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Skylaunch Cable Retrieve Winch

  • Description
  • Specifications
  • FAQs
  • Operating Costs
  • Retrieve system comparison
  • Prices/Configurator

Description
 


This unique high speed winch system increases launch rates up to 30 gliders per hour.
 
Eliminates airfield damage caused by cable tow vehicle and increases life of launching cable.
 
Robust design, proven over 15 years operation, with many safety features ensures a reliable, easily operated and maintained long life machine.
 
The Skylaunch ‘run free’ design ensures launch heights are not noticeably reduced with this system.
Lightweight winch is easily towed on soft airfield or legally on highway with a car.
 
Chassis pivoting wheel chock (with starter interlock) and trailer handbrake ensures safe/rapid set up for launching.
 
Laminated safety glass screen/roof panel with flashing beacon, signal lamp and siren.
Simple colour coded controls are ergonomically positioned for safe/ accurate control.
 
Easy one lever operation with preset speed system.   Cable drum brake is automatically controlled.
 
Engine/transmission warning lamps are connected to a buzzer.

 
Panels and covers are easy access with gas strut assistors or hinge mounted for instant opening.
 
Lightweight steel cable drum is reinforced large diameter narrow width type, fully machined and balanced with anti-loop guides.
 
No cable pay-on mechanism is required.
 
Cable feeds onto bottom of drum for safer, trouble free operation.
Reliable industrial VW 4 cylinder engine and radiator with two electronic cooling fans. Torque converter on output shaft ensures smooth operation.
 
Final drive with disengage system to free wheel and eliminate drag on the glider.
 
Standard Lockheed disc brake system on cable drum hub for precise control after glider release.
 
Hardened rollers are long life type, do not damage cable joins (unlike V pulleys)
 
Cable entry/exit height is at very low level for safety (and easy access).
 
Heavy duty guillotine, for steel or synthetic cable, activated by powerful spring.
 
All machines are supplied with on-site training, including detailed Operator’s and Maintenance Manuals.

Specifications

DESIGN
VW industrial four cylinder in-line, cast iron block.
FUEL TYPES
DISPLACEMENTS
Propane (LPG) or petrol
1.8 litres
POWER OUTPUTS
FUEL CONSUMPTIONS
65 kw (88 hp)
0.2 litres per launch (approximate)
FUEL TANK CAPACITY
MOUNTINGS TO CHASSIS
85 litres
Twin rubber mounts
VALVE LIFTERS/TAPPETS
 
Hydraulic type (no maintenance required)
 
 
 
TRANSMISSION
TYPE
Industrial bell housing and torque converter system with pulley output for belt drive.
MOUNTING TO CHASSIS
 
Twin heavy duty rubber mounts
 
 
 
COOLING
ENGINE COOLANT
VW radiator incorporating two electric cooling fans with thermostatic control.
TRANSMISSION FLUID
ENGINE OIL
VW torque converter incorporates external cooling vanes. Cooler with thermo-switched fan.
VW standard oil/water heat exchanger cooling system.
 
 
ELECTRICAL
VOLTAGE
FUSE TYPE
12 volt DC
DC circuit breakers
ALTERNATOR RATING
BATTERY RATING
65 amps
105 amp / CCA 735

FINAL DRIVE (click for picture)
TYPE
Pulley with clutch and belt drive system, linked to engine throttle and cable drum brake system.
BRAKING SYSTEM
Lockheed disc brake and hydraulic twin pot calliper with standard brake pads - same as Skylaunch 2/3 (pad life typically 25,000 – 30,000 launches).
BEARINGS/SEALS/FASTENERS
DRUM SHAFT
All standard metric.
High tensile steel 40mm Ø.
CABLE DRUM
CABLE CAPACITY
Lightweight design, steel construction, machined core and fully balanced.
3,000 metres (2.5mm Ø cable).
CABLE SIZES / TYPES
CABLE RETRIEVING TO GLIDER LAUNCH POINT
Any diameter and material can be used. (recommended 2.5mm Ø).
Semi-automatic system with speed deceleration control lever.
CABLE PAY-ON MECHANISM
None required.
 
 
OPERATOR ENVIRONMENT
CONSTRUCTION
PROTECTION
Steel framework with heavy gauge steel panel work and folding roof panel for highway transport.
Raised platform with seat. All laminated 6.4mm safety glass with hinged steel mesh guards at front of winch.
CONTROL PANEL
STANDARD EQUIPMENT
Warning lamps connected to a buzzer. Cable speed preselector system.
Warning beacon, signal lamp, emergency siren, power supply for radio system.
 
 
CHASSIS/TOWING
CONSTRUCTION
AXLES
Steel channel rails with box and angle section framework.
Box section beams with independent trailing arm suspension each end. Each axle 750kg rating.
WHEELS/TYRES
BRAKE SYSTEM
13” rims (standard trailer 4 stud layout) with 155 R13 tyres.
Standard trailer drum brakes with auto reverse system.
TOW HITCH
MAXIMUM TOWING SPEED
50mm ball or Nato ring (other hitch types available).
100 kph / 62 mph (subject to local highway regulations).

CABLE CUTTING GUILLOTINE (click for picture)
TYPE
BLADES
Chisel and anvil system – to cut steel or synthetic cable.
Replaceable hardened steel type.
TRIGGER MECHANISM
STORED ENERGY
Replaceable high tensile steel pin with roller bearing pivots.
Heavy duty coil spring – Permanently tensioned.
 
 
CABLE ROLLERS
TYPE
BEARINGS
Machined and hardened from bearing steel or aluminium (for synthetic cables).
All standard metric sealed bearings.
DURABILITY
Typically minimum of 40,000 launches per main roller using steel cable. (Guide rollers will last much longer).
 
 
FINISH
CHASSIS/FRAMEWORK/DRUM/PANELS
Shot blast and powder coat or two pack paint.
COMPONENTS
COLOURS (to RAL specifications)
Shot blast and powder coat or passivate plating.
Yellow/blue (developed to give best recognition against typical airfield background). Other colours available.
 
 
OVERALL DIMENSIONS
LENGTH
WIDTH
4.60m
1.80m
HEIGHT
WEIGHT
2.55m
1,100kg (without fuel and cable)
GROUND CLEARANCE
 
250mm (under axles)
 
 
 
TYPICAL PERFORMANCE
LAUNCH SPEEDS (cable reeling out)
RETRIEVING SPEEDS (cable winding in)
0 – 240 kph (0 – 150 mph)
0 – 130 kph (0 – 80 mph) using auto speed preselector on control panel.
 

Frequently Asked Questions - Cable Retrieve Winches

Q1 Is it easy to operate? how do I know when to engage the retrieve winch?

Q2 How about the main winch? what is different?

Q3 We would only need a single drum main winch, are these cheaper?

Q4 Does it affect the launch height?  is it steel or synthetic cable?

Q5 What happens in strong cross-winds on a narrow airfield?

Q6 What happens if there is a cable break?

Q7 What if the end of the cable is pulled in too far and hits the winch rollers?

Q8 How long does it take to retrieve the cable?

Q9 How much fuel does it use?

Q10 Are parts easily available / servicing straight forward?

Q11 Is this system proven and successful over time?

The answers....

<Q1 Is it easy to operate? how do I know when to engage the retrieve winch?

Yes, drive lever (go / stop lever) is engaged immediately when the glider releases and the parachute opens, the pre-set speed control is lowered as the launching cable approaches the winch. Cable brake is automatic.

Q2 How about the main winch? what is different?

After glider release, the operator regains cable tension (as normal), engages neutral and applies tow-out brake or, depending on winch type, controls brake manually. Most drivers comment it is easier than vehicle retrieve systems.

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Q3 We would only need a single drum main winch, are these cheaper?

Yes.  (See Skylaunch 3 price lists)

Q4 Does it affect the launch height?  is it steel or synthetic cable?

The cable drum reel-out is free running.  The extra load on the glider is the weight of the retrieve cable in the air, approximately 8 kg for steel cable and 1.5 kg for synthetic (eg Dyneema).

Many years ago, several gliding clubs made their own retrieve winches, often using a variety of old parts, but these designs produced much cable tension for the launch (unlike the Skylaunch design), therefore reducing launch heights.  This is how the launch height loss “myth” was created.

The winch can be fitted with either steel or synthetic cable.

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Q5 What happens in strong cross-winds on a narrow airfield?

As both winches are pulling cable in after cable release, any sideways bow in the cable can be almost pulled straight before the cable lands, so it actually handles cross-winds better than with conventional parachute decent.

Q6 What happens if there is a cable break?

Cable drum braking is controlled by a tension roller, so if there is a break (at high speed) the drum will automatically stop, leaving less than 5 turns of loose cable on the drum. Both cables can be easily rejoined in the normal way.

For low simulated cable breaks, the cable is allowed to drop then retrieved as normal, when the airfield is clear. For high simulations, cable can be retrieved as normal in a lower speed setting.

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Q7 What if the end of the cable is pulled in too far and hits the winch rollers?

This can happen occasionally as so many (unskilled) drivers operate these  winches.  The end of the cable is attached to the launching cable with a simple knot, acting as a weak link.  Because the cable drum brake is automatically applied, there will be no problem and the cable is simply reconnected, taking approximately two minutes.

Q8 How long does it take to retrieve the cable?

Typically, 45 seconds or less from glider release to cable back at the launch point, ready for next launch (see analysis of cable retrieving systems).

The launch and retrieve all happen as one rapid cycle, so the cable is quickly returned to the launch point to await the next launch.

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Q9 How much fuel does it use?

Approximately 0.2 litres per retrieve, usually the same amount of fuel used by the launching winch to reel the cable end all the way in (when using a vehicle retrieve system). 

This also eliminates the fuel requirement of any cable retrieve vehicle.

Q10 Are parts easily available / servicing straight forward?

Yes, power unit is reliable Volkswagen, final drive utilizes popular industrial components. Brake system / guillotine / cable rollers / small fittings etc are standard parts as used on the Skylaunch launching winches.

Wheels / axles / tow hitch etc are universal trailer components.

Basic service is every 6,000 launches (retrieves).

The running costs will be significantly less than operating a vehicle retrieve system.

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Q11 Is this system proven and successful over time?

Yes.   The first Skylaunch retrieve winch was delivered in 1994 to a busy club launching (retrieving) approximately 10,000 gliders per annum, has proven to be very reliable and is still used every day.

Typical Operating Costs

CONSUMABLES
Service Interval in Launches
(Expected Life)
Cost per Launch
Cost per Launch
Cost per Launch
UK /P
£
Euros
US D
$
Engine oil/filter
 6,000
£0.0021
€0.0031
$0.0041
Engine air filter
12,000
£0.0010
€0.0014
$0.0020
Spark plugs (3 electrode type)
36,000
£0.0004
€0.0006
$0.0008
Starter motor
(40,000)
£0.0040
€0.0057
$0.0078
Camshaft drive belt and tensioning roller.
40,000
£0.0012
€0.0017
$0.0023
Alternator/water pump drive belt.
Drum drive belts/brake pads
(40,000)
£0.0052
€0.0075
$0.0101
HT lead set, distributor cap and rotor arm
36,000
£0.0008
€0.0012
$0.0016
Brake arm cable roller
(36,000)
£0.0014
€0.0020
$0.0027
Small cable rollers
(50,000)
£0.0013
€0.0019
$0.0025
Intermediate cable rollers
(40,000)
£0.0024
€0.0035
$0.0047
2.5mm steel cable
 ( 6,000)
£0.0270
€0.0392
$0.0527
LPG fuel @ 0.2L/launch (estimate £0.35/litre / €0.44/litre / $0.58/litre)
-
£0.07
€0.11
$0.12
Total cost per launch
£0.12
€0.18
$0.22
Cable Retrieving Systems summary

Examples A - E are based on the following standards:
Typical launch height
Length of cable(s)
Glider type
Head wind speed
Duration of ‘up slack’ and launch
Connecting cable to glider
 
-   365m / 1200ft
-   1000 metres/ 3300ft
-   K21 (2 persons)
-   0
-   60 seconds (15 seconds ‘up slack’)
-   60 seconds (Note: 30 seconds is easily   
    achievable at busy times!)
 
Launch Rate Versus Equipment Required/Costs (Lowest Price Listed First)
 
Example of System
(Click links below for more detail)
 
Number of Cables
 
Number of Persons Required
(Note *)
 
Number of Winches
 
Number of Vehicles
 
Machinery Purchase Price
(Note •)
UK P /
Euro / US D
 
Launches per Hour
Price UK P/
Euro/US D
Price UK P/
Euro/US D
 
 
 
1
 
2
1
1
 
 £45,500.00
 €61,250.00
 $78,400.00
 
13
 £42,500.00
 €58.750.00
 $75,200.00
    £2,000.00
    €2,500.00
    $3,200.00
 
 
 
2
 
2
1
1
 
 £56,500.00
 €70,625.00
 $84,000.00
 
16
 
 £53,000.00
 €66,250.00
 $84,800.00
 
    £3,500.00
    €4,375.00
    $5,600.00
 
 
 
1 (+1)
 
2
1 + 1
-
 
 £71,500.00
 €88,750.00
$113,600.00
 
22
 £71,500.00
 €88,750.00
$113,600.00
 
-
-
 
 
 
4
 
2
2 (1)
1
 
 £108,500.00
 €135,625.00
 $173,600.00
 
17
 £101,000.00
€126,250.00
$161,600.00
    £7,500.00
 €9,375.00
 $12,000.00
 
 
 
6
 
2
1
1
 
 £143,000.00
 €178,125.00
 $228,000.00
 
18
 £135,500.00
€168,750.00
$216,000.00
 
    £7,500.00
 €9,375.00
 $12,000.00
Note : 
  • Includes minimum equipment for launching and retrieving cable(s) but not for movng winches (if not the same).
     
  • Based on new winch prices (approximate).
  • Estimated prices for appropriate size of towing cable vehicle (used) in good working order.
 Note: 
  • Assuming 1 person operates both winches - example D.
  • Assuming winch operator does not tow back cables.

Prices and Retrieve Winch Configurator

Please don't hesitate to contact us for a quotation in your local currency.

Please note - prices are for guidance only - We always quote and agree prices and terms
before any orders are officially taken and payments or deliveries are made.

Product ID: SW-RW-18
 
Prices include English, French or German Operator’s/Maintenance
Manuals (manuals in other languages are available at extra cost).
 
Prices include instruction/warning labels printed by Skylaunch
to translation supplied by customer in format suitable for UK
printers.
 
Prices exclude cables/delivery/training.
:
Dual Exhaust system - Retrieve winch: Dual silencer exhaust system for reduced noise (+190.00)
Rope pulley: RW-RP Retrieve winch rope pulley More...... (+92.00)
Transceiver or receiver and aerial: Transceiver or receiver and aerial - POA
Price Exl Vat/carriage: 31009.00

Please don't hesitate to contact us for a quotation in your local currency.

Please note - prices are for guidance only - We always quote and agree prices and terms
before any orders are officially taken and payments or deliveries are made.

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