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Planes Towing Banners

Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:42 pm

How do the planes that you often see at the beach take off, land, and taxi with the banners that they pull?
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RE: Planes Towing Banners

Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:44 pm

i vaugly remember from a birthday party at HWO years back seeing a plane do a touch and go, picking up the banner....but don't quote me on it!
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RE: Planes Towing Banners

Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:46 pm

They don't taxi, takeoff or land with them attached. After takeoff they do a flyby to grab the banner. Before landing, the do another flyby and drop the banner and then come around and land.
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RE: Planes Towing Banners

Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:50 pm

so, am I right or wrong?
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RE: Planes Towing Banners

Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:58 pm

Looks like you're right. I've heard these guy's jobs are extremely dangerous...
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RE: Planes Towing Banners

Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:03 pm

The bar that the banner is attached to has small wheels on each end. The cable is played out along the runway and attached to the aircraft in a suitable location. Take off is steep to 'snatch' the banner quickly off the runway. One end of the bar is heavier the other, obviously.

Drop off occurs at a location where there is little chance of damage to anything on the ground. You just fly over the area and release. The banner drops harmlessly to the ground.

That is the method my squadron used in the Navy to pull target banners anyway.
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RE: Planes Towing Banners

Thu Feb 12, 2004 2:26 pm


If you give me your email, I can send you a short video I took while at the airport I fly at, Wilgrove Airport (8A6), of a Piper Cub picking up the banner. The file is 6.41MB. But here they do exactly what 7574EVER said.

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RE: Planes Towing Banners

Thu Feb 12, 2004 3:09 pm

What is a banner? I know that this probably sounds stupid but i have the slightest idea.

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RE: Planes Towing Banners

Thu Feb 12, 2004 3:22 pm

i worked as a banner ground crew member two summers ago. it was lots of fun. i actually built the banners, and set them up for the pilots to pick up. what they did was takeoff as normal, then swing back around to an open field we used...they dove down and snagged the banners (on long cords that we set up on posts about five feet off the ground) on hooks that hung down from the plane. it's pretty spectacular to watch, but also very dangerous at times. i was in the air one day doing some landings when one of the planes clipped the ground and cartwheeled. feel free to ask if you have any more questions, or need some clarification.

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RE: Planes Towing Banners

Thu Feb 12, 2004 3:25 pm

heres the only shot i could find of a plane right after it would have picked the banner up

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Photo © Chris Barrow

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RE: Planes Towing Banners

Thu Feb 12, 2004 4:05 pm

A banner is kind of an advertising billboard (but a flying one)
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RE: Planes Towing Banners

Fri Feb 13, 2004 3:07 am

I use to see Cubs running banners all day long when I worked at HWO. I'll use what was done at the grass field HWO as a reference. (The runways aren't used there)

On the Cub there is a cable that's about 60ft long that it attached to a hard point by the tail wheel. At the end of the cable there is a simple 3 prong grappling hook that weighs about 10 lbs.

1. The aircraft the will enter the Pattern at about 600-800ft.

2. When the aircraft is lined up with the banner on the ground the throttle is cut and the aircraft will enter a steep dive at about 30-40degs.

3. At about 100ft the Pilot pulls the stick back hard and goes full throttle.

4. By the time the aircraft it at a positive rate of climb, it sunk to about 50ft and the nose is about 15degs past the horizon.

4a. At the same time the Hook swings to the ground, and if the timing was right should hook the towcable on the banner.

5. The pilot keeps the throttle at full and pulls the nose to about 25degs and keeps climbing.

6. At about 200ft the banner (if caught) will lift off the ground and the Cub will go fly it's route.

When droping off the banner the aircraft enters the pattern at about 500ft enters a shallow dive at 20degs, The cable attached to the aircraft is released at about 30-50ft.

The Cub will then land and attach a new cable and takeoff and do it all again.
Some Cubs can carry 1 or 2 extra cables so landing is not needed but it's not common.

On last Feb 14 at HWO there were 7 Cubs flying banners from 8:00am to 6:00pm, With a banner being picked up about every 10mins. We figured they flew around 200 banners. (On a average day 2-3 Cubs will only fly about 35) The Ft Lauderdale Air&Sea Show is a busy week also.

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