Quantcast

US Youth glider program like the Lithuanian one

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

Hot Wings

Grumpy Cynic
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Messages
7,504
Location
Rocky Mountains
The recent issue of the ESA newsletter mentioned that there was a US group trying to develop a youth glider program based on the Lithuanian model. The article also mentioned that the group was using a Kolb based glider and I immediately thought that our own Victor Bravo might be involved. Not quite that easy...............

After a couple of quick e-mails I managed to track down the group and one of it's members:

https://www.facebook.com/Cupertino-Aviation-Clubs-165194713505090/
(don't need FB account)

They are actually doing something and have hardware in place. Maybe those of us here on HBA that have expressed thoughts about getting something like this started could/should work with them? They are still in the development stages and have done a few auto tows.
 

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
14,467
Location
Port Townsend WA
They had a display at Airventure with the glider in the innovation center. And a sort of launch "rope tow" in a continuous loop. The guy couldn't explain it exactly. Still in development
 

Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
8,448
Location
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
That's how the Lithuanian club did it, some kind of continuous loop to eliminate the time and manpower of retrieving the launch rope after every flight. Makes very very good sense for the short crow hops that they are doing in the first part of the training. They probably had some sort of clip, or attach point on the rope every 100 or 200 feet so that the gliders could easily clip in to whatever was the next upcoming attach point when it came by. The loop of tow rope obviously had to stop long enough for the ground crew to clip each new glider in, but the general principle is akin to a ski lift being a lot faster and higher volume than individual ropes.

At this early stage, for a startup USA operation, they probably would not have a genuine need for as much volume or fast turnaround as the established system in the Lithuanian video needs. But it will serve as a demonstration of efficiency and (more important) "scale-ability". After they demonstrate the validity of the training method on a small scale, any funding source or sponsor will be asking them to show how the program can be scaled up (to justify more money). The loop cable would be the key to answering that question.

"Why yes Mr. and Mrs. Gates, as you can see in the video we have the capability to launch 36 training gliders on short flights every hour, thanks to the ingenious continuous loop launch system.... so when you write us a check for a million dollars, all we need to use that money for is building more gliders and hiring more instructors... we already have the increased capacity built in to our system." Cha-ching :)
 

Hot Wings

Grumpy Cynic
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Messages
7,504
Location
Rocky Mountains
The guy couldn't explain it exactly. Still in development
This video shows the basics:

[video=youtube;26tNAW58ZXU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26tNAW58ZXU[/video]

Some more links to related videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj4oZ8bX9Oo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN3LZ2ROPbs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN3LZ2ROPbs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dEywwbkv8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSwzazwJWUY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjdQhNHsJps

And a PDF that has a drawing of bow it's arranged:
View attachment LAK-16M_MM&FM.pdf
 
Last edited by a moderator:

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
14,467
Location
Port Townsend WA
Yeah.
I didn't see how they limited the glider to 2 meters altitude at early training
 

addicted2climbing

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2012
Messages
1,160
Location
Glendale, CA
This video shows the basics:

[video=youtube;26tNAW58ZXU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26tNAW58ZXU[/video]

Some more links to related videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj4oZ8bX9Oo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN3LZ2ROPbs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN3LZ2ROPbs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dEywwbkv8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSwzazwJWUY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjdQhNHsJps

And a PDF that has a drawing of bow it's arranged:
View attachment 73396
Sadly in the USA with everyone's propensity to sue and not take responsibility for their actions and or mistakes thats not gonna fly here... :(
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Hot Wings

Grumpy Cynic
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Messages
7,504
Location
Rocky Mountains
Sadly in the USA with everyone's propensity to sue (
Interesting little conundrum - we all know that it's impossible to sign a waiver absolving the builder/seller from being sued by heirs when a EAB is sold - but if the parents signs a waiver for a minor child might it not be presumed that said minor child has no heirs or dependents that could bring suit? There may be a need to be some sort of quick 'training' for the parents so that they couldn't reasonably argue that they didn't fully understand the risks. This group has gone to the trouble of forming a non-profit corporation. That should insulate the individuals from any liability pretty well?

I'm going to propose that the groups members join HBA. IMHO they could benefit from the experience and abilities of some of us. Please don't beat them up to badly. praising-the-lord-smiley-emoticon.gif
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
14,205
Location
Memphis, TN
I would like to see a little more of the primary, before first flight, training. It is also an overly stable aircraft. Rudder, Elevator, no ailerons; what are the weather limitations on the craft. Probably into the wind only flights. Kids are easy to teach; they have that going for them. Altitude is going to be somewhat controlled by the tow. Look like they are going too high, stop towing. Im sure there is some method in the madness. As for liability, safety should always beat liability. i know for me if a kid got badly injured or killed, i would not be into it any more. These are highly motivated kids in that school. there is a little bit of ex communism in the operation which can help the motivation or be washed out and humiliated. They are not just selecting any old kid.
 

Twodeaddogs

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,067
Location
Dunlavin, County Wicklow,Ireland
towing by car has been used for non-engined gyro gliders to give tuition to gyro builders but that has died out because there are so many two seat gyros for training now. Winch launches for gliders is still used, but it is altitude limited; ie, the glider gets towed to about circuit height and has a very limited flight time, typically 20 minutes at best on the best kind of day. Winch launches are useful for ab-initio gliders like the original Grasshopper types so perhaps this could be considered for a Youth launch programme.
 

Topaz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
14,272
Location
Orange County, California
... Winch launches for gliders is still used, but it is altitude limited; ie, the glider gets towed to about circuit height and has a very limited flight time, typically 20 minutes at best on the best kind of day. ...
Depends on the soaring site and the conditions. Lots of places use winch-launch and there is either a ridge nearby or enough thermals to get you "up and away." Torrey Pines comes to mind immediately, as does Twenty-nine Palms.
 

addicted2climbing

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2012
Messages
1,160
Location
Glendale, CA
Very common in the mid-twentieth century. Winches were uncommon early on, and having another airplane to do the tow wasn't always a possibility. You tow with what you've got at hand.
With Hangliders the method of choice for this sort of training is scooter tow.. Not towing so much as a fixed scooter with a drum to reel in the line used as a mini winch.

Here is a link with more info: https://www.willswing.com/scooter-tow/

Marc
 

b7gwap

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
285
Location
UT
Getting kids into this is a great idea. How could we do it for part 103 adults as well?
 

Hot Wings

Grumpy Cynic
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Messages
7,504
Location
Rocky Mountains
. How could we do it for part 103 adults as well?
Bigger glider and more Hp for the tow? The LAK-16 has a pilot weight range of 88# to 176# and has an empty weight of 190#+, to provide a base line to work from. So even it is not part 103 compliant. Keeping the weight of a full size un-powered glider below 155# that is suitable for use as a primary training vehicle is, IMHO, impractical. Adding an electric motor bumps us up to 254#, which is practical.

I don't know what the empty weight of the modified Kolb FireFly that is being used by the Cupertino group is.
 

b7gwap

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
285
Location
UT
The construction notes for the ULf-1 state that it is more delicate than a certificated glider and should be handled with care above what one would give for an aircraft. It does have a lot balsa wood in it.
 

Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
8,448
Location
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
1000% agreed, the ULF-1 is NOT suitable for any use by a club, school, students, ham-fisted amateur builders, or inattentive ground crews. Looks like the owner should be treating it like the Gossamer Albatross. The ULF-1 is a magnificent and delicate design for one specific type of flying, and one specific type of owner.
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
14,205
Location
Memphis, TN
What these flights remind me of is what I did when I was learning to fly RC in the mid/ late 70s. I could not go to the field anytime because I had no drivers license, so I had this Goldberg Ranger42 that I made into a glider thing. No engine just nose weight. It took a big heave, but I could fly it to a landing flair. Use to go to the playground at my sister's school and chunk until dark. In the air, flying is pretty easy when compared to takeoffs and landings. These kids learn the hard parts first. Turns around a point is nothing compared. These planes are designed to be bricks. The minute the tow line goes slack, they are setting up to land. No try to glide; you are going down. That is where it works. If it could glide better, you could fly off the end of the field which gives these kids a chance to make a bad choice they don't need to make. These up, level, land where it can happen probably in 3000 ft keep everything contained.
 
Top