lehpron
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Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:10 pm

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

[Edited 2007-07-29 14:11:44]
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Goldenshield
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:21 pm

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

http://www.flyingstart.ca/Banners/Banners.htm
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Kay
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:45 pm

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

Kay
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 5:55 pm

Banner towing involves a procedure to detach the banner at a certain height & area prior to landing.
regds
MEL
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GAIsweetGAI
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Sat Aug 04, 2007 3:20 am

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."
 
cptspeaking
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Sat Aug 04, 2007 3:46 am

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
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SFOMB67
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Sat Aug 04, 2007 2:03 pm

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
 
cptspeaking
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Sat Aug 04, 2007 2:46 pm

Quoting Sfomb67 (Reply 6):

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

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Sinlock
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Sat Aug 04, 2007 11:11 pm

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.
 
soon7x7
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:02 pm

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
 
2H4
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:54 pm

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
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soon7x7
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:15 pm

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
 
KELPkid
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:35 pm

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
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aerlingus747
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:46 pm

Here are a few videos.

 
soon7x7
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:48 am

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
 
KELPkid
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:01 am

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
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soon7x7
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:12 pm

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
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:59 pm

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
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HAWK21M
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Sat Nov 10, 2007 8:04 am

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
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flipdewaf
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:33 am

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 1):

Thanks gosldenshield this picture really maade my day.

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

Fred
Image
 
rwessel
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:52 am

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.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:00 am

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
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rwessel
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Tue Nov 13, 2007 7:46 am



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.
 
soon7x7
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:16 pm



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
 
KELPkid
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:56 pm



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.
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2H4
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:02 pm

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 was the least suited aircraft you've ever seen towing banners?

In all this time, have any knuckleheads tried using Bonanzas or Mooneys, or has common sense prevailed throughout the history of banner towing?

2H4
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KELPkid
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:53 pm



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 25):
In all this time, have any knuckleheads tried using Bonanzas or Mooneys

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 the reasons that a Bonanza or Mooney would  Smile
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2H4
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o

Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:30 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 26):
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 the reasons that a Bonanza or Mooney would

Indeed....here's a similar example:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Luis Rosa




And here, a C-47 demonstrates its banner-towing capability with a runway 'X' that it snagged:



Not quite the same thing, but close....


...we'll just ignore helicopters altogether:




And finally, a couple of shots showing banner pick-ups:


MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Rubén Valero - Iberian Spotters


MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Eduardo Moreau



2H4

[Edited 2007-11-13 14:58:07]
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DeltaGuy
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 1:50 am



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 25):
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 was the least suited aircraft you've ever seen towing banners?

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 operation, IMHO. Keep it simple with banners.

We had a POS old white cub that was falling apart, I think it was made of raw loose pieces as it had duct tape all over it. I never flew it as I was in the 172....at least with the cub you're nice and slow, in the 172 you're having to keep it fairly slow, especially with some of the larger sponsorship banners we had.

DeltaGuy
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L-188
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 4:57 am



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. I'm not sure what the average TBO is for banner planes, but it would be interesting to find out.

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 they fly under the "Restricted" rules.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 27):
And here, a C-47 demonstrates its banner-towing capability with a runway 'X' that it snagged

Thats nothing.

As you know the C-47 was the perfered tow-horse for the CG-4 glider. During WWII the Army was working on a method to recover these gliders from fields after an invasion. So they where working on having the C-47 overly the glider and then snag the towline to drag it out of these fields. They where in the middle of this project when somebody started noticing that the C-47's where popping rivets, which is a vary unusual occurance in that stout airframe. Finally somebody took a tape measure to these airplanes and discovered that during the course of these glider, "Snatch" tests they had stretched the aircraft a full foot longer then when it had leave Donald Douglas's house.
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2H4
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:22 am



Quoting L-188 (Reply 29):
Thats nothing.

Wow....good story.

2H4
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HAWK21M
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:59 am



Quoting Soon7x7 (Reply 23):
the glider towline gets nailed upon towplanes return, sometimes snags runway lights.Airport loves when you get to buy them new light fixtures...j

Out here Regulations insist that Banner has to be detached prior to landing.
regds
MEL
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Goldenshield
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:52 am



Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 31):
Out here Regulations insist that Banner has to be detached prior to landing.

He was talking about gliders, but you're right; that is the general rule for banner tows.
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HaveBlue
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:14 pm

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 Week. Most of the banner towers are standard fare, but the one that always struck me as peculiar was the Bell Jet Ranger 206's they had towing banners. And these banners were HUGE, as tall as they were long. In one of the official NASCAR aerial shots of the Daytona Speedway I have (my buddies company did them) you can actually see, if you look very very closely, the 2 Jet Rangers and thier banners in the photo.
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2H4
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o

Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:54 pm



Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 33):
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 Week.

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 look for the swarm of banner towers directly above the stadium.

 airplane --------------[Suck it Ohio State]

2H4
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soon7x7
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RE: Planes That Drag Huge Banners, How Do They T/o?

Sun Nov 18, 2007 3:15 pm



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 24):

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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