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Tow planes/gliders

Old 04-10-2006, 09:53 PM
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Default Tow planes/gliders

Hi everyone,

Can anyone outline the kind of unusual dynamics associated with controlling a tow plane and the glider behind it? I can picture in my mind what is going on, but I do not have a grasp of any of the fundementals.

I assume the glider needs to be pulled from the nose, and that the glider preferrably has a short nose. But I have no feel for the forces acting on the tow plane or where best to attach the tow cable to the tow plane.

Thanks in advance,

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Old 04-11-2006, 01:25 AM
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Default RE: Tow planes/gliders

Try a search on tow planes or tugs. This is a topic that has come up before. I also moved it into Sailplanes as the whole issue is more about what works thanks to experience and trial and error rather than anything to do with aerodynamics.

The tow plane should have the line connected somewhere near the CG instead of the tail like on the full scale stuff. The sailplane needs the tow line connected near the nose as per full scale. That and some smooth and predictable flying on the part of the tow plane to avoid surprises to the sailplane pilot.

One last factor. The tow plane MUST be able to fly faster and climb faster at speed than the glider or things get messy.
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:22 AM
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Default RE: Tow planes/gliders

a common location for the tug release is at the rear of the wing. in tow the glider stays above the towplane, and depending on the drag of the glider, sometimes the spoilers are deployed to maintain line tension, and depending on the size of the glider and the power of the towplane guides how much throttle is needed on tow, the sailplane simply needs to follow the towplane, usually by both making wide smooth turns. check out www.soaringissa.org - lots of pictures.

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Old 04-17-2006, 03:05 PM
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Default RE: Tow planes/gliders

Both I and my tug pilot were rank beginners when I got my 4m Discus. We hooked it up per directions above, and all went well. The tow hook on the tow plane is right behind the wing, and the glider is towed from the nose. We are using 125 foot of BRAIDED nylonline without any bungee in it. Keep the tug fast, if flying large fast sailplanes, and the turns smooth. You don't really have to turn the sailplane, just keep the wings level. The tug will guide it around by the nose. Occasionally I will have to put out the spoilers to take up line slack, but mainly on hot days since the tug is a tad small. I have a new tug ready to go when I get back from Iraq in August.(leaving Wed to go over) It is a Frisch Wilga, and it has power out the *****.

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Old 05-02-2006, 10:19 PM
Hans Dahl Christensen
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Default RE: Tow planes/gliders


Try to look into : www.igg-sverige.se www.iggnorge.com

There you might be inspired !!

Kind regards

Hans Dahl Christensen OY-9901
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