Homemade Micro Winch for Small Sailplanes

OK, this has got to be one of the coolest things I've seen in awhile. LiveFlightRC shared a video on YouTube showing a homemade winch he made for his Wasabi micro glider.

Splash

An Electric Screwdriver, a Fishing Rod and an RC Pilot Walk into a Bar....

OK, this has got to be one of the coolest things I've seen in awhile. LiveFlightRC shared a video on YouTube showing a homemade winch he made for his Wasabi micro glider. He made it from a fishing reel, an electric screwdriver and a momentary switch. It's a micro sized winch complete with a micro turnaround. The battery provides about 150 launches before needing to be swapped or recharged. It works great too!

This version is currently under development and he has plans to make it even more portable and have the capability to launch up to light 2M sized gliders. Check it out in the video below.

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Jul 22, 2021, 09:50 AM
Sagitta Fanboy
Neat,

I know folks have done electric drill winches for ~2m stuff in the past. This is pretty slick though.
Jul 22, 2021, 10:50 AM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
It is pretty slick. There's no doubt that it's a nice adaptation that is very neatly done.

But my own preference for smaller gliders would be a micro high start made from flat strip rubber from one of the free flight suppliers along with some light skinny fishing line.

Lighter to carry if that's an issue such as a back pack full system and half the time to set up and for small models like this super light to stretch out on the recovery back to the launch point.
Jul 22, 2021, 11:44 AM
Design Engineer
1. awesome!
2. i wanna see build plans for the glider!
Jul 22, 2021, 03:02 PM
Going in circles.
GliderJim's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SavageX89
2. i wanna see build plans for the glider!
It takes a full pedal launch!
Jul 22, 2021, 11:44 PM
Kilmary Kid

Light bungee for light gliders


The Society of Antique modelers--and many of the local SAM clubs-- have bungee launch club contests. Most of the gliders are in the 36 inch to 45 inch wingspan range. They are free flight, but a lot of the guys fit them with an RDT. Of course there's no reason why you couldn't install a light radio setup for rudder and elevator.

But the bungee set up was taken from an old Zaic Yearbook (1937 I think). FAI model supply packages small strip rubber 1/16" , 3/32d" etc. Those packages have 33 feet of rubber in them. A bungee using that 33 feet of 1/16" and 120 or so feet of fishing line will launch a 36 inch wingspan glider with ease. You could put up a 48 inch glider probably with the 1/16" strip--certainly with the 3/32d. These aren't zoom launches, but the glider does go up nicely to a decent altitude.. Great for flying in the park or in fairly small spaces--so long as you have that RDT ready to hand.

I flew a 33 inch Dick Twomey Leprechaun at the 2015 SAM Champs on El Dorado Dry Lake---12 minutes and 45 seconds OOS--I didn't have an RDT at the time--and since it was a contest flight, I'd locked the DT down. I got the model back when a friend found it a couple of days later. These little birds fly surprisingly well.
Jul 23, 2021, 12:26 AM
Registered User
If I'm not mistaken, the electric screwdriver gears down the output from the motor inside it, and the fishing reel gears it back up. I wonder if this wouldn't work just as well with direct drive from an appropriate, cheap motor.
Jul 23, 2021, 02:21 AM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lincoln
If I'm not mistaken, the electric screwdriver gears down the output from the motor inside it, and the fishing reel gears it back up. I wonder if this wouldn't work just as well with direct drive from an appropriate, cheap motor.
Yes it would. But then it wouldn't have the slick coupling feature to allow uncoupling the reel from the drill motor to feed out the line during a retrieval.

Mind you there wouldn't be the shaft drag of the hand drill gearing either...
Jul 23, 2021, 08:28 AM
Registered User
Likely solves Winch Withdrawal syndrome without all the weight and tanglements.
Jul 23, 2021, 01:26 PM
Scale Aircraft = Scale Crators
mikejr83's Avatar
Needs similar sized retriever!
Latest blog entry: F3J on the Back Burner
Jul 24, 2021, 12:02 PM
Registered User
gliderguide's Avatar
Awesome. I wonder if the drag on the reel and the clutch on the motor could be utilised to limit the launch power, or perhaps allow some release of line to kite up like a bungee?
Last edited by gliderguide; Jul 24, 2021 at 03:08 PM.


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