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Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?  
User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 21
Posted (7 years 4 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 24639 times:

do they drag the banner across the runway, even on landing?

[Edited 2007-07-29 14:11:44]


The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6100 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 24852 times:

Here's a very good article that spells it all out:

http://www.flyingstart.ca/Banners/Banners.htm



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineKay From France, joined Mar 2002, 1884 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 24288 times:

A fascinating moment: when a plane plunges to catch the banner...

Kay


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31702 posts, RR: 56
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 24109 times:

Banner towing involves a procedure to detach the banner at a certain height & area prior to landing.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineGAIsweetGAI From Norway, joined Jul 2006, 934 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 24036 times:

Quoting Kay (Reply 2):
A fascinating moment: when a plane plunges to catch the banner...

Just saw one of those today-  Wow! I almost thought the A/C was going to stall about 20 feet from the ground.



"There is an art, or rather a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."
User currently offlineCptSpeaking From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 639 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 24028 times:

Oh man, banner towing is one of the coolest things in aviation to watch. I first saw the operation at PFN about a year and a half ago, and it was probably the scariest thing I had seen an airplane do until I realized what was going on! THe dive to catch the banner was incredible to watch...it made me want to try it sometime  Smile

Your CptSpeaking



...and don't call me Shirley!!
User currently offlineSfomb67 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 417 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 23925 times:

Quoting CptSpeaking (Reply 5):
Oh man, banner towing is one of the coolest things in aviation to watch

I thought the coolest, or craziest thing was watching crop dusters spray fields at night, when I was stationed at El Centro NAF. There was a guy swinging a lantern under the power lines at the end of the field, and this crop duster would swoop down and spray the field at about 10' alt and then pull up right at the lantern just missing the power lines.



Not as easy as originally perceived
User currently offlineCptSpeaking From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 639 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 23912 times:

Quoting Sfomb67 (Reply 6):

Okay...I haven't seen that personally, but it does sound very cool...now I want to see it  Smile

Your CptSpeaking



...and don't call me Shirley!!
User currently offlineSinlock From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1651 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 23874 times:

If you guys ever want to see things going full tilt, go to your local banner field on Feb 14. When I worked at HWO I was right next to the banner field. It makes a hell of a racket when all 20 banner towers are picking up a or droping a banner every 5 mins from 8:30 to about 6:00pm.


My Country can beat up your Country....
User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 23411 times:

Tow plane takes off and performs a pattern...immediately after lift off pilot throws a grapling hook out and down out of the cockpit and drags freely behind him...as he approaches the target,which consists of the banner leadline strung up between two poles, the pilot upon arriving at the immediate location of the leadline literally dives to within ten to fifteen feet of the leadline and whips the hook to snag the leadline and full throttles the engine and pulls the nose radically up about 45 degrees positive till he feels the load of the banner, the banner peels off the ground as it it laid out in reverse,(this prevents banner from dragging across the ground), if he misses the pick up he will keep trying till he snags it....after his tow is complete, he approaches the target area, slows the aircraft and levels at about 30-50 feet depending on banner size, and pulls the release lever usually located on floor left side of pilots seat, the banner floats down to the ground slowly as it has a weighted stabilizing pole in the lead end, the trailing end of banner has drogue pockets to create drag to keep it legible when flying., then free of the banner the pilot lands normally...this is a VERY HAZARDOUS job that does not pay very well...but the guys that do it and do it well are extremely talented pilots...j

User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8956 posts, RR: 60
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 23376 times:
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Those engines get wrung out, too. Imagine trying to tow a very heavy trailer behind your VW Beetle....basically running at redline and keeping it floored just to maintain speed. At slow speed. Which results in a lot less cooling airflow over the engine than normal. I'm not sure what the average TBO is for banner planes, but it would be interesting to find out.

2H4



Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 23356 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 10):

We used the same L-19 's for glider towing, just to give you an idea of engine life, we got a deal on 5 engine cores in vac tanks from japan, we are on the last one, we got them ten years ago...the most tows we did in one day was 63...j


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 23348 times:

Quoting Soon7x7 (Reply 9):
as he approaches the target,which consists of the banner leadline strung up between two poles, the pilot upon arriving at the immediate location of the leadline literally dives to within ten to fifteen feet of the leadline and whips the hook to snag the leadline and full throttles the engine and pulls the nose radically up about 45 degrees positive till he feels the load of the banner

And the poles are usually PVC sprinkler pipe, in case something should go wrong and the plane hit one  Smile

I volunteered as ground crew for my late flight instructor once, as one of his hired guns did the banner tows for a local outdoor sporting event (the Sun Bowl).

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 10):
Those engines get wrung out, too. Imagine trying to tow a very heavy trailer behind your VW Beetle....basically running at redline and keeping it floored just to maintain speed. At slow speed. Which results in a lot less cooling airflow over the engine than normal.

My old flight instructor could maintain 75-80 knots in his 172L with the largest banner he regularly towed (it was a custom-made banner for a local grocery store chain that's now out of business). Of couse, his 172 had the Air Plains 180 HP STC (amongst others  Wink ), which replaces the factory O-320 with a Lycoming O-360-A1A.

You would have loved this 172, 2H4. I think it had to officially qualify as the least factory 172 in existence. Amongst the STC's I can think of off the top of my head that were applied: The Air Plains 172-180 mod, Horton STOL craft kit with full gap seals, banner tow hook (don't know who made that one), larger main tires for back country airstrips, etc. etc. Big grin



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineAerLingus747 From Ireland, joined Apr 2006, 223 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 23302 times:

Here are a few videos.



User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 23258 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 12):

One day I was literally climbing into the glider as across the runway on the opposing grass area,Delta grass, we were in alpha grass, the baner plane was inbound to make the drop and he had one of those huge billboard banners, well that billboard snaged a runway sign while still connected to the towplane and the freakiest thing I ever witnessed, the rope did NOT brake and the towplane STOPPED IN MID AIR and pankaded perfectly vertically down, like in slow motion...the wing struts fractured both sides and the cockpit was being painted both sides by leaking 100 octane...I jumped out of the glider with my handheld and told the tower I was on foot across the active rumway to pull the pilot out as he wasn't moving...got him out , he was dazed, nothing broken, slice on forehead...no fire... the pilot was only a kid...he was flying by the end of the day in some other towplane. He said he didn't think the banner was dragging on the ground till...Bang!...he had no time to pull the release....j


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (7 years 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 23250 times:

Quoting Soon7x7 (Reply 14):
One day I was literally climbing into the glider as across the runway on the opposing grass area,Delta grass, we were in alpha grass, the baner plane was inbound to make the drop and he had one of those huge billboard banners, well that billboard snaged a runway sign while still connected to the towplane and the freakiest thing I ever witnessed, the rope did NOT brake and the towplane STOPPED IN MID AIR and pankaded perfectly vertically down, like in slow motion...the wing struts fractured both sides and the cockpit was being painted both sides by leaking 100 octane

It's not supposed to happen that way, there's a link in the rope that is supposed to break first  no 

Sounds like that qualifies as an NTSB 830 reportable incident  Smile



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 23136 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 15):

You're correct, both glider tow ropes and banner tow ropes have weak links at both ends,but the tow plane was flying so slow, I guess the banner stretched and took the load, the plane just stopped forward motion and sank to the ground like a chopper...tell you...the strangest looking thing I've seen yet...This happened in class delta airport, reports were filed, but this pilot was back in the air in the afternoon....I would have thought he would be grounded pending an investigation...j


User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 23117 times:

What a trooper! There's some dangerous stuff associated with flying banners, I did it for awhile and I sure don't miss it....but it brings out the thrillseeker in anyone willing to dance with it.

DeltaGuy


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31702 posts, RR: 56
Reply 18, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 22907 times:

Quoting Soon7x7 (Reply 16):
both glider tow ropes and banner tow ropes have weak links at both ends

Are these like shear joints.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineFlipdewaf From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2006, 1578 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 22896 times:
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Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 1):

Thanks gosldenshield this picture really maade my day.

http://www.flyingstart.ca/Banners/TowplaneWithHook.GIF

Fred


User currently offlineRwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2392 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 22893 times:
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Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 18):
Are these like shear joints.

No, usually just lengths of rope of (semi-)carefully selected breaking strength. Sometimes it's several loops of a weaker rope - the hangglider/paraglider folks are fond of that. Usually you have a ring braided into each end of the tow rope and each end of the weak links,

There *are* manufactured metal weak links (TOST makes some), but their usage, in the U.S. at least, is rare. These are a bone shaped plate with a hole in each end that you attach the shackles to. They're machined so that (one of) the shackles breaks free at the design breaking point. You select the right plate (or sometime pair of plates) to get the strength you want. TOST's are even color coded.

Typically for glider aerotow, the weak links are between 80 and 200% of the weight of the glider being towed. And the towplane end has to be stronger (but not more than 25% stronger) than the glider end. Note: U.S. Rules: others vary a bit. Usually that's a big enough range to cover most gliders, but on rare occasion you need a stronger or weaker weak link.

Tow ropes take a beating from being dragged on the ground, so it's useful to make them substantially overstrength for reliability and durability.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31702 posts, RR: 56
Reply 21, posted (7 years 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 22779 times:

Quoting Rwessel (Reply 20):
Tow ropes take a beating from being dragged on the ground

This I presume is during the T/O run only.As the banner is detached prior to landing.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineRwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2392 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (7 years 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 22627 times:
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Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 21):
This I presume is during the T/O run only.As the banner is detached prior to landing.

For gliders it's actually on landing only. During takeoff, the tension pretty much keeps the rope out of the grass. On landing, the tow plane is dragging the tow rope. And then usually continues to drag it while taxing to the next glider in line.

Of course the line-persons are rarely very careful during hookups and what not, but their handling, and the tension take-up maneuver before takeoff net only a modest amount of dragging, and at rather low speed.

I don't know much about banner towing.


User currently offlineSoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 22591 times:



Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 21):

negative, the banner is layed out in the reverse direction of it's intended travel as the banner is peeled off the ground after a sucessful snag has been made...line does not drag on the ground...but Rwessel is correct, the glider towline gets nailed upon towplanes return, sometimes snags runway lights.Airport loves when you get to buy them new light fixtures...j


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (7 years 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 22564 times:



Quoting Soon7x7 (Reply 23):
negative, the banner is layed out in the reverse direction of it's intended travel as the banner is peeled off the ground after a sucessful snag has been made...line does not drag on the ground

 checkmark 

As I recall, in banner tow ops, the tow rope is rigged properly into the tow mechanism on the tail of the aircraft, and then the rope is run forward (on the exterior of the aircraft) back into the cabin. The takeoff is usually perfromed with the slack rope inside the aircraft, and the grappling hook hanging from the window frame (with the pilot's side window opened). The pilot throws the grappling hook overboard before making the first pass to snag the banner, which then runs out all the slack line.



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
25 2H4 : So, many of us here have had some level of experience either viewing or partaking in banner towing. In all those years, and all those flights, what wa
26 Post contains images KELPkid : Well, my late flight instructor's local competitor in the banner tow business used a Cherokee 160...I would think that would be knuckleheaded for all
27 Post contains links and images 2H4 : Indeed....here's a similar example: View Large View Medium Photo © Luis Rosa And here, a C-47 demonstrates its banner-towing capability with a runwa
28 DeltaGuy : Saw a 210 doing it, it just seemed like it was too overpowered for the job...not to mention the retractable gear just added another facet to the oper
29 L-188 : A lot of tow aircraft, glider and banner have been modified with larger then stock motors. I think it is a bit easier to get that by the FAA since th
30 2H4 : Wow....good story. 2H4
31 HAWK21M : Out here Regulations insist that Banner has to be detached prior to landing. regds MEL
32 Goldenshield : He was talking about gliders, but you're right; that is the general rule for banner tows.
33 HaveBlue : Here in Daytona Beach banner planes are an everyday sight. Up and down the beach and over the Speedway for races and over the entire area for Bike Wee
34 Post contains images 2H4 : I did my initial flight training in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was always fun to fly on game days....you could spot the city from quite far away. Just l
35 Soon7x7 : That is how I entered the thread ,explaining the same method, after take off ,the pilot yaws the tail and tosses hook out of cockpit...same thing...j
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