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Jef Ott

Aerotowing advice wanted

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Steve J

Phil.Taylor said:

You dont seem to have a line release on the tug?

There is a release on the tug, but it doesn't show very well from that angle. The tow line goes around a servo driven pin that is behind an inverted U. 

Steve

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Jef Ott

The tug pilot has fitted a pair of guards on his tug, which run from the extremities of the tailplane to the top of the fin.

tug-tail-end.jpg

Would you advise whether this is a good or a bad idea please? ... and whether the towline would pass through the underside of the guard or over the top of it?

He has towed a banner with the guards fitted, but I am not sure where he ran the line.Many thanks,Jef

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Steve J

The tow line is supposed to go outside the guards. The guards are to stop the line getting caught up in the elevator or rudder. The rigid sheath over part of the line in the photo that I posted this morning is there for a similar reason.

The next time I setup a model for use as a tug, I am going to try connecting the line in the scale position.

Steve

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Jef Ott

Decided against wrapping the tow release in carbon tows, and fitted the tow release to the keel and sheath like this...

S.jpg

T.jpg

U.jpg

V.jpg

W.jpg

X.jpg

Y.jpg

Z.jpg

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Jef Ott

Having owned it for a week, repaired all the weak areas, generally tidied it up and installed my radio gear, the 'Optima Pro' (a 10 year old RTF Czech model), is now ready for some trimming flights prior to my first exposure to some aerotow action.

The model is 2.45m (97") span, has a flat centre section and dihedral breaks at the tips (with metal rod joiners so it is quite easy to adjust the dihedral). Section looks to me like MH30 (but I am no expert). Wing loading is a shade under 11 ounces / sq ft.

One of the mods made to my chosen trainer for aerotow gliding, was to increase the dihedral by a couple of degrees - to add a touch more stability in the first few seconds of movement on the line, and to get the tips further from the ground... Is this sound thinking?

The-Scrapper-ready-for-aerotow-action.jp

I still have to make a dolly, although I shall put wanted ads in various places as I am a bit lazy!

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Phil.Taylor

You really dont need a dolly for that plane – just start on the grass & it'll be fine –

remember its being dragged along by the nose, the rest will follow!(big heavy scalies with long wings are a different matter –

I have seen them catch a wing-tip)This 100inch "bitsa" glider has very little dihedral –

no signs of tips catching as its tugged, on grass -

and anyway its up to flying speed in just a few feet

Eye.jpgPhil.

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Jef Ott

Thanks Phil...So that's all the hurdles removed then?Just the towline to finish.

Brilliant!

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Jef Ott

Today at Damyn's Hall, Alan Scarlett and I lost our aerotowing virginities together!

Thanks to everyone on here (and elsewhere) for all the advice, as we didn't have any mishaps, other than a bit of disorientation at height. There must have been a slack line moment on the last tow - as the weak link on the line broke (at the tug end). The weak link was made from three loops of ordinary stitching cotton. I think we will get some 3kg fishing line for the weak link next time. Hope you enjoy the photos (courtesy of Mrs Jef).

01-Tug-and-Pilot.jpg

02-Power-Plant-and-tow-release.jpg

03-Third-Aero-Tow-off-to-a-good-start.jp

04-Insert-end-of-Straightened-line-Into-

05-And-we-are-off-for-the-Fourth-Aero-To

06-Optima-Pro-in-the-air-after-release.j

07-Using-every-last-bit-of-lift.jpg

08-Not-down-yet.jpg

Touchdown.jpg

:party:

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Phil.Taylor

Excellent - well done :clap:

Phil.

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Jef Ott

You were spot on with the advice regarding my model not needing a dolly. The ground is quite flat at the aerodrome, but there are worm-casts etc., and whilst these did not present a problem, I was glad I had fitted shrouds to the aileron servos.

Each aileron's horn and clevice had mud in them after the 3rd flight - so I guess they are worth checking after each flight on this model.Looking forward to the next session already, and eventually after a couple more sessions, towing the 3.4m Minimoa.

Thanks again for all the advice. The fun was well worth the effort. The tug pilot (Alan) enjoyed it too, and we will try and get more glider guiders to join in the fun now!

Jef

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simon_t

Congrats on a successful day Jef. :clap:

Looks like it all went very well - just watch out you don't get bitten by the bug for big scale stuff! :)

Simon

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PeteMitchell

Congrats Jeff, glad it went well.I did not know you were flying at Damyns Hall. I was invited to fly there by a guy I recently sold my Orion to.May see you there sometime.

Cheers

Pete

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Jef Ott

PeteMitchell said:

Congrats Jeff, glad it went well. I did not know you were flying at Damyns Hall. I was invited to fly there by a guy I recently sold my Orion to.May see you there sometime.

Cheers

Pete

Must confess I thought you had to be a member to fly there, but probably got that wrong, you know me.Membership is quite expensive, at £100 per year Feb 1st to Jan 31st, but it is a good site for model glider aerotow flying in South South Westerly through SW to Westerly winds. It's a bit restrictive now though, for thermal soaring, in anything other than Easterlies (you cannot follow the lift downwind in any direction other than towards the west).

The Canvey Island Model Association has three sites, the newest of which (quite near Bartletts) may prove to be as good for aerotowing, and only costs £30 a year, Jan to Dec, and they are looking to recruit more members in the New Year.

All the best,

Jef

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Jef Ott

simon_t said:

Congrats on a successful day Jef. :clap: Looks like it all went very well - just watch out you don't get bitten by the bug for big scale stuff! :)

Simon

Thanks Simon.

My property hasn't got the hangar space for proper big stuff, the impulse purchased £150 3.4m Minimoa is as big as I am prepared to go (and this is just a sideline). Hearing you guys talking about £300+ just for a scale pilot makes me swoon!

Best regards,

Jef

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isoaritfirst

Here you go Jef.

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Jef Ott

isoaritfirst said:

Here you go Jef. <<video deleted because it was making using the HTML window impossible !>>

What is your point? Is there another video that you intended to show me? Thanks for taking the time to post, I am sure that you have good intentions.

Jef

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Phil.Taylor

I thought the was gonna do an aerotow with it :D (maybe the point is just the small hangar space needed?)

Phil.

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Woodstock

You were worried about big and expensive.  I guess Mike was showing the advantages of small and cheap...

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isoaritfirst

Exactly - small and cheap and we all know Cubs make ideal aerotow machines ;) But really I was just clipping a few bit of video together to tidy up my computer. then looked for somewhere to stick it..

Nice memories of long summer nights, can't be bad at this time of year..

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Jef Ott

Finally finished trimming the Minimoa (on a huge slope) and thermalled it to cloudbase... So it's ready for aerotowing now. Maybe next weekend if the weather is calmish.

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