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IS-28B2 Twin Lark winch launch

What's a Winch?


Picture of glider 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.

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