Thursday, January 26, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

MOM's virgin tow experience

We finally managed to test MOM's towing abilities yesterday.

It was a hot (+36°C) and sticky day with a slight x-wind. I had about 100 liters of fuel on board and first flew one circuit by myself taking off the grass strip. The ground roll turned out to be very long and I decided to launch the glider off the paved runway. We have chosen our club's Pegase and Max was flying it.

"Pacer MOM taking 35 for glider tow"

The initial acceleration wasn't great but sort of what I expected. The ASI stopped at around 40 kts and didn't really wanna show more than that. After a longer while we were doing 50 kts and Max was off the ground. I know that MOM doesn't like flying at low speeds but decided to force her off the ground at this speed hoping to get more acceleration in the ground effect with wheels off the runway.

hook it up Chris!

The speed went up to 60 kts and we slowly started climbing ... till we hit the first sink. Unfortunately I wasn't able to stay leveled and we were going down flying through sink.

"pick up slack!" 

The balance was positive and we were slowly climbing. This is not something you can do on a daily basis though. There was plenty of lift and Max released at about 1000 ft off the ground (after 10 minutes tow). I had no problems with cylinder heads or oil getting hot which is good. All numbers were on the green arcs and stayed there.

glider tow rolling 35

We did the testing in extreme conditions and MOM didn't do well. This was the sort of weather that we're having here every summer day and therefore something has to be done to improve the performance. I think that the cruise prop that we have on might be the biggest issue. MOM has got a brand new 150 HP engine and nobody expects miracles from her but she just cannot tow in the current condition.

finally off the ground and the sticky air is well visible

We don't want to give her up that easily and will make a research on what is possible to improve the performance even if we have to sacrifice her cruise speed.

Go MOM go!

We were all very disappointed with that and needed some cheer up yesterday. Ziggy's special fish & prawns barbecue with the mates did the job.
BTW, despite the very low and slow tow at 3 pm Max still managed to fly a 310 km triangle. Well done Max!

good dinner to finish up an average day