Piggy back launch - RC Groups
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Nov 04, 2002, 12:47 PM
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Piggy back launch

Does anybody have any experience in the "piggy-back-launch"?
i.e. a small foamie glider attached to the top of the fuse of a motorised (glow or electric) plane, and then released at 200-300 feet...
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Nov 04, 2002, 10:04 PM
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I've flown a Spirit 100 piggybacking on top of a Senior Telemaster. Quite an experience.

Gets real exciting when engine dies at 10 feet =-)

Nov 05, 2002, 02:16 AM
The original Flying Pigs Sqd.
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How did you do the attach and release mechanisme?

Got any pics?
Last edited by Up&Away; Nov 05, 2002 at 02:21 AM.
Nov 05, 2002, 02:24 AM
Registered User
Do you mean the cradle on top of the plane? If I remember correctly, it was built into the wing ... the guy who owned it had uncovered a portion of the wing and glued the cradle directly to it.
Nov 05, 2002, 03:57 AM
The original Flying Pigs Sqd.
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And how did you release from the cradle?
Nov 05, 2002, 10:14 AM
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Cradle pix

Here's a cradle I got from Hobby Lobby ten years ago. I don't think they still sell them, but Horizon Hobbies has been selling what looks like a better version lately.

Mine is pretty ratty now, but you can get the general idea how it works. Rubber bands go under the tow plane's wing and over the glider's wing to the release mechanism.

It shouldn't be hard to recreate one of these yourself. The hardest part would be forming the bottom part of the cradle to conform to the tow planes wing surface.
Nov 05, 2002, 10:17 AM
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Servo mount

Here's a better shot of how the release mechanism works...
Nov 05, 2002, 10:28 AM
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One more...

Here's a small Filip glider mounted to the cradle. This setup works fairly well with smaller gliders. We tried this with a 100" glider, but the glider wing would teeter side-to-side. I have since heard that this happens when the "mule" plane flies too fast for the glider.

Also, I saw another mule that had thin pylons mounted atop the wing to keep the glider wing from flopping. I suppose you could use dowels or 440 rods as well.
Nov 05, 2002, 11:53 AM
Registered User
Hey kitty want to go for a ride
Nov 05, 2002, 07:13 PM
Visitor from Reality
Did a little of it a few years back - 30" Mosquito glider atop a ten cell model similar to a Kopski Skyvolt. Release was similar to the above rigs, tripped by a pylon mounted servo driven off my lifter's retract switch channel.

Bit of a lash-up but it worked once we figured the way to keep the glider wing parallel to the lifters - our rig was a single pylon rather than a double as show above. I even rolled the combo once or twice.

One idle comment. We found that a little white glider that the pilot could see fine when he was chucking it around the field was far less visible when released off my blue and yellow model at a great height.

Still, I could see my model fine

If you really want to strip weight - run a wire off the glider's rudder or ele servo out a tube sticking out the nose. Use that to anchor a long, skinny rubber band that holds the glider onto the lifter. Arrange things so full control one way pulls that pin inside the glider's fuselage, thus releasing the glider off the lifter. Buddies of mine in England do that with 18" single channel ultra-light gliders all the time.

Hope that helps

Nov 06, 2002, 01:55 AM
The original Flying Pigs Sqd.
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Now we're getting somewhere

We've been thinking of something similar for a while now, but for some reason I never thought to put on the nose. We were contemplating placing the mechanisme inside the fuse, about where the high start tow-hook would be.

When you put on the nose, how do you control the left/right shifting of the passenger?

Do you, or your friend in England have any pics?
Nov 06, 2002, 04:16 PM
Visitor from Reality
The model they use has a solid balsa sheet front end, and the pin for the band pokes a little out of a tube sticking up just back from the front end.

If this works, the following JPG might make it clearer how they did it. Sorry - no photos, I still take them at RealWorld speeds.

Nov 07, 2002, 01:30 PM
Registered User

YES ! do that all the time !

YES I carry GLIDERS up on a motorized plane, and I do that almost every week-end....have taken up other folk's gliders, provided they are 2m.....
I confess that I have not "CREATED" anything at all, just used what is out there : here's the list of what I use..............
Right Flyer 60 from Hobby People
MAGNUM 80 FS with 3blade Graupner 12x8 prop
the one offered by Horizon Hobbies for $ 18.00 as part of the package for the Easy 2 combo
This cradle needs/must be reinforced with Epoxy (don't ask how I came by this information, please !)
GLIDER........any 2 meter xcept the ACE Explorer whose fuselaje is just long enough not to fit.....am now using the SPIRIT 100, the ASPIRE, the AMIGO...etc.

THE LATEST PART OF THIS PROJECT is that I am practicing to fly BOTH the Plane and the Glider, by myself, simultaneously.
IT is very hard to do, but I am getting CLOSE.

my first DIG.camera is due in today or tomorrow. If interested I will be able to provide PICTURES of this deal.

Nov 07, 2002, 03:03 PM
The original Flying Pigs Sqd.
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Pics p l e a s e Especially from the release mechanism. Do you use the same type as Dereck?

How on earth can you fly both planes at the same time?
Nov 07, 2002, 07:16 PM
Registered User
The Mule pilot flys his, and you fly yours. it would get pretty intresting seing them BOTH be flown by 1 persn!

How about a Easy 2, and a Gentle Lady?

(Hope Easy 2 fly doesnt read this I planned on using his plane! No wat im putting it on my Thunder Tiger )

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