Handlaunching Large Electric Gliders - RC Groups
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Mar 15, 2004, 07:55 PM
Registered User

Handlaunching Large Electric Gliders

We have been handlaunching R/C planes for 40 years with a short run and the plane usually lifts out of our hands toward the horizon. We have launched a multitude of power planes and small (2m) gliders in this way............no problem. BUT, you just can't launch the big boys(>3.5m, >10lb) in this way in my experience. We now fly a 3.2 meter XL3200 as well as a 4m Albatros. Both have electric motors. Each of these planes need a few running steps FOLLOWED by a firm, straight, throw toward the horizon with the throwing arm follow-thru extended forward also toward the horizon. The wings MUST be level and the throw controlled, but strong.

To help practice this technique we constructed ( 4ft of 3" PVC, 2 rakes, A 10lb sledge hammer head tapped into the PVC pipe to the CG under the rakes, Duct tape) a dummy plane with a generous wingspan and approximate weight (sledge hammer head). The diameter of the PVC is much like our plane fuselage and the rakes will be tipped by the wind if not kept level. It has been a terrific trainer and is now retired as our handlaunches are smooth and predictable. Try this. You will see how important the forward toss is.

Moderator: I realize you have a section for humor and, although this could have a hundred humorous captions, I intend it as an instructional suggestion as it has been invaluable to us.

The following photo shows my 76yo father in "training" for the real thing.

(Image deleted by moderator for technical reasons)
Last edited by tim hooper; Mar 15, 2004 at 11:18 PM.
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Mar 16, 2004, 12:25 PM
rroback's Avatar
i wish i could see the picture
Mar 16, 2004, 03:33 PM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
Me too..
Mar 16, 2004, 04:21 PM
Single-task at best...
tim hooper's Avatar
Patience boys, patience.......

Mar 16, 2004, 04:38 PM
Registered User
I agree, it would be a thing to see.
Mar 16, 2004, 05:31 PM
MAAC 6251
I'd like to see as well. On the other hand, you have to be careful because little kids see these pictures too!
Mar 16, 2004, 08:09 PM
Launch the drones ...
Jeeeze. I needed that so much. I'm still chuckling.
Mar 16, 2004, 11:12 PM
Single-task at best...
tim hooper's Avatar


May I present (for your serious consideration of course), the one, the only...........

Mar 16, 2004, 11:14 PM
Single-task at best...
tim hooper's Avatar

Sorry for the delay in posting these, but I've been too busy laughing for several hours now..........

So then........when's the kit available?

Mar 17, 2004, 12:00 AM
Registered User
shaneyee's Avatar
Its a ducted fan... should be in Jets. Are those anti-vortex tips?

Good launch form....bet the sledge hammer head took a divot out of the field!


Mar 17, 2004, 07:43 AM
sewing machine thumb
Someday my planes will look that good ...
Mar 17, 2004, 08:37 AM
Registered User
JLSalas's Avatar
What is the wing loading of this model?

I think it will be very difficult to control in the air: it doesn't have elevator and rudder...unless those wing tips do the trick

Mar 17, 2004, 09:03 AM
Registered User
Turbo-rake will teach the importance and the motion of the forward toss. You can also evaluate whether the launcher is able to keep the wings level throughout the toss motion. Often the launcher will tip the plane as it is thrown. Without a good forward throw we recommend handlaunching the turbo-rake while wearing steel-tipped boots.

We have had some 10ft, 1sec+ flights with our turbo-rake when set-up as shown. This is much better than some of our power plane launches, particularly when the prop was running backwards or the elevator servo was reversed.

Now, go train.
Mar 17, 2004, 09:12 AM
MAAC 6251
A new era in modeling has dawned!
Mar 17, 2004, 10:50 AM
Registered User
thermite's Avatar
We need more stuff like this!! Very innovative and elegant to say the least!!

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