Occasionally when the airplane is up for repair the glider pilots use the winch to do ground launches.This winch sports a Chevy 383 V-8 with a 5,000 foot rope system.
How it works: The glider is placed on one end of the runway and the winch on the opposite end about 500 ft in the grass. They hook the rope to the glider and the winch pulls it into the air at about 55 miles an hour.
Honestly, it looks we’re flying a big kite. In the pic below, I’m standing near the winch and the rope is to the right.
In the pic below is a 2-33 glider, which is primarily used for training and reaches about 1500 to 1600 ft above ground level before it releases.
The next photo is a 1-26, single seat, and can reach an altitude of 1800 to 1900 ft before she sails off into the blue sky.
From a glider standpoint, the ride feels like a roller coaster on the way up. It’s very steep and you cannot see anything in front of you. When the rope releases the glider drops briefly, and you’ll find yourself taking a breath as the nose dips, but soon due to aerodynamics you’re flying across the sky. Below is a 304 CZ glider with an orange drogue chute.
And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; Psalm 55:6
Recently, one of my photos was published in a soaring magazine. I should be excited, but I’m not. In short, they misrepresented my photo. They implied the pilot was in a contest and landed out; meaning, he missed the strip and the prize altogether.
Here’s the real story: It was a leisurely hot afternoon with no contest rules in sight. Scott was snuggled in his v-tail glider, and I was aloft, hanging out of a Cessna 172 window, taking photographs. After a spectacular shoot, Scott, on final, lined up on 4,000 ft., hard surfaced runway, while I happily clicked away. I know you can’t see the runway, but I can assure you that it’s there.
I’ve submitted almost 75 pictures to the soaring magazine and that’s the one they chose. So I’ve decide to share some fun flying photos with you. See below, but only if your fascinated with soaring.