Glider Winch Tow

by FliteTest | January 26, 2015 | (19) Posted in Just Fun

In an effort to escape the bitter winter here in Ohio, we traveled down south to visit our friends at Triple Tree Aerodrome.

To our complete surprise they asked us if we would like to take a ride in a full scale glider!

Also to our surprise, instead of hooking up to a tow plane, they implement a winch system.

This is very similar to a highstart used for RC gliders. Except, replace the giant rubber band with a Corvette motor!

This is a DG-500T Elan Trainer


  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 8.66 m (28 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan: 18 m (59 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Wing area: 16.6 m2 (179 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 19.52
  • Airfoil: Wortmann FX-73-K-170/20; tip:FX-73-K-170/22
  • Empty weight: 390 kg (860 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 630 kg (1,389 lbs
The whole Flite Test crew got to each take their own flight while Peter, Josh, Noah, and Eric got a chance to fly! Check out the screens below!

The best tow of the day got up to 1,900 ft (579 m) with speeds around 60 knots (69 mph // 111 km/hour).

We owe a HUGE thank you to Pat for piloting the glider with us all day. We can't thank you enough for this amazing opportunity and letting a few of us put a check on that bucket list!

Also thanks to everyone at Triple Tree Aerodrome for their unparalleled hospitality and kindness. If you are in the area give them a visit! 


BigSexy on January 26, 2015
That's amazing. I have a few hours in a 152 and 172 but never been in a glider. Can't say I would want to. The thought of botching the landing and not getting the choice to go around for a second attempt gives me shivers.
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rcbif on January 26, 2015
I solo'd this year, and can tell you your fears are unfounded. With glide ratio's of 20 at the least, you have to force these things on the ground, and they can stop quickly once on the ground. That thought used to creep me out too, but now the thought of flying a small powered aircraft and having an engine out with one of them creeps me out! Not much time if you have an engine out in them (glide ratio of 9 or so).
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JustPlaneChris on January 26, 2015
I got my glider rating in a Grob 109 motorglider, and it's a hoot! Landing with spoilers is almost like having a throttle. Crack them halfway when abeam the numbers on downwind, then use them just like throttle. If you're looking a bit short, close them. Looking too high? Open them all the way. So easy.

Great article and video, guys. Makes me want to dust off the license and go do some full scale flying! :)
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Flyingninja on January 26, 2015
So cool! Please do more full scale!
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parvaz on January 26, 2015
Freakin' Awesome!!!!!
The only thing I hate about this - I wasn't there. Anyway, you guys are awesome.
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noaflight2 on January 26, 2015
Has anyone done a symmetrical airfoil versa wing?
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sailorJohn on January 26, 2015
Dan at "" has a full symmetrical wing, depron flies well, reasonable, and easy to assemble, smaller for 1300mha and 2822 motor. Usually at swap meets in mid south. Said he had met Josh and was very complimentary.
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f4ucorsair on January 26, 2015
Can you do more RC model reviews from horizon hobby please
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MEarly13 on January 26, 2015
So Awesome!! Definitely would love to see more Full Scale!
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FlyFreak on January 26, 2015
I have been a subscriber since the earliest episodes, and even though the full scale stuff is cool the idea of flitetest is RC in my eyes. I would really like to see you get back to building aircrafts that fly as well as they look. I'm still waiting on the Guinea, the warbird series... I love you guys, I watched you grow and helped me grow so much... Its time to get back to basics. Please
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808aerosquadron on January 26, 2015
If you have never flown in a sailplane, do it. It is an amazing experience you will never forget.
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Chefinator on January 27, 2015
What a coincidence, I just posted on my facebook 2 days ago I need to add full scale glider flight to my bucket list. Good job, and I am glad you didn't make Huffy winch you up.

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lancaster on January 27, 2015
great video guys
more full size please
maybe homebuilds and ultralights
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Glider Winch Tow