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Indoor Glider Towing, update - Soo Modellers, Canada.

We had great success yesterday with glider towing using an Airbug. Glider goes up quickly, and is nearly overhead before the Airbug reaches the opposite side of the gym. We guessed on the line length - less than the height of the ceiling, but well above the four bb nets while in their raised positions. Initially we had difficulty with the first turn - as the Airbug must slow down somewhat, and the glider would come off the line at the opposite end of the gym. No problem though, the glider could easily make it back to the launch area.

After some practice however, with the Airbug doing fairly tight circuits at constant speed and the glider swinging wide on the turns, we were able to go 'round and 'round - and release at anytime- just by stopping the bug. As there were other planes flying at the same time, Tom & I chuckled at the prospect of hitting one with the line (mobile barrage cable!) - but managed to avoid other aircraft and the despised bb nets.

What's interesting about this exercise - is that the Airbug driver doesn't actually see the glider - as he's focused on driving. Likewise, as glider pilot (the easier of the two tasks, I think), I caught only a rare glimpse of the Airbug tug. Fortunately, Peter was able to get some superb photos - a serious challenge for the photographer indeed!

This setup would work equally well with freeflight - but straight line only - enough to launch glider to just below the rafters on release. Safer than a bungee ... more predictable - much like a hand tow.

Also tried my new twin rotor autogyro - and flies really well. As expected, lots of Watts required - and needed full throttle - even with high performance T-Motor (12 W) to stay airborne. Those spinning rotors must induce some serious parasitic drag - but looks very cool!

Christian Moes, photographs by Peter Smith - November 2014

Click for The Airbug which is from the British firm Fatflyer.