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Tow rope specification


oipigface
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I am making a tow rope for aerotowing. I have no experience of aerotowing or fitting out the equipment, so if you have, perhaps you could give me some tips about e.g. length, fittings, etc.

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On 25/11/2020 at 12:09, oipigface said:

I am making a tow rope for aerotowing. I have no experience of aerotowing or fitting out the equipment, so if you have, perhaps you could give me some tips about e.g. length, fittings, etc.

It needs to be as long as you can reasonably use. Maybe around 35m long. Depending on the weight of the towed model, towline wants to be around 30lb breaking strain fishing nylon. You want a handkerchief to A3 sized pennant, two thirds of the way back towards the glider end.

Hope this helps, would have thought some of the aerotow GPS triangle lads would have jumped in. 

Choose your tug pilot wisely. 

If you have the balls, they may want to take your model to height, vertically, very fast.

Alright with a moldy, not much fun with a balsa and tissue scale minimoa!

Have fun!

Jef

 

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Tug and glider both need to be able to release the line, in case one fails.

 Can use just a "pin" running between two bearings (e.g. wooden blocks with holes) that just requires a servo to pull the pin out to release the loop at the end of the "rope".

 

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11 hours ago, Jef Ott said:

Choose your tug pilot wisely. 

Neither I nor Mark T have any experience with towing. The plan is that one of us will pilot the tug and the other the glider. I think we are both prepared for things to go wrong. There’s probably no one in Britain who has tried an aerotow from water anyway, so unless I’m wrong there’s not a lot of experience available. 
 

11 hours ago, Jef Ott said:

If you have the balls, they may want to take your model to height, vertically, very fast.

I haven’t.

It’s a Cularis with floats, so it won’t go very fast anyway!

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10 hours ago, f3fman said:

Tug and glider both need to be able to release the line, in case one fails.

 Can use just a "pin" running between two bearings (e.g. wooden blocks with holes) that just requires a servo to pull the pin out to release the loop at the end of the "rope".

 

Right. I’ve got some mason’s line in bright orange, and some 30lb fishing trace. Easy enough to fit a flag of some sort. I don’t quite know how I could arrange a release from the tug, but I’ve put an MPX barrel type release in the glider. 
The tug is a Tundra, which comes with a ‘tow attachment point’ as well as floats. It is simply a slot in the top of the fuselage, which exposes the wing joiner rod so that a loop can be fitted over it. Would a weak link in the line do as an emergency release system from the tug?

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I did my first tows by pulling a free flight glider.

Hook was right on the nose but I think due to the (relative) high speed on tow it needed a lot of nose weight too. It worked surprisingly well :) 

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The glider pilot uses only rudder to keep the glider pointing at the tug (and only uses the ailerons to keep the wings level).

And as said above, the tug has to be able to ditch the line too. When on landing approach, the tug has to be able to lay the line out where you can get at it... ideally needs a strip of land adjacent to the lake for this.

 

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  • 1 month later...

 

Aero tow from water about 8 mins into this clip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR36NBYHTCqb2YAVuf3vG-ruS-PGuW3LV6FjV1VY_HiCnSfWdRgXNTqcT4Q&v=3TEpQggtkMQ&feature=youtu.be

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21 hours ago, Robert099 said:

Thanks for this. I would have done my first aerotow (from water) by now if travelling hadn't been frowned on.

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9 hours ago, John Minchell said:

OPF, take a look at Scale Soaring UK website 

https://scalesoaring.co.uk/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=10&sid=1cf3236af5fc0b3e6d646056471f1a58

lots of tug, tow release and line advice on there.  Or you could just Google search for info.

John M

Thanks for this John. Things are currently stymied by the lockdown, but I have decided how to fit the tug's tow release, so as soon as I've been released, so will it!

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  • 1 month later...

Is this the standard Tundra or a grand Tundra, a standard Tundra might struggle with a Cularis, especially off water. We towed the Parkzone Ka8 with a similar sized model as a Tundra, from land, and it wasn't a very fast tow.

The most important thing is that both the tug and glider have a tow release and that if either of you even thinks things are going wrong hit the tow release. Other than that all the glider needs to do is keep the wings level and let the tug do the steering, don't try and turn with the tug you'll end up turning inside it and the line going slack.

Don't forget to video it.

Keep the tow line as long as you can will also make the tow smoother.

 

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Helpful advice, Frank. By the time I get to go out again, I may well have another tug with two motors called Sea Duck. It’s folded out of waterproof foamboard. More details here: https://www.flitetest.com/articles/ft-sea-duck-build. I don’t think the TV cartoon on which the design is based has been shown in Britain. Somehow the characters from The Jungle Book have taken to fighting air pirates. Baloo and Bagheera are the pilot and co-pilot of the Sea Duck.

I’ve become quite a fan of Flite Test. They’ve found a way of presenting their creative approach to aeromodelling as a way of having loads of fun without spending an enormous amount of money. More power to their collective arms!

I also have plans for a grown up water tug.

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