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Old Jun 23, 2014, 01:51 PM
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Joined Oct 2011
4 Posts
Hi-start questions

I am new to sailplanes and in need of an education......
What action is required to disconnect from the hi-start?
What purpose does a parachute serve? It would seem to add extra drag on launch, even though it doesn't deploy until separation from sailplane?
Thanks in advance!
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Old Jun 23, 2014, 02:08 PM
Registered User
Greenville, SC
Joined Jul 2007
79 Posts
Most sailplanes use a tow hook arrangement that allows the plane to simply fly off the ring at the top of the launch. Experienced pilots can "zoom" the plane downward and achieve an extra boost of altitude that also flings the plane off the ring. Available, but not widely used in hi-start applications, are tow hooks that are releasable via servo action (and a switch channel on your transmitter). These insure that the hook clears the ring but can be troublesome. I've seen more release problems with them than with a fixed hook.

The parachute is used to help bring the hi-start line back down from a launch in more-or-less the same line as it went up, assuming that you have launched into the wind correctly. It has no function prior to the release of the plane and has little to no effect on the launch phase. Essentially, it keeps the falling line in the same general area and saves steps when you go to retrieve and re-stretch.

My advice is that you find someone locally who is experienced to help you work through the first few steps of launching and thermal techniques.
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Old Jun 23, 2014, 03:18 PM
So many projects...
United States, IN, West Lafayette
Joined Oct 2009
153 Posts

Better yet, procede to the 'thermal' section of these forums, and have a read at 'Learning to Use A Highstart', as presented by Ed Anderson, long-time glider-guider and sage. It was my guide when I started, and it still applies today.

Lots of folks these days say that a highstart is lots of work and a hassle to set up and take down. What I get out of it is excersize, and in about 10 minutes I'm pegged and stretched, ready to launch.

Good luck; you'll love it!

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Old Jun 23, 2014, 03:34 PM
Mulit-Platform Pilot
barracudahockey's Avatar
United States, FL, Jacksonville
Joined Sep 2004
3,887 Posts
You launch into the wind, the parachute is pulled closed when there's tension on it and opens when you release laying the line back into the wind.

As for action, you normally just flight straight off when the launch is over.
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Old Jun 23, 2014, 05:05 PM
Mark LSF # 3792
United States, TX, Garland
Joined Nov 2008
732 Posts
With a good enough breeze and a properly sized highstart "zoom" launches are quite normal. If you only fly when the winds are below 5-8 MPH you may never be able to zoom off a highstart. As stated the chute helps to bring the end of the line closer to the previous release point, if there is enough breeze.

I use both a Hosemonster highstart or a winch to launch my 2 meter and unlimited ships. My Class A ship gets launched on a highstart. Lots less stuff to set up with a highstart than a winch. But, shagging chutes is the same...
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Old Jun 23, 2014, 06:06 PM
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United States, MA, Waltham
Joined Dec 2001
7,151 Posts
Yes, the parachute has some drag even on the way up. But do you really want to sling lots of rubber at high velocity toward someone who's in the wrong place at the wrong time? (i.e. near the stake) It also makes tangles less likely. I almost never have tangle problems with my high start unless I let someone else roll it up.

BTW, if there was no drag from the line and chute, lots of flaps might not help you get a higher launch, except maybe a bit more zoom. But that's a purely hypothetical situation. If you had really thin hi start line, it would be m ore dangerous.

BTW, be careful with the line when there is tension on it, unless you have gloves on and there's nothing or no one near the line. A line pulled along your skin at high speed can cause some damage. Not as bad as a winch, though.

Winches are a lot more trouble to set up, especially if there's a retriever. But they can be used again just as soon as the retriever pulls the chute back. Or you can get some great snarls. Still, they accommodate more flyers on one field. At least on days when pilots can't stay up a long time. (That depends a lot on the pilots.)
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