Investigation of the forces acting on gliders in automobile-pulley-winch and airplane towed flight

Klemperer, W B (Southern California Soaring Association, Inc)
naca-tn-844
March 1942


The magnitude, the direction, and the fluctuation of towing forces exerted upon gliders by towing them aloft behind an automobile, by means of a winch, and by airplane were measured under a variety of conditions covering a range from gentle to severe types of operation. For these tests the towing forces did not exceed 92 percent of the gross weight of the glider. The results indicate that in pulley and winch towing the towing forces are of about the same magnitude as in automobile towing. Speed increases in the accelerated phases of the towing jerks encountered in airplane towing can readily become critical as speeds in excess of placard speeds can be attained. Passage through the slipstream of the towing airplane can be equivalent to a severe gust that, at high speed, may impose high wing loads and require large control moments.

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