Towing is one of the three ways that a glider aircraft can be launched, the other two being self-launch (with an onboard engine), or stating from a slope as typically practiced by hanggliders.
There are two main towing types:
- Ground-based towing, this includes
- The widely practiced winch launch
- Auto-tow, being towed by a driving car
- Bungee launch, where the aircraft is accelerated using a flexible rope
- Aircraft-based towing, usually called aero-tow, getting towed by another, motorized aircraft
|Note Currently, there is no Multiplayer winch available for FlightGear, so the winch has to be controlled by the pilot of the towed aircraft. A simple scripted automation will in the future help to reduce the pilot's workload|
See Howto:Do aerotow over the net for the main article about this subject.
Auto-tow and Bungee Launch
In FlightGear, towing functionality is implemented:
- In YASim's code
A few aircraft have their own system implemented. Where there is no reason for this, these should be ported to use the global functionality.
|Note This is a proposed keymap under the effort to unify winch launch experience in FlightGear.|
- Easy to remember keys are necessary in order to allow the pilot to quickly act during the fast and during the training phase maybe hectic experience that a winch launch can be
- Key commands should be grouped into sensible "categories", by using different actions on the same key (using modifiers like ⇧ Shift, Ctrl)
- I know of no aircraft that has separated cable release levers for the different hook, normally all hooks are connected to one handle.
Traditionally, w is used for winch-related activity while o and related keys are used for aerotow (as a is reserved for time speed-up/slow-down).
- Use Ctrl-action for initialization/start
- Use upper key (⇧ Shift) to reduce speed, lower key to increase speed (only for winch launch)
|Ctrl+w||Place winch and begin winch launch|
|Ctrl+o||Connect to aerotow aircraft within range (MP or AI Scenario / Robot )|
|w||Ask winch driver to increase winch speed|
|⇧ Shift+w||Ask winch driver to reduce winch speed|
|o||Release all cables ("yellow lever" in most glider aircraft)|