Thread: Build Log Piper Cub Sailplane
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 10:24 AM
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Build something.
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United States, CT, Fairfield
Joined Mar 2012
727 Posts
The guys over at RCAerotowing have been giving me lots of support. They're all into this build too. I actually fly with a few of the RCAerotowing founders, so I'm in good hands. Yeah if you're interested in aerotowing, that's the place to go for sure.

We played around with piggy back cradles back in the '80s. We had a Telemaster 40 setup for hauling two meter gliders atop its wing. Although it worked okay we ended up going back to using the high-start, it was just simpler but not as fun.

That's interesting that you guys in Denmark have been hand launching your gliders while aerotowing. My flying buddy Bernd suggested we try that but everyone at the field shot down the idea. I found this video showing that it is possible...

YouTube video, click to watch...
Hand Launch Aerotow

I agree though my little Cub maybe a little too weighty for that but its a possibility. Maybe we'll give it a try.

The guppy shape of the fuselage is a major problem. She's rocking forward while under tow. This places the wing at a negative AOA, which maybe okay once she gets moving enough for the elevator to kick in.

When we towed her, I noticed the Fun-Cub was getting airborne first. I've seen this happen before & ordinarily its not ideal but that maybe exactly what's needed here. Once the tow-plane is up she'll be pulling up on the Cub's nose. That should in theory help get her un-glued from the ground. That's assuming the tow-plane doesn't stall out first.

I'm hoping the dolly will fix all this though. It should keep her at a nice neutral AOA & also reduce the rolling friction.

If I was to build a new fuselage (which I may consider but we're not at that point yet) here's what I'd do different...

A more forward position for the wheel should keep her from nosing over & help reduce friction. It looks like we'd also need a small tail-skid to keep the AOA from getting too extreme. Additionally, placing the tow-release up under the nose would reduce the tendency for her to rock forward. I have the release setup this way on one of my other aerotow gliders & it works well. Anyway that'd require major surgery, probably a whole new fuselage. I'm not giving up on the current setup just yet.

I think our next step is to try the dolly though. I've also had a few offers from folks with larger tow-planes. We'll get her flying. Thanks for the input guys, much appreciated.
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Last edited by Nodd; Oct 16, 2012 at 11:49 AM.
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