OpenTrainer: New crowd-sourced open-source two-seat primary training sailplane

Discussion in 'Soaring' started by BoKu, Jun 15, 2018.

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  1. Aug 18, 2018 #241

    Topaz

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    Auto-tows have a long tradition in soaring. They tend to result in very short gliding flights unless the local conditions (ridge, thermal, etc.) are conducive to getting "up and away" from a low-altitude tow.
     
  2. Aug 18, 2018 #242

    blane.c

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  3. Aug 18, 2018 #243

    dsigned

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    Is this due to acceleration? What winds up being the difference between an auto-tow and a winch?
     
  4. Aug 18, 2018 #244

    Topaz

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    Length of the rope, and length of the available space. A winch can stay in one place and only needs enough smooth distance for the glider to take off. The intervening ground need only be smooth enough to retrieve the rope. A car needs enough smooth ground to keep moving forward at the tow speed (~60 mph) for the entire length of the tow. For obvious reasons, the local constabulary frowns on using the highway for this. Out in the SoCal desert, we have some dry lake beds that are big enough that you could get a decent-altitude auto-tow, and I think auto-tows lasted here longer for that reason. But whether you tow winch or car, you still need local conditions that can allow the glider to get "up and away" from the release, otherwise it's a pretty quick sled-ride to landing.

    Aero-tows were "so" cheap back in the '60's, with the glut of ag-planes turning over on the market, that they became the de facto launch method in the United States. Plus, you can get a nice high tow every single time with aero-tow, with a lot more time available after release to find some lift. Aero-tows have become radically more expensive, IMHO, in the last 10-15 years, and we're starting to see winches and self-launchers come on strong again because they're so much cheaper to operate. I suspect you'll see some small resurgence in auto-tows in local, specialized, site-specific situations, if the local site has a reliably working ridge or "house" thermals that work often enough that you can get "up and away" often enough.
     
    BoKu and dsigned like this.
  5. Aug 18, 2018 #245

    BJC

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    I did not see anything there about “Darek Lewek's Geko project”.

    Where is it?

    Thanks,


    BJC
     
  6. Aug 18, 2018 #246

    dsigned

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    I remember dry lake beds. El Mirage. It was the first place I ever went full WOT on my XR75 (and not the first time my Dad told me not to peg it at WOT).
     
  7. Aug 18, 2018 #247

    ypsilon

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    BJC likes this.
  8. Aug 18, 2018 #248

    ypsilon

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    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK_IpSfx6V6IseOSBCOTuXQ


    It's also called Axel II. Darek doesn't have a web page, he only posts youtube videos at time. It's a pretty neat machine, though.
     
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  9. Aug 18, 2018 #249

    BJC

    BJC

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    Thanks, ypsilon.


    BJC
     
  10. Mar 28, 2019 #250

    copec

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    A smaller solar PV farm near the airstrip to power the winch. Now you can launch and have a readily available thermal?

    I'm kinda surprised I haven't seen some sort of effort for someone to make a man-made-on-purpose thermal generator near a gliderport. Like a solar updraft tower base, without the tower.
     
  11. Mar 28, 2019 #251

    henryk

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