What's a Winch?
Winch launching is a technique by which a glider can be launched to 2000 – 4000 feet above the ground in only 1 – 2 minutes using a very long, 4000 – 8000 foot UHMWPE “plastic” cable which is connected to a stationary winch using a high-powered gas or diesel engine that winds the cable in on a drum at speeds of up to 70 mph.
- As the ever-decreasing length of cable is wound on the drum, the glider is quickly accelerated and can establish a climb angle in excess of 45 degrees
- At the conclusion of the launch, the glider releases the cable and remaining cable is wound back onto the drum of the winch in less than a minute
- To set-up for the next launch, the cable is then pulled back to the launch site
Our operation is modeled after successful winch operations at nearly a dozen other U.S. public airports and based on industry-standard winch operation procedures in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Australia.