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Towing Trouble!

A person needs some challenges in life, if only to generate a feeling of success!

A challenge I have taken on is to use one of my models, the White Thing, to tow a glider into the air.

Unfortunately this challenge requires two people as I've found it very difficult to fly the White Thing and a glider simultaneously.

I found a helpful partner in this enterprise in the shape of Gordon. Gordon was willing to add a towing point to the nose of his 2.4m Phoenix in order to be towed in to the air by the White Thing. In fact he made this modification very quickly! He kept the motor and prop in place in the unlikely event that things didn't work out and the model needed to beat a hasty retreat. I had added a cable release system to the White Thing so that I could drop the towing cable when and if necessary.

We had been discussing strategy for a few sessions and even managed to test the cable release systems, but it wasn't until Wednesday 9th June that we got weather, wind, grass length and motivation together and decided to give it ago.

Cable releases were tested again before we arranged the White Thing at the edge of the take off area and the Phoenix at the end  of the towing cable some distance away!

All was set - so after verbal signals between us, I gradually opened the throttle to get things going. There was a pause, so I pushed the throttle to its maximum and waited for take off! I might have waited a long time as nothing moved! The motor on the White Thing was revving hard but to no avail! Still nothing moved.

I closed the throttle. We rearranged the White Things and especially the Pheonix to give a smoother take off run. Still nothing except the White Thing crabbing sideways a bit.

Adrian then came in to the scene and he tried to hand launch the Pheonix while the White Thing took off from the ground.

The White Thing staggered to the far side of the take off strip and gained just enough airspeed to stall on take off! It cartwheeled on to one wing tip and nosed into the ground..

The damage was a broken prop and the tailplane removed from the fuselage! Both fairly easy fixes, but no more attempts today!

So, what did we learn from the experience? The White Thing doesn't have enough power! I need a bigger motor!

There has been much discussion about the next step. It's fair to say that we won't stop here!

Keep your eyes open for the next installment!

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