    A very strong hi-start may give a stronger pull at the start of the launch
    Costs more to buy than most hi-starts.


    Advantages as compare to a FLS winch

    MUCH lower in cost
    Much smaller and lighter to pack and carry.
    No car battery to run down.
    No car batteries to buy, charge or lug around
    No damage to your clothes from battery acid
    Less likely to damage the wings of your glider
    Very low cost maintenance

    Disadvantages as compared to a FLS winch

    Not nearly as powerful a launch
    Not nearly as powerful of a zoom
    You are actively involved pulling during the launch
    Pilot can become fatigued doing a lot of launches.
    Plane size limited by pilot strength and coordination.
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  4. #4
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    RE: A new glider launch system.

    I hope to get a LOT of time on the Onewinch tomorrow. I have asked the club to bring planes and I hope someone brings a video camera. We gonna use and abuse this baby to see what it can do.

    I will have my Thermal Dancer (3.2m bagged wing) out there again but I will be launching it by myself and I will play with various launch mixes.

    I am also bringing my 3.4M Graphite which is the hardest pulling, most winch stalling plane I have. I have yet to see noticeable flex in the Graphite's wings when I stand on the pedal of an ESL winch. I will likewise be playing with mixes on this one.

    I have a 2 day ESL contest next weekend, so the Supra, my main plane, stays in the hanger. These are my back-up contest planes. 


    I hope to have a detailed report for you, some photos, and maybe some video too. And I plan to bring it to Virginia to the ESL contest at CASA. I have been requested to bring it. The contest pilots are dying to give it a try. When I had it out at the Boston ESL contest I had an audience.
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  5. #5

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    RE: A new glider launch system.

    Pretty cool!

  6. #6
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    RE: A new glider launch system.

    FIELD REPORT ON THE ONEWINCH
    More detail here if you are interested
    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1473778&page=9


    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
    sport winch.



    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
    technique
    * Proper tuning of the plane to the launch method will improve
    results.
    * The average guy can easily manage the pull and the coordination
    * I was launching in fairly rapid succession and I did not feel overly
    fatigued
    * More fatigue was probably from the walk to get the chute than the
    launch
    * 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
    launch
    * 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,



    Ed Anderson
    President, LISF
    Newsletter Editor ESL

    Long Island Silent Flyers
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  7. #7
    ray foley's Avatar
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    RE: A new glider launch system.

    hi there from Toledo

    Magnificent! A truly fair and comprehensive evaluation of a distinct departure in sailplane launch technology.

    Bravo, well done!!! Keep up the good work.

    ciao -rjf
    volare est vivere

  8. #8
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    RE: A new glider launch system.

    Nice report. I wonder if we'll soon be seeing some home built alternatives after a little while when folks try to achieve the advantages at a lower price point. But to do that they'd have to deal with line control to avoid tangles or bunching when the line is slack in all the pulleys.

    Could you also link to the video in this thread? I'm sure we're all interested to see if it was truly as easy as shown in the company vids.
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  9. #9
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    RE: A new glider launch system.

    I will be posting some video and photos tonight.
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  10. #10

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    RE: A new glider launch system.

    Will the new videos be linked to this topic?
    I don't see anything here yet.
    Tks.

    OK, just did a search on youtube and found a few clips that you posted.
    I needed sunglasses for the one clip. Ow, right into the sun. :-)


  11. #11
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    RE: A new glider launch system.



    The quality of the videos is pretty poor but you will get the idea.



    I have to say that as the flow of the Onewinch launch becomes more familiar I become less aware of the step-back. In the videos I pull back farther than I realized but it becomes clear where I hit the tension up point where I do little more than hold tension.



    In these videos I launch my 122" 60 ounce Thermal Dancer. These are from my early launches of the day, when I had help to take the videos. As I get the technique down the launches get higher and better. By the end of the day I had the line going pretty much straight up and getting some zoom at the end.



    While the plane is not easily visable on the video, it is quite high. And remember we were launching with about 50 feet of the line removed due to space constraints.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iZB7bIy3qw




    Here you see that when I throw the Thermal Dancer it rotates quickly and climbs pretty steeply, though not as steeply as some of my other gliders. I hit the tension point sooner as we had about a 5 mph breezed during this launch. Once you hit tension you basically just hold that tension as the glider climbs, taking the occasional step back to keep the tension up. The more breeze the sooner you hit that tension point.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Lk-xBPdYak




    Note that I do most of my sailplane launching off powerful electric winches. My standard stance is to have the plane back behind me, like a Javeline thrower. You can see this in the photo below as I prepare to launch my Graphite. I step on the pedal of the winch and tension up the line till the winch is almost stalled, then throw it hard. So you see some of that in how I hold and throw the Thermal Dancer, tensioning up the line and establishing as much tension on the line as I can before I launch. The heavier the plane and the more agressive the tow hook position the more important the pretensioning of the line. In the videos below you see Trevor does not use this hold or stance but gets successful launches with his light weight Radian.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Yw68173.jpg 
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  12. #12
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    RE: A new glider launch system.



    On earlier launches, when we returned the launch line to the lanch point the sled got tangled in the lines.   But there is a little coil on the front that holds the line straight so the sled slides without getting tangled in the lines.



    This would be less of an issue on smooth ground, but over irregular grass having the lines in that loop really makes the retrun of the chute and the sled to the launch point highly automatic



    Note that the lines extend straight from the front of the sled. 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1BaxAsVsrg

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  13. #13
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    RE: A new glider launch system.



    In these videos we are working with a Parkzone Radian that has had the motor removed and a tow hook added.  It is now a pure glider.  The launches are being done by people with no experience with the Onewinch so you will see an advancing level of success and coordination. 




    First we see some two man launches.   Neither person has ever done this before.




    This was the first attempt.   The pilot, Trevor,  and the puller, Lee,  were not yet coordinated. 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WupKyoUx6_I



    Getting the hang of controlling the tension for best launch.  We found that the maximum tension is not always the best approach.  The Onewinch gives you very good control of tension so even a soft winged foam glider can be launced successfully as you regulate the tension.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io4LqGJRF9c





    Trevor is doing these launches by himself.




    In the first one he appears to launch it like a hi-start.  He did not do much to pretension the line and did not back-up once it was launched, so the chute came off the hook.   If you have never done this before it is easy to forget to step back the first time or two.    Trevor uses a hi-start and is learning to use a regular winch.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuBDvQxtQAA




    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMl-rBK5TyA



    Getting the hang of controlling the tension for best launch



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-BwDpJ-XXU




    Launching into about a 7 mph breeze - very little walk back required for the Radian.




    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu_ePg6nhTc

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  14. #14
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    RE: A new glider launch system.

    I hope the videos were of sufficent quality that you can tell what is going on.

    I focused more on the pilot than the planes. The planes launch, so that is not a big deal. But people ask about the technique and what the pilot does so I focused on the pilot.

    I tried to post the videos in the order they were flown so you can see the growing confidence and improving performance.

    I have about 15 launches to date. Trevor had about 6 with the Radian.

    You can see my other comments in my earlier posts.

    So, to summarize AGAIN, I like the Onewinch and plan to keep using it as one of my launch methods. In fact it may replace my hi-starts for launching when I don't have my winch with me. It needs a lot less space, requires a lot less walking and I don't have to make that 300 foot walk to stretch the rubber.


    *We got good launches with planes from 24 to 60 ounces and from 2M to 3.1 M wing spans. If I wanted to adjust the hook positions I am sure my 3.4M Supra and Graphtie would launch just fine.

    *Pretensioning prior to release builds up energy in the line which helps get the plane up to flying speed.

    *If there is a breeze, the walk back will be less than if it is calm.

    *With a small breeze, once you hit the "tension point" there really does not seem to be much value in fighting to keep the line moving. Just hold tension and the glider will climb.

    * The hook position would be the primary tuning point for successful launches, in my opinion.

    * If you want to play with launch mixes, try applying the mix at about 50 feet or once the plane is flying and climbing nicely. I found it better to launch neutral and then apply a launch mix. This is the same way I fly my hi-starts.

    Clear skies and safe flying!
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  15. #15

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    RE: A new glider launch system.

    OK. I'm an old, 4 channel, nitro flyer who is looking to getting into sailplanes. Therefore, a lot of what you experienced glider-guiders are talking about is new to me. What exactly is a "launch mix" and what is it's advantage?
    Tks, Ron

  16. #16
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    RE: A new glider launch system.

    If you have a glider that has full span ailerons, or ailerons and flaps, you can change the shape of the wing by raising or lowering the trailing edge. One of the stuations where you would do this is on launch.

    When you lower the trailing edge you increase the lift of the wing which can be advantageous at launch. It creates a lot of drag too, but during the launch when the glider is being towed, the drag ma not be an issue.

    No different from a power plane lowering its flaps for take-off. That would be his "launch mix". Pure gliders don't take-off, they are launched.

    Jets take off from a runway, but they are launched from an aircraft carrier because the are "thrown", so to speak by the catapult..
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  17. #17
    Moderator aeajr's Avatar
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    RE: A new glider launch system.

    The OneWinch is getting a lot of interest on other forums, so I will bump this thread back up for the benefit of sailplane pilots who have not read about this.
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