Tow winch and trailer

Austin Free Flight Association Forum - Austin Texas

Tow winch and trailer

Postby cascpa » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:27 am

Good afternoon folks,

AFFA is now the proud owner of a state of the art Tow-Me-Up winch. The prior owner has already spent a few hours with Mark Carlson showing him the ins and outs of its operation and maintenance. The prior owner has also offered to come out to Hearne to help with our first use of the winch. This needs to be done prior to Mid-May.

I propose the weekend of the 26th/27th of April with the following weekend of May 3rd/4th as a wx alternate. It would be good if we could get at least a few experienced surface tow pilots out to participate. Also, if we could borrow an a/t dolly to demonstrate s/t off of an a/t dolly, that would be most helpful. (By the way, AFFA is in the market for an a/t dolly). Please note that the winch will be bi-wingual...ie equal opportunity for PG and HG alike.

In order to tow behind the winch, you must be either a member of AFFA or HHPA (either is ten bucks) and you must have joined the Hearne group of one of the clubs. In AFFA we call it the AFFA Towing Interest Group (AFFTIG). It is not another club. It is just another resource offered by the clubs at cost. And this year, the cost is merely fifty bucks. That is designed to cover the cost of the hanger w/electricity we have rented at Hearne. Next year AFFA will probably start charging more to start defraying the cost of the winch. In the past AFFA did not charge a per tow fee. However, the cost of this winch requires that we start charging a per tow fee. I am in favor of ten dollars per tow on the AFFA winch. HHPA sets the per tow rates on their winch. I know ten is more than the old five dollar rate. However, this winch is a much more capable winch and that costs money.

I hope to bring out my RV and make a weekend of it. There are RV pads with hook ups available at the airport. They rent through the city of Hearne.

I know this is short notice. However, our opportunity of having the prior owner (a master tow tech) helping us get started is too good to pass up.

Onward and upwards...

Charles Schneider
User avatar
cascpa
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:06 pm

Re: Tow winch and trailer

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:24 pm

Congratulations Charlie and the AFFA!!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

cascpa wrote:In AFFA we call it the AFFA Towing Interest Group (AFFTIG). It is not another club. It is just another resource offered by the clubs at cost.


That's what clubs are all about!! Good job AFFA leadership.
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
User avatar
Bob Kuczewski
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 4668
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:40 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Tow winch and trailer

Postby Bill Cummings » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:09 pm

Hey Charlie I sent a check off to join your towing operation. Not so much that I actually believe that I will drive all the way over there to tow but just to support your clubs efforts to take to the air after the loss of Packsaddle Mountain. In other words, putting my money where my mouth was and still is.
It is really fortunate that you will have experienced winch pilots that will show up to show everyone there the ropes. (Operations.)

Failing that the only other way I know of to get a strange winch dialed in is to wait on the platform launching and first pull off several hundred feet of rope from the drum, lock up the brake on the winch/reel, and do a static tow. Once up at a forty five degree angle an experienced tow pilot can, over the radio, have the winch/reel operator start reducing the brake line pressure until the winch/reel starts to pay out line that will allow the pilot to maintain his angle. Once the pilot is happy with the climb out the winch/reel operator can look at and record the hydraulic gauge pressure for this pilot.

However I prefer to launch with less pressure (tension) and then have my desired brake pressure applied after I have about 50 to 60 feet of line out.

This reduced tension I call “Trudge Tension.” I have the launch tension set so that I can grab the towline, turn around and with the towline over my shoulder walk away from the tow vehicle, and trudge away pulling the line off of the drum.
This is enough tension to keep a winch/reel from back lashing like would happen in total freewheel.
It is like launching off of the platform in free flight or very close to it and then with fifty to sixty feet of line out apply the desired tension to the line for climb out. :thumbup:
EDIT:PS Of course the static part would not be using a single point bridle attachment but have a climb restricting bridle to the keel. Once you have your tension dialed in then platform launch with a single point attachment to the pilot.
User avatar
Bill Cummings
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:20 pm
Location: Las Cruces NM 88005 (Region 4)

Re: Tow winch and trailer

Postby cascpa » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:33 pm

Good evening Bill,
Thank you for supporting our club. If you do find yourself in the area, we now have a mountain in a trailer to offer. I used to fly Dry Canyon and the Guadalupe ridge fairly often. I lived in Albuquerque for many years. The local guru at Dry was a fellow named "QJ". Is he still about?

I got to play with our new winch today. it really got the ole flying juices flowing. Thank you also for your advice. There is nothing like the wise words of experience speaking. On that note, :) , what type of bridal and release mechanism do you like/prefer?

I am planning on heading out to your area to fly. I have been following your pioneering of Magdalena and would love to visit (perhaps even fly) the site. After I post this I am going to your RGSA site on the forum to find a membership application. I will go ahead and join now. I will let you know as plans firm up.

Thank you again for your support of our club,

Charles Schneider
User avatar
cascpa
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:06 pm

Re: Tow winch and trailer

Postby Nate » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:11 am

Chuck -

Get your game scale for weighing wild hogs, deer, and other tasty creatures our creator provided us to eat.

Use the game scale to calibrate a pressure on the winch to pounds (tension) on the line.

Go to Hearne, tie the scale to the hitch of another car, fence post, etc. Get your radios. Have one person watch the scale and have another start spooling of line (driving) while adjusting pressure. 125lbs is a pretty sweet spot.

I love spooling an look forward to having Hearne. It has been my experience that it is easier to talk someone into flying a trike or dragon fly than it is to talk someone into driving 30mph and honking the horn.

I've gotta heal up but hopefully before the end of May, I'll be racking up some miles again. Who knows, maybe even a trip to Dry for Memorial Day :thumbup:

Nate
User avatar
Nate
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:04 pm

Re: Tow winch and trailer

Postby Bill Cummings » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:16 am

Hey Charles,
QJ moved from Alamogordo and last I heard had moved a little north to Tularosa. I haven’t talked with him in many years since Dave Church and I visited with him when he was still in Alamogordo.

For platform towing I use a two string release that I made myself. (Attached near my crotch.)
For static towing I still prefer the Hewitt Skyting Bridle with the release out in front of the bridle. I have a link/knife release but mostly use my two string release.
In front of the release is the 220 lb weak link.
The majority of my 4,073 flights were tow.
I have tried most all the releases out there and at some point all have failed to work. (The cause was mostly slush snow freezing at altitude while snowmobile towing. Several different failures with a link/knife.)
For payout platform towing I use a 350 lb weak link. (Due to nesting or digging in of the towline on the drum. ---Usually because of too much towline on the drum.)
On Hadley Robinson’s hydraulic stationary winch down at the sod farm north of El Paso, TX I have even used as weak as 70 lbs. His rig is so smooth and most of the time it is not able to cause a weak link to break (go figure!)
User avatar
Bill Cummings
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:20 pm
Location: Las Cruces NM 88005 (Region 4)

Re: Tow winch and trailer

Postby Bill Cummings » Tue May 06, 2014 10:03 pm

Hey Charlie,
I listened to your message on my answering machine. My record keeping is getting a little rusty. :?
Keep that second check and write me down for two years of dues and tow if you would please. :thumbup:
Thanks. Bill C.
User avatar
Bill Cummings
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:20 pm
Location: Las Cruces NM 88005 (Region 4)

Re: Tow winch and trailer

Postby cascpa » Wed May 07, 2014 6:09 pm

Your generosity is greatly appreciated Bill. I guess that makes you our fist member for next year! :thumbup:

We had our first orientation weekend with the new winch last weekend. It went well. We towed both HG's and PG's alike. We a/t dolly launched HG's. That worked very well. However, we did put a few holes in the rewind chute dragging it across the ground. The winch is currently in a small trailer that does not allow for adding a traditional platform launch mount. After discussions with those who came out, we will probably be putting it in a bigger trailer to accommodate traditional platform launch.

This winch is like nothing I have ever used. No brake per se. It uses the resistance from a hydraulic pump to create pressure on the pay-out. This pressure is easily adjusted with the turn of a knob. It uses a 13hp Honda motor for rewind. If the Honda is left running while towing, if there is slack created in the line, the winch will begin to rewind to take up the slack and then return to payout mode seamlessly and automatically. The payouts were without surging in the line. All in all, everyone there seemed very excited about the winch.

If any of you Hawks are in the neighborhood, look us up for tow ride to the sky.

Charlie S.
User avatar
cascpa
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:06 pm

Re: Tow winch and trailer

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Wed May 07, 2014 7:00 pm

Great report Charlie!!      :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

I don't have a printer, so yesterday I copied the membership application to a thumb drive and then went out to run errands with a plan to print it at a local copy store. When I got to the copy store, I searched my pockets to find no thumb drive ... it was still in the computer at home. :roll:

Eventually I'll get my act together and get it to you.    :oops:
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
User avatar
Bob Kuczewski
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 4668
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:40 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Tow winch and trailer

Postby Bill Cummings » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:04 pm

Charlie,
What is the update on the payout winch/reel operation?
User avatar
Bill Cummings
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:20 pm
Location: Las Cruces NM 88005 (Region 4)

Next

Return to Austin Free Flight Association

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron