Glider Tow

by FliteTest | June 3, 2013 | (33) Posted in Projects

David and Josh head out to the 2013 Toledo Show to pick up "something interesting" and a 4 meter glider is what David brought back.  

The goal is for Josh to fly his Toledo Show plane (The Roadrunner 38cc gas plane) and tow the glider with it!

Before towing the glider with the plane, they pulled the glider up using a Kawasaki Mule so David could get comfortable since this was his first time ever towing a glider.

The glider is setup with a ring and hook so when, when the string tension is released it disconnects.

The glider had no troubles with the first tow from the Mule.

For the airplane tow, the glider is setup with a servo release mechanism.

A servo powered rotating camera for FPV is also installed on this rebuild glider.

Air brakes are also installed on this glider.

Finally it's time to tow the glider with Josh's 38cc Roadrunner 

The 38cc had no trouble towing the huge glider into the air.

The on-board camera setup for FPV shows how much slack is in the string once the glider get's into the air.

There's more photos in the forum post CLICK HERE to check them out and join in on the discussion.

Thanks for watching!


tramsgar on June 3, 2013
Hey - carnage! Bad ideas should never be left uncompleted.
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casehatter on June 3, 2013
Yeap been thar done that got me a tee or two..!! Keep it up guys it's fun for us to.
Bixler looks like you gotta diamond in the rough thar man..!!
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liveyourdreamsRC on June 3, 2013
Great that you showed your failures and still rocked the video format! love it
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Willsonman on June 3, 2013
Felt like I was right there at the field. Great one guys!
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FlyingMonkey on June 3, 2013
Who gave this video anything other than five stars? What a fun and fun (yup, I said it twice.) episode.

The fun quotes just kept on coming...
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ERAU1983 on June 3, 2013
Great Fun! The mid-air roll was an indication that something was going to go very very bad. I'm not sure I fully understood the last segment. Did the horse poop on the dog's back, or did the dog find some good horse poop to roll in??? Thank you!!!!!
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bclose710 on June 4, 2013
Probably rolled in it as little dogs seem to like to roll in poop of any kind haha. But it is possible the horse has excellent aim!
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mipi on June 4, 2013
Great video!
Comparison between Cobra HD and GoPro (in FPV use) would be nice..
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Sirglider on June 4, 2013
I think there are many factors which brought you to the failure:
- Flexibility of the glider wing
- Lack of ailerons for sure
- Lack of experience in tow of both pilots

But I really enjoyed your episode anyway. It's instructive to see what the others trials and errors as well. Thank you for sharing.
I do Hi-start, but also "man-pulley-winch" start. Bixler: instead of pulling the rope end, fix that end to the ground and pull a pulley along the cable. In that way you'll need to run at half of the speed (but double the force but I'm sure you're strong enough). That's the way we tow our gliders with my bro and it's the most efficient for sure with a good control on the speed and tension in the cable.

Keep doing fun and interesting episodes on gliders please! :)
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rcspaceflight on June 4, 2013
David! They make surfer/swim shirts with built in sun protection. Maybe buy a long sleeve one to save on sunscreen. With a quick search I found and Both sites have 50spf long sleeve shirts under $75. It may be worth the investment for you.

Also, I love the new behind the scenes feel of this and the gasser episodes. Gives us viewers a lot more insight into the technical side of the hobby.
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paulj on June 5, 2013
Great effort! I think you will always find it difficult with a glider like that. I flew full size for a number of years, and the incident at the end with the model is called a ground loop, and is one of the biggest risks with a winch launch on a full size glider. If the tip hits the ground, it causes the glider to turn towards the tip that has touched, which in turn increases the lift on the other wing lifting it off, and resulting in a ground loop, with potentially fatal results. Having a rudder elevator glider with so much dihedral would exaggerate the effect further. You should have another go at towing with a glider with ailerons, and a bit more rigidity and capability to match the flight speed of the tug.

Very entertaining, none the less - Thanks!
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panther3001 on June 5, 2013
I'm doing towing with a Nutball. I use one RC Nutball to tow up another freeflight Nutball. Quite fun. I'm going to see if I can help the scouts in my local troop build a $10 free-flight version of the Nutball to be towed up and bungee-launched. It's taking quite a bit of effort to figure everything out, as it turns out there's a lot to finding the right tow hook location for bungee-launching, and the Nutball is a bit too stable in the yaw axis, so it enters a spiral dive mode. I'm working on that. Using my aero background. Fun stuff!
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Montagu on June 6, 2013
I'm afraid to say you guys messed up a little on that last launch. What I would suggest is in future you use a bigger field with fewer obstacles and a ground based launching system like a high start or a winch. In this case it might be a good idea to use a light high start just to get a feel for how the glider reacts plus using something like that gives you altitude to play with. But nice episode all the same! Hopefully this urges you to keep trying!
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7AC on June 7, 2013
Count me in as a real fan of this episode. The reality of this hobby is that not everything works as we think it will even in the face of intellect and experience. That reality needs to be communicated as well as the successes.
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DexterP on July 28, 2013
Wow !!! That was amazingly fun to watch : You guys are fun to watch, to hear, and are realy enternaining !

We feel your fun through your sentenses !!!

I have a Lama v4 heli ... and can't fly it ... broke something I guess ... but you guys make me feel really alive and I wanna repair this thing so I can feel the fun again !!!

Keep on doing what you do : THIS WORKS !!! Cheers !!!

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RCMentalists on September 27, 2013

Our attempt...
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dlggliders on December 13, 2019
that glider wing flex i would say a bit much, still great to watch and experience, well done.
most people thing its a simple pull glider, release latch, but glider pilot has to follow every move.
we had a similar experience few years back where the wheel hitch got jammed in mid air, this was on an actual Glaser-Dirks DG-808 glider single seat high performance airplane. you can find the video and discussion on talk about adrenal dump
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Glider Tow