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Want to get into glider towing- what plane?

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Want to get into glider towing- what plane?

Old 05-25-2006, 11:12 AM
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Rv7garage
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Default Want to get into glider towing- what plane?

Hi all, I've been thinking about building a towplane, and waould appreciate any advice on:

1)What airframe would work well (Saito powered, of course! [8D])

2)Specs/tips/How to's on building a tow system- or are these available as an aftermarket thing?

3)General advice on anything I have not thought of, etc.

Thanks!
Old 05-25-2006, 12:00 PM
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thevirginian
 
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Default RE: Want to get into glider towing- what plane?

flycfii,
Over twenty years ago, me and a buddy of mine got into glider towing. I had a 4 meter giant glider, made by Robbe (a German kit) that was almost made for towing. It had ailerons and speed brakes (spoilers) built into the wings. That glider flew phenominal. It was a "high performance" glider. So I drilled a small hole in its nose and installed a servo for the tow line release. That was it for the glider conversion. My buddy had the tow plane. It was nothing but a big 60 size trainer with a tow line release mechanism right behind its high wing saddle. It had a servo activated steel pin that held the looped end ot the tow line attached to the plane. If I remember correctly the tow line was approximately 50 -60 ft long. We would start the tow by running the tow plane's motor wide open and I would support one wing tip of the glider a few steps until it did stabilize itself. It didn't take much speed and the glider was off the ground while the tow plane still accelerated. Once we both were airborn the real fun started after the first wide turn way up in the sky. You always need to stay above the tow plane and follow it in a straight line. Now that is easy if you see the duo from behind and rather in low altitude. Once you get higher and have to turn you only can guess. We were lucky if we get perhaps three or four turns out of one tow. But by then we normally were high enough for a release, anyway. It was always fun and exiting to tow and watch. Never did we jeopatize any of the two planes during the tow. Whenever the situation got too hairy I released my end of the tow line. Depending on the size of your glider pick your tow plane. A good .91 four should be sufficient for up to four meters glider wing. If you go bigger on the towing engine than even better. But it does not have to be monsterous. It does not take much to tow a glider through the air. We built every thing ourself, back then. Ther maybe some equipment available you can buy and convert your tow plane with it. If you don't mind let me know what you got in mind. Glider and tow plane, I mean.
Old 05-25-2006, 12:18 PM
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Rv7garage
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Default RE: Want to get into glider towing- what plane?

Hey Virginian, nothing specific in mind yet, I just like the concept, and am interested in trying it. Sounds like it can be a very simple thing, mechanically- most of the (initial) difficulty would be the increased chance for pilot error.

I remember Robbe helis, didn't know they made gliders as well. [8D]

Old 05-26-2006, 07:34 AM
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thevirginian
 
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Default RE: Want to get into glider towing- what plane?

Maybe I am wrong and it was a Multiplex Glider. It was a German kit. Actually it was an ARF. Wings were foam and sheeted, fuse was fiberglass. A beautiful glider for sure.
Old 05-27-2006, 09:11 AM
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khodges
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Default RE: Want to get into glider towing- what plane?


ORIGINAL: flycfii

Hi all, I've been thinking about building a towplane, and waould appreciate any advice on:

1)What airframe would work well (Saito powered, of course! [8D])

2)Specs/tips/How to's on building a tow system- or are these available as an aftermarket thing?

3)General advice on anything I have not thought of, etc.

Thanks!
You want a plane that will fly stable right down to the bottom of its flight envelope, with low wing loading, high power loading. The guys in my club who tow almost always use a 40 or 60 size Cub (1/5 or 1/4 scale) or a Sig Kadet Sr. I figure a Telemaster or a .60 size trainer would work as well. Tow release should be as near C/G as possible, most I've seen are on top. A bomb drop release works, but you can make a release as well. I don't have a sketch, but surely someone here does.
Old 05-27-2006, 10:12 AM
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Rv7garage
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Default RE: Want to get into glider towing- what plane?

So it sounds like a Kadet Sr. w/a Saito 120-ish would do the trick, and I'm sure I can engineer a decent towline release...of course, the glider has to have a tow release as well, but that should be just as easy.
Old 05-31-2006, 12:42 PM
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wingnutinc
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Default RE: Want to get into glider towing- what plane?

Hey flyc,

Check out the BTE Flyin' King as towplane. It can handle a Saito. I think the largest I've heard of being used is the 180. I'm running a OS.91FX on mine. Seems to be a fair number of FK's being used a towplane and for airdrops. You won't find a better kit for any craft, than a BTE kit.
Old 05-31-2006, 02:09 PM
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Default RE: Want to get into glider towing- what plane?

When I was a kid back in the 70's, we used a Senior Telemaster to tow gliders.

-tychoc
Old 06-11-2006, 07:07 PM
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KI4KWF
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Default RE: Want to get into glider towing- what plane?

First off, nice info. I am preparing to buy a trainer- probably a Nexstar from my local hobby shop- 60 size. I have been looking into different things i could do with it- other than simply fly- after I get my official wings [only been flyin PZ Super Decathalon and a Aerobird Xtreme]- iv looked at floats, and now i see that you could tow gliders with it! I might make it a tailwheel, for better grass operation. Also, if it could pull a glider, wouldnt you think it could pull a banner?- with the same release mechanism. i figure i could make a "snag system"- like those used by dc-3s in WW2- two poles, a line between them, then the tow line on it hooked to the glider- the plane flys low with a line with a hook- swoooosh!!! off it goes!! I think that might work for the banner too.- I could use it at public places- plane+banner with comp. name on it+ lots of people= MONEY!!!
Also, I am a Cadet in the Civil Air Patrol- USAF's official auxilary. If you've never heard of it- we do search and rescue of downed planes, aerospace education to the public, and we have the cadet program. Does anyone know of a way that the trainer could be used in one of these fields= mounted camera, banner tow- general flying, etc..?
Anyway- very good info
Thanks,

KI4KWF
Old 06-11-2006, 10:17 PM
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khodges
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Default RE: Want to get into glider towing- what plane?


ORIGINAL: flycfii

So it sounds like a Kadet Sr. w/a Saito 120-ish would do the trick, and I'm sure I can engineer a decent towline release...of course, the glider has to have a tow release as well, but that should be just as easy.
A .72 or .82 would be plenty of power for towing with a Kadet Sr. One of our club instructors has a Sr that has a big bomb bay as well as a tow hook, he can tow 3 meter sailplanes with a .72 Surpass, no trouble.

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