Releases

General discussion about the sport of hang gliding

Re: Releases

PostPosted by Tad Eareckson » 2011/02/11 06:27:25 UTC

Another in our popular equipment review series... Unblinking, but with a few molecules worth of appreciation and sympathy for someone who has, at least, TRIED to make a positive contribution to hang gliding. But as this is aviation and a lot of good intentions have gone to getting a lot of good people crippled and killed...

http://www.skydogsports.com/release/

New Aerotow Release
by
Steve Younger

Steve has been a tug pilot for over twenty years now and a hang glider pilot for thirty five years and saw the need for the perfect release for aerotowing and other forms of towing hang gliders and has designed the SteevRelease. Below are close up photos of the new SteevRelease.

SteevRelease Complete
SteevRelease End Close-Up - Notice the Tapered Pin For Fast Action
SteevRelease Handle
SteevRelease End
Steve Younger

The SteevRelease was designed to be an integral part of a three point Aero tow bridle and was not designed to be used in a two point (Pro Tow) or as a single point tow release.

The mounting and location of this release should be determined by your glider manufacturer or there representative. The SteevRelease is designed to be easily attached to or removed from your glider for ease of storage and to prevent accidental damage during transport.

The body of your SteevRelease is simply clipped to the loop of line anchored and located at the factory recommended location on the keel of your glider.

Release End
Handle

The cable of your SteevRelease is routed back along the keel and down the down tubes anchoring to the down tubes using the supplied Velcro straps.

It is important at this point to insure that your harness straps are not going to interfere with the cable or its operation. It may be necessary to route the cable around the outside of the control frame.

The activation handle is mounted to the base tube using the supplied velcro straps and then anchored by the tether to the corner bracket of your control frame.

Your SteevRelease should be clean and dry at all times and should be inspected for signs of wear or damage before each use.

When inserting the weak link insure that the link is properly sitting on the pin and that the pin is fully extended.

Finally make sure that the release and cables are unobstructed in any position possible during tow and that there is no tension on the activation cable at any time.

The SteeveRelease should offer you many years of problem free towing. However due to the infinite number of glider configurations possible installations and routings SteevRelease, any employees or representative can not be held responsible for a poorly installed or maintained system.

PLEASE SEEK THE ADVISE OF A PROFESSIONAL WHEN INSTALLING ANY NEW TOW SYSTEM

Questions concerning the SteeveRelease - E-mail Steve Younger at - catstevan@yahoo.ca

Steve has been a tug pilot for over twenty years now and a hang glider pilot for thirty five years...

Which is the least bit relevant to the issue of designing an aerotow release (or any other item of glider hardware) how? How does that make you as qualified as a sharp junior high science fair contestant who's only seen pictures of hang gliders? Matt Taber, Steve Wendt, Bo Hagewood, Tracy Tillman... Need I say more?

...and saw the need for the perfect release for aerotowing...

Sorry, but "the perfect release for aerotowing" is NEVER gonna involve seven feet of cable velcroed onto a downtube.

If ya wanna try to get ANYTHING right - from procedures to takeoff to releases to weak links to landings - ya gotta look to sailplaning. Sailplane releases are not some afterthought duct-taped to the outside of the fuselage - they're designed and built IN.

If you wanna get a clue from someone who has the EXACT proper vision for the perfect hang glider aerotow release...

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/skysailingtowing/message/4411
Keel Attachment

John Moody - 2004/12/16 23:07:36
Conroe, Texas

What is not normal is to see a factory-made glider that has a built in nose attachment or keel attachment or even the keel release built-in, faired and clean - like a VG system is.

So why does Mr. Reynoldson have to ask where to attach his tow line? Atos has to know that their gliders are being towed every day. Why does each pilot have to figure it out, one at a time. Why don't the manufacturers sell a TOWING version of their gliders and avoid someone getting it wrong?

If you wanna see photos of a system that fulfilled that vision years before John expressed it...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aerotowrelease/sets/72057594141352219/detail

...and other forms of towing hang gliders...

I'm not seeing any suggestions or recommendations for using the SteevRelease in other forms of towing hang gliders. I'm seeing statements which indicate quite the opposite.

...and has designed the SteevRelease.

Implying that this IS "the perfect release for aerotowing". Not by any stretch of the imagination.

SteevRelease End Close-Up - Notice the Tapered Pin For Fast Action

How fast?

Granted, the Wichard spinnaker shackle is a lousy piece of hardware for this application. The gate tapers THE WRONG WAY...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aerotowrelease/8318781297/
Image

...and it's got an unfortunate notch...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aerotowrelease/8318846765/
Image

...but if you don't jump through too many hoops to get the thing to jam - the way Robin did - it's not a totally unreasonable way to slap things together.

So how much FASTER is the SteevRelease?

SteevRelease End

You're designing this mechanism around a HEAVILY SIDE LOADED PIN connected to a notoriously problematic cable/housing assembly terminating in a loop that the pilot is supposed to be able to pull with benefit of ZERO mechanical advantage. Assuming the internal workings of the mechanism are something close to frictionless you MAY still be in reasonable shape - but I doubt it.

There is NOTHING comparable I know of in any aviation, skydiving, or sailboat hardware - all of which is based upon simple machine principles - lever, pulley, inclined plane.

I fly at 320 pounds and use a weak link which limits me to about 473 pounds of towline tension - a bit under one and a half Gs. It'll load that release to 272 pounds.

The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, Inc.
Standard Operating Procedure
12. Rating System
02. Pilot Proficiency System
10. Hang Gliding Aerotow Ratings
-B. Aero Vehicle Requirements

06. A release must be placed at the hang glider end of the tow line within easy reach of the pilot. This release shall be operational with zero tow line force up to twice the rated breaking strength of the weak link.

Forget twice weak link. How hard have I gotta pull on that loop to blow the release when it's feeling 272 pounds?

Steve Younger

While we're looking at the Dragonfly...

The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, Inc.
Standard Operating Procedure
12. Rating System
02. Pilot Proficiency System
10. Hang Gliding Aerotow Ratings
-B. Aero Vehicle Requirements

05. A weak link must be placed at both ends of the tow line. The weak link at the glider end must have a breaking strength that will break before the towline tension exceeds twice the weight of the hang glider pilot and glider combination. The weak link at the tow plane end of the towline should break with a towline tension approximately 100 lbs. greater than the glider end.

1. What are you using for weak link(s) on the on the front end and where is (are) it (they) installed?
2. If I fly at one and a half Gs you're gonna keep the rope, right?

The SteevRelease was designed to be an integral part of a three point Aero tow bridle and was not designed to be used in a two point (Pro Tow) or as a single point tow release.

1. There's no such thing as a three point aerotow bridle. There's a two point bridle which splits the load between the pilot and glider and a one point bridle - both ends of which go to the pilot - which connects to either the tow ring or the bottom of the two point bridle.

2. There's no such thing as "Pro Tow". There's two point and safety compromised towing.

The mounting and location of this release should be determined by your glider manufacturer or there...

Their. Or, if you wanna go all the way and do it right - its (singular).

...representative.

If it were done right the glider would come from the manufacturer with the location and mounting already taken care of and you wouldn't need to be dealing with some idiot representative.

The SteevRelease is designed to be easily attached to or removed from your glider for ease of storage and to prevent accidental damage during transport.

Notice that sailplane release and hang glider VG systems don't need to be easily attached to or removed from the glider for ease of storage and to prevent accidental damage during transport.

Release End

Wild guess... 130 pound Greenspot? Is there some skinny fourteen-year-old kid standing in line? Do you also tow adults?

The cable of your SteevRelease is routed back along the keel and down the down tubes anchoring to the down tubes using the supplied Velcro straps.

Instead of inside the tubing and out of the airflow like they do in REAL aviation.

It is important at this point to insure that your harness straps are not going to interfere with the cable or its operation.

Which wouldn't be an issue if the job were done right the way it is in REAL aviation.

It may be necessary to route the cable around the outside of the control frame.

Which wouldn't be an issue if the job were done right the way it is in REAL aviation.

The activation handle is mounted to the base tube using the supplied velcro straps and then anchored by the tether to the corner bracket of your control frame.

You haven't shown us before or previously mentioned the tether.

Finally make sure that the release and cables are unobstructed in any position possible during tow and that there is no tension on the activation cable at any time.

Which wouldn't be an issue if the job were done right the way it is in REAL aviation.

I'm looking at the last couple of photos and I'm not seeing any wheels, Steve. Is that 'cause the SteevRelease makes it difficult, problematic, or impossible to install a good - or not so good - pair of wheels on the basetube?

I can think of a couple of good ways to break your freakin' neck towing hang gliders. One of them is to put the release lever on the downtube and another is to take the wheels off the basetube. And if your release configuration is encouraging or forcing people to take the wheels off - which it is - it's hard to make a case that you're making towing better and safer.

Those photos themselves are sending a dangerous message to people who really suck at threat assessment anyway.

(I'm also seeing those dolly brackets spaced a lot closer together that they should be.)

Especially since there are no wheels... Is it a great idea to have your hand inside a loop?

Tom Bushell - 1985/10
Nova Scotia

We recently had an unfortunate towing accident in which a student pilot dislocated her elbow. On her third tow flight she neglected to flare on landing. The wheels dug into rough ground and she swung through. The wrist release line pulled tight and caused the dislocation.

I see a little red ball on the end of the lanyard in the earlier photos - which looks like a MUCH better idea - but you're not saying anything about it and we're getting conflicting information.

ALL two point release systems require secondary releases at the bottom 'cause one can never be sure that the bridle's gonna clear the tow ring. There's a limited value in putting effort into designing a primary release system when your secondary is crap. And from what I can see of that secondary configuration in that low resolution last photo - it's crap.

If the pilot's life is dependent upon blowing tow with both hands on the basetube - which is the foundation of your primary design - he's one bridle wrap away from being dead anyway.

And if that secondary assembly is anything like damn near everything else I've ever seen at any idiot flight park there's no guarantee that the pilot's gonna even be able to get off AT ALL without the luxury of a hook knife and lotsa time.

Let's say in that photo you've got a loop of 130 pound Greenspot on your right shoulder and a Bailey release - with no weak link on your left. Your primary bridle wraps, your secondary weak link blows, your secondary bridle doesn't make in through the eye of the primary, and all the tow tension is going to the Bailey. Assuming you're still alive at this point, are you gonna be able to let go of the basetube and pull the barrel back while the lockout is accelerating? Have you ever tested the Bailey under load?

The SteeveRelease should offer you many years of problem free towing.

1. There's an extra "e" in SteevRelease this time.

2. Not in anybody's wildest dreams. There never has been and never will be any such thing as problem free hang glider towing.

A hang glider has mediocre control authority to begin with and when you hook it up to something it becomes dangerously roll unstable. You can be the best pilot with the fastest reflexes in the world using the best equipment and best tow driver and be on your ear before you can BLINK.

Whenever you're on the back end of a rope your life can become instantly dependent upon what the guy - and the equipment - on the other end does - or doesn't - do. Front end weak links blow, towlines fail, and drivers dump tension. All of those things HAVE killed glider pilots. Engines and propeller shaft sleeve bearings seize and propellers spin off. Those sorts of things CAN kill glider pilots just as effectively.

I watched a fuel tank go through a trike propeller on the day of my first aerotow. Very few drivers know what they're doing and some have problems. The guy who lost that fuel tank - who DID know what he was doing - later died of a heart attack while doing loops in a trike. Two people I've towed with have committed suicide - one, the designer of a successful tug - after first blowing away the girlfriend.

So let's make the equipment and training as good as possible and put streamers down the runway. But let's not ever expect trouble free towing - especially during that first couple of hundred feet.

However due to the infinite number of glider configurations possible installations and routings SteevRelease, any employees or representative can not be held responsible for a poorly installed or maintained system.

1. That sentence needs some work. Maybe an "and" between "configurations" and "possible".
2. Infinite? You're talking about three tubes making up a control frame and another serving as the keel. This ain't rocket science.

PLEASE SEEK THE ADVISE OF A PROFESSIONAL WHEN INSTALLING ANY NEW TOW SYSTEM

Right. You can trust any of these people as long as they run flight parks and/or fly tugs. No way they'd ever get anything wrong enough to kill anyone - more than once a year or so anyway. ("ADVICE" by the way.)

Summary...

There is no indication whatsoever that this release has been load tested even to the limit of the pathetic loop of 130 Greenspot that idiots the world over believe to put all solo gliders at precisely the 1.0 Gs that idiots the world over believe to be the ideal rating for an aerotow weak link.

Just looking at it I would be astounded if it had a fraction of the capacity of the panic snap based release I purchased from Bill Moyes twenty years ago for thirty-five bucks and I would strongly advise that it not be used until there's been published some performance data which proves my assessment wrong.
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Re: Releases

PostPosted by Tad Eareckson » 2011/02/17 20:37:53 UTC

Tad - 2011/02/15 23:38:52

And then yesterday morning I get a note from Joe Street, an Ontario AT park operator who's one of my supporters (probably catalyzed by the Tracy gutting). Sends me some photos of a cable lanyard two point release that he's developed. It's just a simple straight pin barrel release on the end of a wire. It's freaking MAGNIFICENT!!! It's cable - which I hate - but until we can get the manufacturers to do it right it's the best thing that's ever happened to two point aero. Said I'd endorse them unreservedly.

Says he can punch them out for - wait for it - TWENTY BUCKS!!!

I ask him what's on the other end of the cable. He says "Monkey's Fist." I ask, "Are you a sailor?" Bull's-eye. His entire childhood.

Zack C - 2011/02/16 04:46:59

Good to see there's an AT park operator that supports you. I think these are the kinds of people that can really make an impact (too bad about Matt...). Has he load tested his release?

Tad - 2011/02/16 12:02:03

I can easily release this with fingertips when loaded with 300 pounds.

It's just one of my barrel releases on a wire so I've tested the hell out of the core mechanism. You're gonna lose a little performance with the cable but he uses a stainless barrel and I'd guess that that would give a bit of it back.

If you did a 250 pound weak link at the top of your bridle you'd hafta pull about twelve and a quarter pounds plus cable resistance. 25 is generally recognized as maximum allowable.

When I first heard about Matt's new release coming out I was prepared to like it. When I first got a grainy glimpse of it I thought - and said publicly - what an overbuilt piece of junk and predicted its performance would suck. I was wrong about its performance - which actually seems pretty damn good - but it's still an overbuilt piece of junk. Everybody hates complexity when it's designed in by an individual for a reason but adores it when it comes from a flight park and serves no purpose and degrades performance and reliability.

I hope you'll get a half dozen of these things so's you, John Moody, and possibly Gregg can start getting them into circulation at Columbus. That video of you and your spinnaker shackle over Lookout and the GT Release owner's manual should make a pretty good advertisements.

Zack C - 2011/02/17 05:21:46

But if the problems I was having were caused by the cable, won't Joe's release be just as vulnerable to that sort of thing? How is his release activated, anyway...base tube loop? Has he started selling them?

I told him I thought the cable was the weak link of his system and suggested a way of modifying it to be a stand-alone mechanism so it could be rigged like mine.

But unless you wanna do a little bit of work on your glider - which isn't that big a deal and something I'd be happy to help you with - you're gonna be stuck with cable.

On my tests I can use one pound of pull to blow an average of 16.14 pounds at the spinnaker shackle. The figure for the barrel release is 20.38 and, assuming you don't abuse the cable, there's nothing to wear out or degrade so that end is gonna stay 20.38. I wouldn't worry about me flying it, I wouldn't worry about you flying it. And as problematic as the spinnaker shackle is and as creative as people get we don't see all that much death and destruction associated with it.

He's got a Monkey's Fist on the other end of the cable. It's a knot which forms a ball on the end of a line. Same principle as I use with my little rubber button. Something to pull on, nothing to trap your hand.

I'm pretty sure he'll sell them and, if not, I doubt he'd mind somebody else ripping off his design and making it available.
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Re: Releases

PostPosted by Zack C » 2011/02/18 01:36:57 UTC

Tad Eareckson wrote:If you start at my left shoulder and go through the tow ring up to my primary release it's fabric to metal to fabric to metal to fabric to metal to fabric to metal to fabric to metal.

What about your right shoulder? :mrgreen: I don't really grasp why string-on-string is so terrible (other than abrasion) so I don't know why it's OK in release design (like your four-string or my three-string).

Tad Eareckson wrote:So how come you weren't getting nervous enough to start thinking about some of the reasons I posted that and maybe reconfiguring?

Don't remember what I was thinking then, but after you did see my setup and we discussed it I started putting a weak link at the release end of the secondary bridle. But we were discussing attaching weak links to harness loops, and my point was that even after you saw my setup and pointed out its dangers you didn't mention the weak-link-on-tow-loop thing.

Tad Eareckson wrote:You shouldn't hafta feel and/or behave like a criminal for towing half a G UNDER the max specified in the USHGA SOPs.

Shouldn't, maybe, but if I wanna fly at Wallaby, Malcolm's got his own rules.

Tad Eareckson wrote:"Short Bridle Link" is a bit redundant...

Just pointing out that it addresses the issue of my current secondary being too long.

I'm guessing the picture you posted is of your lanyard-activated spinnaker release. Do you have any documentation on it? I couldn't find any. I get the gist of what I'm looking at in the picture, but where does the lanyard go from there? Looks like something I'd manage to screw up, but I'm still curious.

Also curious about a few things you said about spinnaker shackles:

Tad Eareckson (mousetraps) wrote:It does not, however, perform well as a release under loads much in excess of those limited by hang glider range weak links.

What kind of force specifically are we talking about, and how does the release fail to perform well under it? I've never heard of anyone load testing spinnaker releases and am interested in knowing their capacity.

Tad Eareckson (mousetraps) wrote:[Weak link s]trength diminishes with the wear of use, particularly the substantial damage virtually guaranteed as a result of spinnaker shackle actuation, thus mandating frequent inspection and replacement.

Are you saying that filing the shackle will prevent this virtually guaranteed damage and the need to replace weak links?

Zack
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Re: Releases

PostPosted by Tad Eareckson » 2011/02/18 16:55:54 UTC

What about your right shoulder? I don't really grasp why string-on-string is so terrible (other than abrasion) so I don't know why it's OK in release design (like your four-string or my three-string).

I don't, as a rule, like multi-string releases.

To jack up their high end performance you add more strings and butcher the slack line performance.

If I were gonna truck tow I'd have - and recommend that you use - barrel releases at the hips. A barrel release with that particular pin performs beautifully from near zero to over 350 pounds direct loading. It actually should go to over 500 but you start distorting the pin as you start getting ridiculous and engaging line thick enough to take it.

Multi-string releases abrade and burn when triggered. Barrel releases last forever when used and triggered under normal towline tensions.

If you're flying one point the stuff coming off your right shoulder is triggered ONLY in the event of a low level lockout emergency. If you're flying two it's triggered ONLY in the event of a low level lockout emergency FOLLOWING a primary bridle wrap AND a failure of the secondary weak link to blow.

A one point pilot is gonna trigger this thing a little more frequently than he hits his silk. A two pointer is gonna get killed by a meteorite before he's gonna need it.

If it doesn't get triggered there's no relative movement between string elements and components and nothing gets abraded.

But we were discussing attaching weak links to harness loops, and my point was that even after you saw my setup and pointed out its dangers you didn't mention the weak-link-on-tow-loop thing.

You had several better ways of killing yourself on that configuration and we needed a major overhaul anyway.

Shouldn't, maybe, but if I wanna fly at Wallaby, Malcolm's got his own rules.

Yeah. Which is why I started this jihad which got my blacklisted from every flight park in the country. We need sane regulations like they have in sailplaning so that people like Malcolm, Matt, Tracy, and Adam can lose their tickets for inventing their own versions of physics and violating them.

Just pointing out that it addresses the issue of my current secondary being too long.

Yeah, I know.

I'm guessing the picture you posted is of your lanyard-activated spinnaker release. Do you have any documentation on it? I couldn't find any.

Whenever I make an advancement which eliminates one or two ways to kill yourself I eliminate the documentation on how to do things half-assed.

My current system is IDENTICAL to what the spinnaker shackle version was 'cept with the core mechanism - the Remote Barrel Release - swapped in where the spinnaker shackle used to be.

My Aerotow Release System photo set is virtually all state of the art stuff.

The Cache set is a hodgepodge of reasonably well organized miscellany and superseded designs. There's plenty of stuff on the spinnaker shackle configuration in there.

Looks like something I'd manage to screw up, but I'm still curious.

We're pretty much talking about drilling a hole in the top of your left downtube. If you can do that there isn't a whole helluva lot left to screw up. And you can go from a dirty system which has virtually no chance of failure to a clean one which has ZERO chance.

What kind of force specifically are we talking about, and how does the release fail to perform well under it? I've never heard of anyone load testing spinnaker releases and am interested in knowing their capacity.

The Wichard 2673 spinnaker shackle comes - and is designed to be used - with a leechline lanyard routed over the spring loaded latch:

http://www.fisheriessupply.com/productgroupdetail.aspx?cid=141446&keywords=Wichard
Image

to give you a two to one mechanical advantage when you yank it.

The Safe Working Load of that sucker is 1100 kilograms. Until several years ago I ASSUMED that meant you could blow it at that loading. Good freakin' luck. It means it'll hold that when the sail's loaded and you're hauling ass downwind. It's not designed to be released under much more load than a tandem glider might give it with a reasonable weak link.

I tested one under a range of loadings up to 300 pounds minus the two to one lanyard. Took an even fifteen to blow it at that figure. And the way I have (had) it configured on the glider you've got the two to one advantage restored by means of the pulley system.

Are you saying that filing the shackle will prevent this virtually guaranteed damage and the need to replace weak links?

No. There can be a bit of sharp edge on the faces of the rivet which serves as the hinge pin. VERY CAREFULLY - so as not to mar the surface of that beautiful piece of hardware - you can use a fine file to deburr it to remove that threat to your weak link. I think I may have taken a few light strokes around the notch at the end of the gate but you're not gonna make in real weak link friendly. It's just not designed for what we're trying to do.
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Re: Releases

PostPosted by Tad Eareckson » 2011/02/21 20:30:09 UTC

A very sad day for one who has dedicated so much of his life reviewing tow release systems and equipment.

Two weeks ago after 143 posts and with about 4500 hits Davis blocked Mike Lake from posting and immediately thereafter locked down his own:

What can be learned from this "scooter" towing accident?

thread out of fear that people actually WERE learning things from this 2011/01/15 scooter towing "accident" in which Shane Smith was killed using either the kind of shit AT release assembly for which Davis gouges weak minded pilots or, hopefully, the ACTUAL shit AT release assembly for which Davis gouges weak minded pilots.

I had checked out the Oz Report store a bit prior to the lockdown and written my review based upon the release and bridle advertisement in hopes that Mike might find some inspiration for a few more really embarrassing questions.

Despite the fact that Davis commanded his legions of zombies to pay no attention to that man behind the curtain and discuss competition crosswind leg strategies and hang gliding cufflinks, interest persisted and, while slowly fading back to Page 3, the topic picked up - to date - an additional nine hundred hits.

Today I went back to the store to verify that he actually was getting people to pay forty bucks a pop for three and a half bucks of material, fifty cents of labor, and way less than nothing in the way of engineering skills.

All gone, nothing but books describing competition crosswind leg strategies, T-shirts, coffee mugs, and mousepads. No digital evidence that the famous Davis "Pro tow Mini Barrel Release and Bridle" ever even existed.

Now I know exactly how Garry Trudeau felt when Bush 43 left office.

Oh well, gawd knows how many copies of the actual Davis Pro tow Mini Barrel Release and Bridle are circulating at actual tow operations. So even if we strike out on this last one, the entertainment is probably far from over.
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Re: Releases

PostPosted by Zack C » 2011/02/22 04:12:42 UTC

Tad Eareckson wrote:What's being used at the front end at Columbus?

We're using two loops of 205 leech line, which Bill tested as breaking at over 600 lbs.

I emailed Gregg and Mick to see if they were interested in converting to Shear Links. Mick didn't respond and Gregg doesn't see a need to change anything. I'm not going to push it...Shear Links may have a narrower tolerance, but I think what we're using is fine.

Gregg said the tug release can carry a load of 3000+ lbs, but I suspect the release becomes inoperable at much less.

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Re: Releases

PostPosted by Tad Eareckson » 2011/02/23 00:02:38 UTC

We're using two loops of 205 leech line, which Bill tested as breaking at over 600 lbs.

I think I got 605 - which was a LOT higher than I was predicting.

...and Gregg doesn't see a need to change anything.

I don't really either. I can live with six hundred and don't really care all that much about tandems.

Shear Links may have a narrower tolerance, but I think what we're using is fine.

Did you read:

post109.html#p109

Gregg said the tug release can carry a load of 3000+ lbs...

Kinda like our hang straps which carry can carry six ton loads connected to gliders that break up at under one - but we back them up just in case.

...but I suspect the release becomes inoperable at much less.

Yeah. Like the spinnaker shackle. Everybody knows what it holds, nobody knows what it lets go. Nobody knows anything about the only thing that really matters. And the fact that Gregg didn't give you that figure suggests to me that he has no clue.

And as Chairman of the Towing Committee he's presiding over the SOPs which require that the release be operable at twice weak link. Ask him how it performs at twelve hundred.

...

Seems the "Pro tow Mini Barrel Release and Bridle" never was taken down from the Oz Report store - just moved to a category entitled "Oz Report's Useful Goodies". Might as well have buried it under a Nile Crocodile nest next to an African Bee colony.

Oh well, the GOOD news is that now I've got the photos on my hard drive. Shoulda thought of that before.
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Re: Releases

PostPosted by Tad Eareckson » 2011/03/03 20:56:42 UTC

Regarding:

http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=23053
Brainstorming a reverse the pro-tow release

Antoine,

Your intentions are admirable but everything you're doing - from the equipment you're starting out with through the way you're attempting to employ it to the consultation of total idiots on the intellectually castrated fora in which you're participating - points to certifiable insanity.

You're trying to develop a one point aerotow release system which will safely work under normal to full tension as well as zero tension. What you have will do neither.

Go to my photo site:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aerotowrelease/sets/72057594141352219/detail/

Secondary Bridle Assembly

You launch with the end of the string in your teeth.

If you're in an emergency situation and, unimaginably, you need to control the glider with BOTH hands AND release... Pull the string with your teeth and let it go. End of problem.

If some moron like Jim dumps the towline on you deliberately with his release lever or negligently with his piece o' crap fuzzy weak link... Pull the string with your teeth and let it go while punching the bridle with one hand. End of problem.

As a matter of fact that particular solution to both of these problems was available six years ago when Steve Kinsley first implemented the design - but people like Steve Wendt, Davis, Jack Axaopoulos, Ryan Voight, and Jim Rooney made sure it never got off the ground in any appreciable numbers.
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Tad Eareckson
 
Posts: 7766
Joined: 2010/11/25 03:48:55 UTC

Re: Releases

PostPosted by Tad Eareckson » 2011/03/10 19:41:51 UTC

Mike Lake - 2011/03/10 00:50:25 UTC

A knot came undone on the belly cord so all the load was suddenly transferred to the keel. THE KEEL FAILED and the pilot was killed.

Marco Vento - 2010/10/17

Re: SteevRelease

Hi Tad:

Long time, huh?

First of all, let me thank you for your concern, it's a nice feeling to get advices, mostly good ones :-).

We are presently using two Moyes lanyard releases for the tandem gliders but we use a Koch release as a backup (the Moyes goes attatched to the keel side and the Koch goes attatched to the pilot). I need to replace the ones in use for wear, so I figured out Steve's might be a replacement.

As you recommend, I will test them - on the ground - before puting them to use. I really feel like going 100% to the Koch releases but my partner, who is the instructor at Sobrevoar, likes the release handle on the bar, so...

It would be a dream to have built-in releases on the wings. A lot of work and mess would be spared. It's amazing the amount and type of failures that can take place!

Just an annedocte: some weeks ago, a newcomer to towing tyed his Koch release so lousely * to his harness that the release released itself from the harness, jammed against the control bar, and finally opened by itself, droping to the ground. Scary business, as Tony always says.

All the best,
Greetings from Portugal,
Vento

* WHAT A COOL WORD!!! Either/both ways it works and it pronounces right in the middle as well! I'm gonna keep it.
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Tad Eareckson
 
Posts: 7766
Joined: 2010/11/25 03:48:55 UTC

Re: Releases

PostPosted by Tad Eareckson » 2011/03/15 08:38:58 UTC

http://www.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?t=21242
Mouth Release - Where / How can I get one ???

Chad May - 2011/03/15 05:16:51
Nashville

Hi all,

Looks like I'll be towing more soon. Um, I want a mouth release.

I've scoured the internet, this forum and Oz, but haven't seen one for sale yet, or good instructions on building one either.

I would like to be able to merely open my mouth and be off tow. 'Cause I'm chicken that way.

I have a Lookout spinnaker release, but doing anything with my hands other than holding on to the basetube feels uncomfortable to me. Yes, over time, I'm sure I would get used to it, but why should I get used to it when a mouth release seems more natural to me?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!

Yeah, the shitheads who control that forum and Oz are pretty good at suppressing information about better equipment and locking down and banning people who try to make it available or even discuss it.

http://www.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?t=11497
Aerotow release options?

http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22660
What can be learned from this "scooter" towing accident?

Did you try googling:

"aerotow release"

'Cause if you did you shouldn't have had too much trouble finding me despite their efforts.

If you want to tow two point (pilot and glider) you're gonna hafta do something with one of your hands.

Ideally you'd have a button under a finger so you could use the rest of that hand to fly the glider - usually a good thing. But such a release does not exist.

If you don't mind having a bunch of crap all over the place and maybe having to lose your wheels (which is a really bad idea) you could fly with a Wallaby Release brake lever under the outboard couple of fingers. The problem with that is that they don't work half the time.

Speaking of not working and your Lookout spinnaker shackle release... Check out Zack's video of him trying to get one to function over Lookout, of all places.

http://vimeo.com/17472603

password - red

Think about that video in the context of the 2009/08/31 Roy Messing fatality nobody ever talks much about.

If you wanna replace that piece of junk with something comparable that's cheaper and a lot more likely to work then contact Joe Street in Ontario at:

racingthecloudsatgmaildotcom

If you have the inclination to roll your own...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aerotowrelease/sets/72057594141352219

Pay particular attention to:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aerotowrelease/8306300488/
Image

It DOES require you to relax your grip a bit but not surrender it and you can blow tow with just a twist - like a motorcycle throttle control. That ain't bad.

If you really want a bite controlled release you hafta tow one point (pilot/shoulders only). That involves a control/safety compromise but it makes it pretty cheap and easy to accomplish what you want to do. Two options represented in that photo set:

Secondary Bridle Assembly

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aerotowrelease/8306152861/
Image

and

Barrel Release - Remote

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aerotowrelease/8312402264/
Image

I'll be more than happy to help you with this stuff.

Casey Cox (Hangskier) - 2011/03/15 06:10:57
Eastern North Carolina

Aren't mouth releases a European thing. I remember seeing a youtube video with someone using one.

I would not want a mouth release ... It would keep me from saying "oh s***", or "this is going to hurt" if I was about to crash and burn.

Eastern European actually. The farther east you go the smarter the hang glider pilots get.

The thing is... After you say "OH SHIT!" you're off tow so you don't crash and burn and it doesn't hurt. That's the whole point.

CinCas - 2011/03/15 07:21:50
Northern California

Yeah it's more European thing. Very handy though. Especially for learning. Later it can be debatable. But it saved my ass couple of times so I'm glad I used it.
it's not too hard to make one, just lots of ^*&(* around and have to have good materials for that.

As a matter of fact I have three here in US. Two of them never used.
Post me if you're interested. will post some pics later.

Yeah, the people who insist that the more experienced pilots are better able to fly a locked out glider with one hand are always debating the people who AREN'T total morons.
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Tad Eareckson
 
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