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Towing for competitions

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Robert Clarkson
Joined: 10 Dec 2014
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 04:01 pm    Post subject: Towing for competitions Reply with quote

I wanted to start a discussion on towing. We've had a group discussing how fair a competition is if you don't get everyone into the air in a reasonable amount of time so they have an opportunity to compete. With platform towing the one thing we can't change is how far apart we can launch pilots. I think we could get it down to about 2 min which would put 30 pilots in the air in 1 hr on one road. I think if we could do this it would be a fair comp. You will always have relights but if you can get the whole field a chance to get away in an hour that would be fair.

The problems:

Pilots dicking around and not ready to go
Loading takes time
Rewind motors
Lines getting caught up
Drivers for the tow rigs
Spacing of pilots on tow

What I learned at the Western Canadian Championships this year. In the past the biggest problem by far was pilots not being ready to go, getting on the truck and bring the whole system to a halt. After 2 year of competition pilots seem to have figured out what they need to do to be ready. Every one was very motivated and ready to go when conditions turned on. Even pilots that came out for the first time were able to see what needed to be done and had it figured out on the first day. With this improvement alone we were able to launch everyone in 90 minutes. With 15 pilots thats 1 every 6 min. This is a big improvement. At most we were operating 3 rigs but often only 2.

As I said earlier I think we could safely space launches 2 min apart but we will have to check this one weekend when we are out towing. We also need to figure out the shortest amount of time it will take to load, launch, rewind, and drive back to launch. Divide this number by 2 min and that is how many tow rigs we need on a road. I think 4 or 5.

One of our weakest links right now is the time it takes to load. It would be great if would could some how come up with some sort of standard for tow rigs. This is easy to say but is very hard to put into practice. The issues we face are:
Nose angle. We need to be able load the glider and have it at the proper angle of attack or be able to make an instant adjustment.
Nose release. Several rigs use a three ring circus. Works well but take time to hook up. The keel release they use for aero towing work great and are fast.
Pilot line release. The barrel release we have been using works well and are very fast. Doug uses a link knife he has ready to go before he gets on the truck and just clips onto the line. Very fast and reliable. Jim and Christine use another release that is fast and reliable (maybe they can explain it). Some pilots still use a three ring circus but again they take time.

If a parachute on a line gets caught up in the trees it can take a rig out for half an hour or more. Three of the rigs just dropped the line and it eliminated this problem. I know that isn't an option for all rigs but it did make life easier.

Drivers. It would be nice if we could get drivers to tow that weren't competing. I did a lot of towing which helped. Leif gave up several days to help get pilots in the air. Many pilots help out driving tow rigs and still were able to have good flights themselves. Any ideas here. After we get our loading issues sorted out I think drivers will be our next big problem.

Rob Clarkson
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Ross Hunter
PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rob, and others,
From my experience we can launch about 4 pilots per hour per rig.
and 4 rigs per road, and the road is full.
and 4 pilots per rig, and you have a managable number.
So that would be 16 pilots per road.
We have two raods close by double dam gof and country club, and I know of a couple other roads only 10 or 15 min. away.

If the roads are real close, like the two we have, this would be best, then we can center the start circle between the two roads, and have it a large enough diameter to catch both roads.

What I think would also be a good idea is to have a paid driver on each road.
He could tow up the last pilots from each rig.
If we paid him/her $100 day, that would only be 100/16, about $6.25
or $62.50 for the week, then we would have a dedicated driver on each road that would tow up the last pilots. It would be pilots tow pilots untill you only have 1 left., then he would have to get towed by the dedicated tow driver.

The four pilots on each rig could sort them selves out as far as launch order that works for them, take turns as dedicated driver, go when ready, last to get away previous day picks his tow time following day, what ever works for each group of four.

we would need 8 tow systems.
ones I know of are,

2.Rob Greens,
3.Leifs, lazor launcher
5.Michael Schultie,
6.Terry Thortison,
7.Mullers have one.
8.Doug Kellors / league winch.

Perhaps theres others, The Manitoba Boyz, n Sasckatchewan pilots all have some. The blue truck has seen better days, but could be brought back to life.
Ofcourse 1 or 2 may brake down, that is always an issue, but we would have to simpley have to divide up the pilots form a broken down system, so some could end up with 5, but this would still work, but I would not want to go above 5 on a winch.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never truck towed so I may not know what I am talking about... Smile

I think it should be like aero-towing...noone has ownership of a tow rig. All 16 pilots should just get in a line and take the next truck that rolls up. And reflights go to the back of the line. Weak-link breaks get to go to the front of the line.

I know there may be issues with AOA and the release but is there some way of standardizing that? Or at least having each pilot know the position the boom should be set to for their glider?

Seems fairer to me- you should pool resources and all be in it together.

I like the idea of paying a driver - it should maybe be paid for by the Organizer (thus worked into the entry fee).
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Ross Hunter
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 06:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, it would be great if all 16 could line up, and we did that this year and previous years, but it creates two problems.

1. All 16 want to line up, and no one takes responsibilite to tow up others.

We would have to hire 4 drivers per road, and this is really not needed since all pilots should be able to drive with some instruction, at least learn how to drive the system they are assigned to., and actually it can be hard to find two drivers to hire. Plus it incourages pilots to help load their system, to keep it moving, ....so they can get a tow sooner.

To keep a system moving as fast as possible it takes more then one driver, it helps to have someone
Load glider
adjust nose lines if required
set release,
set pressure,
tie on weak links,

If your assigned to a system you will learn how to do these jobs on your system and keep it moving.

2. The other problem is not all systems work the same,

A pilot feels more comfortable on the same system after a few tows, and does better, He / She learns a typical tow rate, and can detect a thermal better, and gets use to coming off the vehicle.

Some problems that come up with using different vehicles are.

a. some system release from deck with right hand, some left, this means pilot has to put his tow line release on a different hand, depending on system, its safer to always have your release on the same hand.
b. some systems are not good for top less gliders.
c.some systems are not good for base tubes with wheels
d. some require different length body and or nose bridal.

we will have much faster turn around with pilots assigned to tow rigs, and ofcourse the last pilots will move over to the rig with the paid driver, or 2 or 3 may team up on another system.

Gotta fly
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Robert Clarkson
Joined: 10 Dec 2014
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 01:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ross brings up some good points. This year pilots more or less just hopped on the next rig that came down the road. Some pilots did have issues with differenent rigs. They would just wait for the truck they wanted and let the person behind them go ahead. This seemed to work out well. I would like to get the systems set up so that any pilot could tow on any rig. If they didn't want to tow on a given truck they wouldn't have to. Chauks have been another issue. Scott and Clay have come up with the best design and the turn around is very fast. If we can raise some funds to cover the cost of modifing some of the tow rigs. I would like to try to modify one rig each year if we have any gererous owners who would be willing to modify there rigs. Ross Hunter and Rob Green have been very generous with their tow rigs. The league winch is also a very good design and worked great last year.

Like I said Drivers is our next big problem. I will consider paying drivers out of the entry but
-first I would like a driver for every tow rig this can be a problem finding that many people who don't fly but know how to drive and would come out for the whole week.
-I guess what we need to do is some how get people trained on how to drive tow rigs

I just thought of the perfect design for adjutable chaucks. Call me

Rob Clarkson
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Cas Wolan
Joined: 11 May 2017
Posts: 0
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 08:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Couple of comments here. I agree with Ross. He took a first time driver/tow operator (me)
and had him trained to payout trailer launch 4 pilots in just over an hour during the 2000
Eastend "Tow" Nationals...I was impressed. The Neepawa guys with a crew of 3!, only got off
one pilot in the same period...hahaha.

Second, I worked the 2005 SAC Nationals in Clareshome (sp?) AB and witnessed them getting
every one of the 27 entered sailplanes aerotow launched within aprox. a minute each other...
I was impressed.

'Just finished watching the 10min short video of the 2006 world's women's...tugs yanking up
and spiralling down within 30-40 sec. of each other....I am impressed.

Capt. Krusty
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