New launch method - OneWinch - Page 4 - RC Groups
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Jul 25, 2011, 01:02 PM
3 Sons - Legos and Lift
2motheus's Avatar
Originally Posted by Robglover
I got out today and tried out the One Winch. It's pretty neat.

It's been well thought out and has undergone some wringing out, everything works well. It's pretty ingenious in fact. If you are a gadget freak you will appreciate it.

I launched my Ava Pro in little to no wind a bunch of times. The launches were safe and high enough. Not as strong as a winch, but more than adequate. The zoom is pretty mild but there is a bit of energy to play with at the top.

The pull is easier than my HoseMonster initially, but it doesn't taper until you want it to. It is sort of like a high start, but controllable like a winch. If you don't like a high start because of shoulder problems then One Winch might be a good thing for you.

I'm not sure I'd want to try to launch my 4 meter Xplorer on a calm day, but with some wind it would probably work out OK.

Yes, you are walking backwards and flying the plane at the same time. If you can't walk and chew gum at the same time then get somebody else to tow the plane. I haven't managed to fall down yet, but it's certainly possible.

I like the feel of the launch. You can feel the plane load up when it hits a thermal or some wind shear. This will be instructive for a lot of folks.

For lightly loaded woodies this is a great launch method. For landing practice it's going to be pretty handy as well. I think my turnaround time between launches will ultimately be a bit quicker than with a short high start.

I think it will be easy to rig it for 50% less speed and double the tension if I want to launch a heavier plane on a breezy day. I'll probably give this a shot sooner or later. In such a situation the probability line breaks and the like will be increased, so a bit of discretion will be in order.
Thank you, Rob, for the report. You're exactly right about changing the mechanical ratio to match the plane and conditions. In addition to the standard 4:1 setup, you can do 3:1, 2:1 and 1:1 with the OneWinch. As you lower the ratios the puller will need to move faster, but in some situations wind will make up for that need.


P.S. Here's an 11-year old towing his own plane.
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Jul 30, 2011, 03:56 PM
3 Sons - Legos and Lift
2motheus's Avatar


Someone asked why, in the previous video, the pilot bent down after launch. This was to lay the lines into the retrieval guide.
All you do then to prepare for the next launch is get the chute. The sled returns to meet the chute at the starting point, as shown in the video below. This was taken last weekend at a local contest where we were demonstrating the OneWinch.

OneWinch Launcher Retrieve (0 min 14 sec)
Aug 07, 2011, 05:15 PM
The plane went that-a-way
PCT_ATC's Avatar
Any more reviews, good or bad?
Aug 07, 2011, 05:37 PM
Registered User
I received one about a week ago but with the temps being 100+ I have not had a chance to try it out.

Aug 07, 2011, 07:53 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
I received mine. Unfortunately it hit at just the wrong time.

I had a 2 day Eastern Soaring League DLG contest this weekend. Took Second in Sportsman on Sunday and third on Saturday.

I will be in Boston next weekend at an Eastern Soaring League unlimted sailplane contetest. I plan to take it to Boston with me and see if we can get a bunch of people trying it out.
Aug 07, 2011, 08:12 PM
The plane went that-a-way
PCT_ATC's Avatar
Good deal, I look forward to the reviews!
Aug 13, 2011, 07:17 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL

I am in Sudbury MA with my friend Mike. We are here for a 2 day Eastern Soaring League TD contest at the CRRC field. We arrived Friday around 3:30.

While I set-up my 122" 60 ounce Thermal Dancer, Mike set up the onewinch. The box was opened for the first time. Mike took a quick look at the instructions and headed to the field. Neither of us had tried this before but Mike said it was very easy to set-up.

There was very little breeze so this would be a good first test with no real wind assist.

We did not use the belt for this test. It seemed better to have one focus on the Onewinch and one on the plane.

On the first launch he pulled while I launched. I have to say this thing works very well. It was like a good hi-start launch. The plane went up steadily and I got a mild zoom at the end.

Mike only had to pull back about 20 feet or so and said it was not hard to pull. I was pretty pleased.

Now we switched. He launched while I pulled.

Note that I have my tow hook set at a pretty agressive position so the plane tends to climb pretty steeply. You have to keep up the pressure or the plane will stall due to this hook position.

Whether my pull was not steady or he got off angle, the plane went well off track and pulled hard enough that I felt I was stalled and should not pull any harder, I just kept the pressure on. Maybe I could have pulled harder, but this was a first test so I did not want to risk breaking anything.

We did about 8 launches and everything worked well. I think I am going to like the Onewinch.

As the pilot the feel is very more like a hi-start than a winch. But you don't need as much room on the field. Also you don't have the long stretch walk and no holding the plane aginst a hi-start's pull while you get ready. So in that respect I like it better than a hi-start.


I forgot to bring a drill. While we had no trouble winding up the line, and the pricess is very easy, the attachements are provided to use a cordless drill. The drill would make the take down and wind up a piece of cake. This process was well designed and very well thought out.

If we have time after the contest today we may try to do some one man launches using the belt.

First impressions are very good.
Aug 13, 2011, 02:02 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the report.

My one hesitation on this is having to walk backwards when solo launching.

What about adding one more pully so you could walk forwards instead? Would that even work?
Aug 13, 2011, 08:41 PM
ground penetration specialist
Nathan Schmoekel's Avatar
Forward would be the same direction the plane is moving.....making it imposable to take the slack out of the lines. Also if pulling forward from the waist, your body would lean forward; therefore, you would be hard pressed to see your plane.

Is it REALLY that hard to walk backwards??? You will be going back on a known path that you can check before hand for holes debris and general what-not. Checking for tripping hazards is just part of the set-up.

Besides all that.... if the thing let go for any reason I'd rather land on my ass than on my face (and radio).

Backwards IS the right direction.
Aug 13, 2011, 11:50 PM
Registered User
Backwards would not work at the field I usually fly at. We share the field with horses and gofers. The ground is very uneven and rough and the holes are hidden by tall weeds/grass. Even scouting the path ahead of time is no guarantee of not stepping in a hole.

Walking forward is hard enough
Aug 14, 2011, 11:29 AM
ground penetration specialist
Nathan Schmoekel's Avatar
A carpet remnant 18 inches x 20 ft would likely solve 90% of those issues...that would probably roll up barely bigger than a foot around. Heck you could even make it 30 feet and mark it as a landing tape Two birds - one stone!!!
Aug 14, 2011, 08:08 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Originally Posted by MrE
Backwards would not work at the field I usually fly at. We share the field with horses and gofers. The ground is very uneven and rough and the holes are hidden by tall weeds/grass. Even scouting the path ahead of time is no guarantee of not stepping in a hole.

Walking forward is hard enough
I find it hard to believe that you could not walk a path of 20-25 feet to see if there were any hazards in your path. I would walk the "back-up space" and be sure there were no hazards. And if there were, I would move the launch point by a few feet to avoid such hazards.

That is what I would do, but that's me, not you.

I often back-up upon launching my plane from a winch so that the next person can step up to use the winch, so backing up is not a problem.

And when I fly in contests I often walk backwards in order to move from the launch area to the landing area as I am looking up to fly my plane.

I guess taking a few steps backward while you fly is an acquired skill. With a little practice I think you would find it pretty easy.

Follow-up to my report above. We did not take the time after the contest on Saturday to set up the Onewinch. It was a long day and we were tired.

Sunday, as the contest came to an end it began to rain, so no Onewinch on Sunday. Hopefully next weekend.
Aug 14, 2011, 08:55 PM
Registered User
You guys havent spent much time in a horse pasture have you? Especially one thats not groomed.

Im not talking a nicely groomed field where the basic ground is flat with nice even grass. Im talking about a wild, rough, uneven field thats never been leveled or plowed.

Its not a matter of scouting out a hole or two or even ten and finding the nice smooth path just a couple of feet away.

Its a matter of gofer holes and mounds every 3 feet in any direction, horse hoof prints going inches deep every few inches pluss rolling ups and downs and dips and hills and humps of one foot to 12 feet more all over the field.

This is a rough field - not a groomed field.

Add to that deep weeds/grass that hide many of those holes and dips.

Im not kidding when I say its hazardous just walking forwards. You think you're stepping onto the next nice flat spot and you sink into a hole several inches or more deep instead.

Id challenge anyone to walk 20feet backwards in this field without ending up on thier butt
Aug 14, 2011, 09:08 PM
ground penetration specialist
Nathan Schmoekel's Avatar
OK....skip the carpet and pack a shovel rake and hoe to carve yourself a niche

I guess we all can't have our cake and eat it too

Anther suggestion......Have you considered getting a sled dog? MUSH - MUSH
Aug 14, 2011, 10:55 PM
Registered User
Okay you have a horse pasture... With horse's in the pasture.. The way see it tie the launcher to the horse. Then smack him in the butt and you will be at 4000000 feet before you know it.
Just saying easy and simple. Use what you have...

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