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Old 07-27-2016, 06:49 AM   #1
1kenda
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Amazing Aerotowing Experience


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Hi guys,

I just returned from a major Aerotowing event held down in Cumberland Maryland. The event takes place at the Highpoint Aviation field way up on the side of Nobby Mountain.

There were over 42 registered sailplane pilots in attendance for the 5 day event.

Tugs were plentiful throughout the entire event, and towed everything from 2metre foamies to 8 metre glass slippers.
Sure there were some pretty big and expensive gliders there, but you don't need one to have fun. My big airplane that I took down for the event was a modified Sailaire. It flew great and towed extremely well. Other folks had small foamies like the Muliplex Cularis and they had just as much fun as the guys with the super ships.

Several maiden flights were made during the event, including my SailaireAT.
All maidens were successful by the way.

Being a first timer at the field I was welcomed by the regulars and they shared their knowledge of towing openly. Help was everywhere if you needed something.

The air was fantastic the entire time I was there, I made an hour on one flight and 45 minutes on another. One pilot did 2 hours and 2 minutes. Several other long flights were recorded as well.

Aerotowing is an amazing part of model soaring and I hope I can get some interest locally to me from the power clubs.

Regards,

Kenda
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Last edited by 1kenda; 07-28-2016 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:11 AM   #2
Mike Sebastien
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Re: Amazing Aerotowing Experience

Wish I was there
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:25 AM   #3
1kenda
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Re: Amazing Aerotowing Experience

Mike,

It was GREAT!
They have three Aerotow events there every year, Spring, Summer and Fall.
I have been wanting to go there for a couple of years and finally made it.
Well worth the drive to get there.
There are also big Aerotow events in Vermont, Connecticut, NY State, and Delaware.
I'm planning on attending some of those as well.

Kenda
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:41 AM   #4
Mike Sebastien
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Re: Amazing Aerotowing Experience

Can you give me a link to there schedule.
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:27 AM   #5
1kenda
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Re: Amazing Aerotowing Experience

Mike

I will send you a PM with it.

Kenda
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:34 PM   #6
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Re: Amazing Aerotowing Experience

Excellent! Sounds like a well rounded event.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:29 PM   #7
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Re: Amazing Aerotowing Experience

That sounds like it was a good learning experience . What are the specs on your Sailair . Is it the Craftair one ? Were the gliders being towed all fitted with ailerons or were there some polyhedral models ? We will be trying again this weekend with the Citabria towing a modified Goldberg Electra . It will be the third attempt in our learning curve . Had one good launch , two minor accidents . Might look for a glider that has ailerons , any recommendations ? Is there a you tube video of the event ? Is the model in your photos yours ?

Thanks Robert .
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Old 07-28-2016, 07:39 AM   #8
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Re: Amazing Aerotowing Experience

Robert

I've aerotowed before, just not with such a large, heavy glider.
My SailaireAT started from a stock Craftaire/Dreamcatcher kit. I modded it specifically for Aerotowing by eliminating the polyhedral, reducing the dihedral and adding the ailerons, tow release, wheel, etc.
Sailaire is 150" span and weighs in right at 7 lbs.


All of the models that were towed at the event had ailerons, there were other poly models that flew off a winch that was set up at one end of the field.

Yes, the model in photos is my SailaireAT. Flies great, and nice and easy to tow.

Again, if the airplane being towed doesn't have ailerons you will experience what is known as a Dutch Roll. The situation can be summed up by this statement...."It's not if, its when" this will happen to your glider without ailerons while on tow.

Here is a great link to the aileron/no aileron debate.
http://forum.scalesoaring.com/forum/...thout-ailerons


Seeing as the Electra doesn't have ailerons, tow slow! The faster you tow, the easier it is to get into trouble. Just have the towplane climb straight into the wind and control the speed of the tow with the climbrate, meaning up elevator.

Just get a cheap foamie like a Multiplex Easy Glider Pro, or Cularis, both work great without breaking the budget! Once you get onto it, you will be hooked and want a bigger airplane.....!
I started aerotowing with a little Parkzone KA-8, which is a great flying foamie glider which thermals very well. Too bad it's no longer available.


There are videos of previous Cumberland events on YouTube. Search "Highpoint Aviation", or "Cumberland aerotow" and you should find some good ones.

Anymore questions, please feel free to ask away.
I'm no expert, but I can steer you in the right direction for any questions I don't know the answers to.

Regards,
Blake

Last edited by 1kenda; 07-28-2016 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:18 PM   #9
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Re: Amazing Aerotowing Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1kenda View Post
Seeing as the Electra doesn't have ailerons, tow slow! The faster you tow, the easier it is to get into trouble.
Listen up Robert, Blake is dead right on this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1kenda View Post
Just get a cheap foamie like a Multiplex Easy Glider Pro
The ironic thing is that this is the only aileron glider we have tried and it is also the only wreck we had! Not the fault of the glider though, the tow line got snagged and wouldn't release.
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Old 07-28-2016, 07:57 PM   #10
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Re: Amazing Aerotowing Experience

Gliding / aerotow is a lot of fun. I was introduced to aerotow at the Brant Flyers club. I had a small glider with a power pod that I used to beat around. Then I made a retractable nose hook one night and it worked perfect, good times.
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