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Old Oct 22, 2004, 02:31 PM
Piccolator
rojoyinc's Avatar
Grand Rapids, MI
Joined Jan 2002
430 Posts
What's the difference between a highstart and a winch launch?

I understand you can get something called a highstart that is some sort of bungie? how high will these launch a sailplane vs a winch? also - I see them in medium, large and extra large and the XL say to launch a 4 meter, would using the XL on a smaller ship like a 2m just make it go higher?

Winches are a lot of work and upkeep - so curious.
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 03:11 PM
aka: Dances with Buzzards
ICTHRMLS's Avatar
TX
Joined Jun 2002
454 Posts
A high start usually consists of a length of line (monofiliment or other) and a length of strechable material, usually rubber tubing. Sometimes a bungee style cord is substituted for the rubber tube. High starts are further broken down into classes or strengths that are loosely used to determine what size plane they can safely launch. With proper technique a "large" high start can launch a small plane. A "typical" high start will provide approximately 400 feet of launch height.

A winch will provide higher launches on the order of 600 feet if used properly. They have the advantage of being fully controllable.... you can stop the launch sequence at any time. They suffer from being cumbersome to tote around - 12 volt deep cycle batteries are heavy. They don't require much upkeep but you do need a large area to set them up...... upwards of twice the field length compared to a high start.

The above noted figures will be debated unendlessly but do provide a reasonable guide. High starts can be shortened to accomodate field conditions but launch height will suffer. Wind conditions will also affect overall launch height. The overall length of a high start will determine the acheivable height - not the "strength".
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 03:26 PM
SSP#14 aspirant
Soar_dude's Avatar
Fort Lewis, Washington, United States
Joined Feb 2002
1,289 Posts
highstart vs. winch

the difference between a highstart and a winch.... About 12 Volts

Seriously though a highstart uses some tip of elastic material stacked in tha ground with some sort of light line or monofiliment fishing line. usaully the elastic material is latex tubing (Mandrel dipped is the BEST check www.aerofoam.com ) depending on what you wing span is and how strongly built you wing is will determine what size tubing to buy and how much. The hieght depends on how long your tubing is and how much line you have attached to that. Normally you will get anywhere from 100-400' of height.

The winch...... the remark about 12 volts now usally a winch is constructed from a Ford flathead V8 starter the starter was designed to work on 6 volt system but we run them on 12 volt (more power). the output shaft is 6" long attached to this is a drum usaully made from aluminum it has a center section that is between 1 1/2" to 2" in diameter with sides being 6" to 7" in diameter. it is operated by a foot switch and it is on or off no speed control other then you tapping the switch on and off with you foot. Some clubs have really REALLY hot winches they have enough power to break the wings on the expensive hollowmolded superduper thermal duration sailplanes. A person that know how to really use a winch will be able to get higher launches then a highstart anywhere from 250-600 feet depending how the winch is set up.

Soar Dude


1,2,3 NOT IT
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Last edited by Soar_dude; Oct 22, 2004 at 03:30 PM. Reason: the speel checker is broke
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 05:02 PM
Think Thermals!!!!
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Costa Mesa, California
Joined Mar 2004
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Difference? About 400 feet and $900. Don't forget the bad back.
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 10:24 PM
Registered User
Boulder City, NV
Joined Jul 2003
107 Posts
I own both. I have a 6v winch that has a few folded wings on its resume, (none of them mine!). My zip start uses 50 ft of orange rubber from hobby-lobby.com with about 30 ft of braided line between the rubber and the parachute. In still air, I get over 2 minutes of air time with composite full-house ships (Eraser, Artemis, VictoryC). I haven't used it in dead air with my RES plane (Danny from HobbyClub). I seem to launch high enough to find good air and take it on out. I prefer to use the zip start when it is just me. If there are more people around, I will set up the winch. It is more labor intensive, but worth it if you are doing more than just practicing landings with open class ships.

My winch was about $500 dollars new. In addition to the winch, I have to lug a large marine battery($65),a box with winch stakes, turnaround, switch and hardware. At home I also have to charge the battery with a deep-cycle capable charger($45).

My zip start rubber was about 35 dollars a couple of years ago. The nice nylon chute was 12 bucks from Multiplex. I reinforced the stitching right away. My cord reel was about 4 dollars. If it gets dirty when using it, I wipe it off before putting it away. It sets up and gets reeled up much faster and easier than the winch.

There is different size rubber available for different types of planes.

Wiggle your sticks
David Judson
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 10:48 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
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Those before me have done a good job, so I will look at this from different points to help round thing out. The link goes to an article on hi-starts, complete with photos.

How to use a Hi-Start
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=52

As noted above a hi-start consists of some amount of elastic, usually latex tubing, combined with some amount of tow line, usually braided mason line, monofiliment fishing line or some other string. Mine is a NESailplane Pinnacle XL hi-start. 100 feet of very strong tubing and 400 feet of line.

You stake the end that has the tubing into the ground and lay out the hi-start, which is not 500 feet long, relaxed. You hook it to the bottom of the sailplane and you start to pull back somewhere between 1X and 3X the length of hte rubber. So, in my case, the hi-start becomes 600 to 800 feet long when stretched.

For ease of use, the hi-start is much easier than the winch, in my opinion.

When you throw the plane, the elastic contracts, accelorates the plane, which naturally climbs up from the lift of the wings. Depending on pull, wind conditions, I get between 350 and 450 foot launches. If I put a little zoom on the end (later on zooms) I can get maybe another 100 feet.

A winch is a motorized device but it works in a similar fashion. Instead of elastic, it uses a motor to pull the plane forward. The ultimate height of hte launch is very dependent on the skill of the launcher. Winches are tricky to operate. I have broken 2 planes on winches. Anyway, if you are working with the same plane in the same field, the launch will probably be between 400 and 600 feet. Your mileage will vary.

Hi-starts cost between $50 and $150

Winches cost between $400 and $800.

The first photo below is of the hi-start mentioned above, on the left, and my shorter up-start that I use for practice.

The second photo shows a winch, the foot pedal, and my upstart on the left.
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 11:10 PM
Think Thermals!!!!
SoCalGliderFlyr's Avatar
Costa Mesa, California
Joined Mar 2004
2,964 Posts
You can always tell a well used hi-start and winch by the wear on the chutes.
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 11:39 PM
Think Thermals!!!!
SoCalGliderFlyr's Avatar
Costa Mesa, California
Joined Mar 2004
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Need a new one?
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Old Oct 23, 2004, 10:25 AM
TLAR Black Belt
ejett's Avatar
Athens, LA, United States
Joined Apr 2002
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Yeah. How much?


EJ
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Old Oct 23, 2004, 03:40 PM
sewing machine thumb
United States, CA, Palo Alto
Joined Jul 2001
2,305 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ICTHRMLS
They don't require much upkeep but you do need a large area to set them up...... upwards of twice the field length compared to a high start.
I don't agree that a winch needs more area than a high start. In fact, I'd say the opposite is true. I fly out of my neighbor's field and have about 350 feet to set up a launch device. I can't really stretch out a high start with 50 feet of rubber/250 feet of line in that space, but I can get a great launch with a winch.
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Old Oct 23, 2004, 04:19 PM
Quacker's Avatar
United States, CO, Longmont
Joined Jul 2001
2,826 Posts
Here's the difference! Can your high-start do this? (8 meg airborne winch launch video)

http://rcgroups.com/gallery/data/500/4759Winch1.mpg
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Old Oct 23, 2004, 07:16 PM
aka: Dances with Buzzards
ICTHRMLS's Avatar
TX
Joined Jun 2002
454 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank S
I don't agree that a winch needs more area than a high start. In fact, I'd say the opposite is true. I fly out of my neighbor's field and have about 350 feet to set up a launch device. I can't really stretch out a high start with 50 feet of rubber/250 feet of line in that space, but I can get a great launch with a winch.
Most winches are set up for a 900 -1,000 foot turn around..... you may certainly shorten that but one must be careful to match the winch to the field. Drum diameter and line length will greatly effect the overall forces applied to the airframe. We have reduced our club winches to the 500 foot turn around using the same basic set up but the "snatch force" and line speed were drasticly different. A "sport winch" with smaller drum diameter and less overall line will give you great launches on a shorter field.
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Old Oct 23, 2004, 10:15 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quacker
Here's the difference! Can your high-start do this? (8 meg airborne winch launch video)

http://rcgroups.com/gallery/data/500/4759Winch1.mpg

Sure, why not? Wasn't that a hi-start launch?

Seriously, what was so hard about that?
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Old Oct 23, 2004, 10:33 PM
Quacker's Avatar
United States, CO, Longmont
Joined Jul 2001
2,826 Posts
The winch was about 900ft. The snap of the chute going away hints at a powerful zoom at the top--likely adding another 150ft or so. It would take one very big high-start to equal that.
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Old Oct 23, 2004, 10:47 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
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OK, you got me. I have a super powerful hi-start but it is only 550 feet long, but if I pull it to 3X, it gets to be 850 feet and provides about 24 pounds of pull.

Super strong but I don't think it will match your winch and you can definately get a better zoom of the winch.

Great video!
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