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Jan 07, 2013, 10:44 AM
Registered User

Tow a banner?

Has anybody ever thought of towing a banner for whatever reason....?

Do you think it would work and be readable? Doesn't have to be legable from much of a distance.

I think id be tempted to use an old basher for it
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Jan 07, 2013, 11:17 AM
R/C Addict for Life!!
Darryl Miller's Avatar


Yes, I have towed a banner, several in fact.....and have seen it done several times as well.

I use a Senior Telemaster.........but it can be done with smaller planes. My banners are all about 4 feet long by about 30 inches high. The tow line is attached to a releasable hook on the plane, and is about 15 feet long. The bridal of the line is attached to a light weight arrow shaft, weighted on one end, to help the banner "fly" in the correct orientation. The banner is made from ripstop nylon......but others I have seen were just plane bed sheets....painted with the lettering. My lettes are vinyl sign stock, that I have a club member cut with the messages I require. Some of my banners are reusable, others, one time use. They last fairly well.......but not forever.......there is a lot of flutter and stress on the letters.
I have attached several shots.

Jan 07, 2013, 11:37 AM
Visitor from Reality
Don't get much better proof than Darryl's airborne photos!

Now this from a ways back in the last century, before electricity could be fitted into model aircraft, but a clubmate of mine built a low winger that had a neat banner towing rig on it. No photos unfortunately - I didn't own a hammer and chisel back then, so didn't chip any stone tablets of this thus you'll have to use some imagination.

What the model had was a scheme where the banner was rolled up and secured by a servo-releasable strap under one wing just away from the fuselage and undercarriage. The banner towline ran across to another pod under the opposite wing. The idea was the model took off with the banner rolled up under one wing, was positioned to suit, then the banner was released to unfurl behind the model pretty much like D's photos.

Before landing, the pilot flew over the runway on a low pass, flipped the release servo and dropped the banner off so he could land the model without the banner trailing behind. It worked well, considering one servo had to do both releases as radios were still steam driven back then and didn't have umpteen channels and a link to the local coffee shop ordering app like we have now

Looks like good fun, good luck.

Jan 07, 2013, 03:17 PM
Registered User
I don't have a picture, but I've towed a banner with an ultra micro T-28 a few years ago. Wasn't easy, but wasn't impossible either.

Banner was made from a white kitchen garbage bag and straws, I think it was 3 foot by 6 or 8 inches high. It was a Happy Birthday banner and being a micro and in my side yard, sure, it was easy to see because I didn't send it up very high.

Flew beyond the electric wires though and when banking to come around, caught the banner on the lines. My plane kept flying, the banner hung out flapping in the breeze on the electric lines for 2 years.

Jan 08, 2013, 04:52 AM
Registered User
xmech2k's Avatar
Originally Posted by mrodgers
My plane kept flying, the banner hung out flapping in the breeze on the electric lines for 2 years.

@ Darryl, I guess having a servo release you had to take off with the banner behind, unlike Derreck's rig description? I understand full scale planes have a hook under the plane and they takeoff without the banner, then come around and hook the banner wire in a low pass, which is held up on a couple of poles.

Any more tips on doing this? Sounds like fun! I just won a Mentor at the club's Christmas party. It has a tow release but it's up top, just aft of the wing. Might be possible?
Jan 08, 2013, 05:49 AM
Registered User
I recall seeing a youtube video of someone rigging up a banner attached to poles and catching it with a hook just like you described how it is done full scall.
Jan 08, 2013, 09:46 AM
R/C Addict for Life!!
Darryl Miller's Avatar



Well, what I do is lay out the banner and line in front of the plane........just to one side. (down wind side, if there is a cross wind) and then take off along and to one side of the line and banner. This way the plane becomes airborne at about mid line, and the banner is gently pulled, or peeled off the ground. I dont have pics or video of this method, but it works flawlessly. One must realize that the Sr. Telemaster gets off the ground pretty quick.....I have flaps on mine, and can be airborne in 10 feet or so.
I always drop the banner before landing.........but rarely the line tangles on the tail wheel, and I have landed with it attached. It is a non event, though, and I have not had problems if it does occur.

As for the full scale...........yes, they trail a hook on a line........and pick up their banners on a low pass. Not too practical for models........although it could be done. It would just foul the runway with poles and junk.........and someone would have to remove it for others to use the field...........that would not work well at our field, or the events I have flown it at. I think for the full scale, dragging a banner accross the ground on a 1000 foot take off run would be a no-no.........thus , the method they use.

There have been some other threads here about banners......Im sure a quick search could find other info.

As for the location..........I designed the attach point to be on the bottom of the fuselage, just at the rear of the wing for the banners, and the same mechanism allows towing gliders........from the top of the fuselage just aft of the wing. This keeps the affect on the tail to a minimum..........not quite the same as full scale..........but closer to what the aero tow guys use.
The mentor release should work long as it can handle the strain of the banner, which if kept light, shouldnt be a big factor.

Last edited by Darryl Miller; Jan 08, 2013 at 09:50 AM. Reason: added content
Jan 08, 2013, 12:53 PM
Registered User
xmech2k's Avatar
Thanks Darryl. I was just wondering about the takeoff technique and just brought up the full scale method for the heck of it. I'm sure it's possible, but yeah, a bit complex for our models I guess!

I'll search also as you mentioned. Should be fun for the club events.
Jan 08, 2013, 05:15 PM
Registered User
HELModels's Avatar
I once helped a fellow pilot setup for towing a banner. It was pretty exciting to watch his citabria do the pick up and it took more than one try too. The amount of force and drag involved was a shock to see and hear. There's some danger involved at full scale.
Jan 09, 2013, 09:23 AM
Teddy Ong
Teddy Ong's Avatar
I was thinking my Hawk sky can tow a few meter long banner for our yearly recruitment so it would be like JOIN YFC! Any tips? Just to be safe, should I get a heli/plane to carry the other end?
Jan 09, 2013, 09:58 AM
Proud to eat Kraut ;-)
Julez's Avatar
I rolled mine up under the fuselage, and then dropped it.

SuperSkyflex Bannerschlepp (0 min 49 sec)
Jan 09, 2013, 10:50 PM
Registered User
rukie's Avatar
Hi has anybody towed a banner using a glider? A super skysurfer perhaps?
Jan 11, 2013, 02:36 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Julez
I rolled mine up under the fuselage, and then dropped it.
Servo loaded dropper?

What aircraft and what size banner did you use?
Jan 12, 2013, 12:01 AM
DIY Mania from Taiwan
Originally Posted by Julez
I rolled mine up under the fuselage, and then dropped it.

Nice one
thanks for sharing
Jan 12, 2013, 05:13 AM
DIY Mania from Taiwan
Asked local RC guys to post any towing banner vid available this morning
one guy came up with a good one
2012FD飛行嘉年華旗正飛揚 (2 min 58 sec)

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