article 2b. revision date 15.02.07

Glider Aerotow Launch Method

This method of launching a glider is accomplished by attaching a strong cable between the glider and a light aircraft.

The glider is towed aloft by the light aircraft climbing to the chosen height above ground level. When the attached pair of aircraft reach the desired height and location the pilots communicate their intention to separate. At this point the glider pilot releases the cable and is set free to glide without engine power eventually descending and making way back to the airfield.

  • Advantages
    • This type of launch can achieve greater height than it's winch launch alternative, therefore, longer flights are generally achieved.
    • Gliders can be towed to locations a short distance away from the airfield to take advantage of natural thermal creating ground features.
  • Disadvantages
    • Due to the additional cost of the light aircraft tow these flights are generally more expensive than the winch launch method.