Banner towing and bomb drops - RC Groups
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Jan 28, 2013, 02:56 AM
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Banner towing and bomb drops

just had so much fun making and flying a banner on my 1/4 scale sub, i thought is would start a Banner and bomb drop thread to see what other people have done.

i did a lot of searching before i started and found there's not much for idea's to build them.. i built mine with bed sheets, wood dowels, some SS steel fishing leader, for about $9. tonight i made some changes to see if i can get it to fly better, first i added another 8 feet, added badmitten birds to the tail, and shortened the drop of the leading edge lead weight, from 4 feet to 2 foot. during flight it was swinging around pretty bad. next weekend i will try it again

also, my next project is perhaps a bomb drop, or parachute drop..

Anyway, post your idea's for banners and bomb drops, i am really interested to see what you have done.
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Jan 28, 2013, 09:48 AM
Hope to get out of life alive
kenh3497's Avatar
I've never towed a banner but read an article years ago about the process. They said to take off towards the tail of the banner so the plane kind of rolls the banner off the ground. It reduces the "jerk" of trying to start the whole thing at once. Is this true? Have you ever tried to hook the banner on a low flyby to pull it off the ground instead of taking of with it attached?

Jan 28, 2013, 12:29 PM
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yesterday for all the flights i just pulled it off the ground, i have seen them laid out backwards to reduce the shock. with enough power i don't know that is needed, however i did notice that the banner gets drug a ways on the ground causing it to get pretty dirty. the next tests i will lay it out backwards to see if it helps.
Jan 31, 2013, 12:55 PM
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banner tow

Try this. I have used it for years.

Put 2 slots in your release mechanism. One to hold the banner when deployed (closest to fuselage) and the other one to hold the end of a section of wire wrapped around the ROLLED UP banner.

You have to use a 3 position servo channel. Roll up the banner and hook the tow lead to the top slot (servo in center position) Wrap the short wire around the banner and then insert the end into the lower slot (Servo in the outer position)

This way you can take off with the banner rolled up, then at altitude you can deploy the banner. THEN, when you want to land you can RELEASE the banner over the field and land normally.

You can also use it to drop half rolls of toilet tissue and have other planes try to cut the streamer.
Feb 01, 2013, 01:07 AM
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your method sounds good, i will see this weekend if i need to consider that approach, for now i think i have enough reserve power to pull off the ground, also, ( check out the pic>>) i made a bracket for dropping bombs and stuff.. so i have a " bomb" made out of 2 liter coke bottles, and one made from a "Nerf" football, these i will have fun trying this weekend.

and, i painted words on the banner, should be real cool..

and... to my horror, while playing with the release i noticed the servo's started acting funny, and my receiver was blinking, WHAT is this..??? i checked the batteries, and discovered one was weak, so i recharged, and checked again, and found the same.. soooo, long story short, the battery and SWITCH was bad.. WOW.. good thing i always use 2 batteries in parallel, with 2 different switches.. so after replacing the switch and battery, i built a battery load tester, using light bulbs, and a expanded volt meter, so now i can load a battery and check voltage drop with the load. also i can now test the AMP hrs of each battery.. Batteries, for years i have always over done things, and taken them for granted, not any more..

2 more days to test my new toys..
Feb 02, 2013, 06:31 PM
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flying today

just got back from flying, more work and tests to be done.. my great idea of using Shuttlecocks ( badmitten birds) did not work very well at all.. they instantly got tangled together into this huge knot.. so after cutting them off, and undoing the knot, i flew with just one on the tail.. the tail still flaps really bad, so tonight i will add a couple more wood dowels to see if it helps. ( i'm almost at a loss how to minimize the flapping ) ALMOST, i still have a couple more idea's. other than that, the banner flew great..

BOMB drop, was a hoot, made several drops, and it was just pain fun.. next i think a parachute drop??

also, i tried several take off's with the banner, and came back to the good OL' just pull it off the ground in the correct direction.. i had a couple fails from trying to lift it off backwards, things just kept getting all tangled up. so for now i fly it right off the ground.
Feb 03, 2013, 08:14 AM
Registered User
Full scale banners have flapping problems as well. The method they use to keep the banner out straight is: clear plastic strips at least as long as the banner that are attached to the top corner and bottom corner on the end of the banner. The clear strips do the flapping and the banner is held out straight.

I pull a 3 X 5 American Flag with a Telemaster on occasion.........

Go to Youtube and search:
RC American Flag

It's worth watching.
Feb 04, 2013, 07:14 PM
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here is the video of yesterdays flight.. it went OK, except on the second pass the tail wood baton fell out, it appears that the tail of this thing takes quite a beating.. i even added 3 more shuttlecocks to the tail with no improvement. for now, the banner fly's ok, until i do some more research and testing... who knows, i may never be able to get rid of the tail flapping?? more testing of crazy idea's will tell.

tri valley r/c steve demott (2 min 2 sec)
Feb 04, 2013, 07:24 PM
Always Ready!
warhead_71's Avatar
Small relief slits along the banner help reduce waving. About a 1" buttonhole slit staggered every 8 square inches should do it. You'll notice they do the same thing on outdoor street banners to keep them from flapping.
Feb 06, 2013, 02:51 PM
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we learn so much in this hobby from guys like Steve.great testing pulling a banner. thanks for serving! don
Feb 07, 2013, 01:08 AM
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thanks Airboss for the good words, this project is a lot of fun trying to figure out a better mouse trap, and you are correct, this kind of fun stuff is what we are all about.. learning by testing our idea's.

as for idea's. one of our club members thought that maybe a badmitten net might work?? who knows, i just might try one??

anyway, for you readers out there... please post some idea's for all of us here to ponder, an maybe try out>>. i would love to hear about them.
Feb 07, 2013, 10:30 AM
Always Ready!
warhead_71's Avatar
I've seen three kinds of banners.

(1) Solid material like ripstop or vinyl, but it has small relief slits cut in it at regular intervals. You could make the slit using a hot Xacto knife so it melts the edges as you cut to prevent un-raveling.

(2) Mesh/netting with solid letters stitched to it. Landscaping netting is pretty cheap and durable.

(3) Sheer material. Cheap curtain sheers might work.

The key is that each of these solution allow air to pass through from one side of the banner to the other, which prevents pressure differentials from creating flapping motions.

I've never seen it done before, but you could also try making a "sleeve" along the top edge of the banner and slip in a couple of those long skinny balloons that clowns use to make balloon-animals from. The weight would be negligible but should provide enough rigidity to prevent flapping.

Also, I've seen a couple of banners that have streamers or a small drag-chute at the top-trailing edge of the banner to keep it pulled taught.
Last edited by warhead_71; Feb 07, 2013 at 10:35 AM.
Feb 07, 2013, 11:32 AM
Registered User

i like the netting idea

thanks, i like the idea of using the netting, i will go searching for some at Home Depot, it falls in line with maybe a badmitten net, however with the landscape net i can sew on the letters... GREAT idea,.

Feb 08, 2013, 12:39 AM
Registered User

one more bomb

how do you turn a Nerf football, and a 2 liter coke bottle into a bomb... DUCT TAPE, so simple and hopefully durable. this one should be cool.
Feb 08, 2013, 01:43 PM
WW I Flyer
jwrich's Avatar


A few years back, our club had an AMA Air Show Team "Oklahoma Barnstormers". Over the seven years we performed in Okla, Tex, Ks from May to Nov. I built and flew the banner at the opening program of our performance. Getting the banner to fly straight and upright took at lot of fine tuning and practice. I will attach a word document on how I built & released the banner. I used a Balsa USA 1/4 scale Cub powered with a Zenoah 38 to tow the banner. I also put and camera on the side under the wing area to get overhead pictures of the field and spectators. We had fun doing this, but it did become expensive to come up with new acts every year. I hope I can get the pictures & word document posted.


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