Towing with a Telemaster Electro
The ideas of towing gliders with electric power have been rolling around for a while in the old head and thought it might work with smaller ships, 2-3 meter gliders, with a Telemaster Electro and an AXI 4120/18. I currently have it on 5s3p LiPos but could go up to six cells. What are your thoughts?
Last edited by Pilatuspc12; 04-10-2011 at 02:33 PM.
Tow Dog at heart.
We have been experimenting with the new Electro Telemaster as a tow platform and have some early findings.
First, let me say that we have done extensive towing with the kit built Telemaster 40 using glow engines (one with an OS 52 4-stroke and the other an OS 81 4-stroke). The Electro Telemaster is the exact size of the Telemaster 40 kit built plane. Both of our TM 40's have been great tow planes for the Multiplex Easy Glider. The one with the larger engine has been great for the Multiplex Cularis and has been used for glass scale ships up to 3 meters with excellent results. The one with the smaller engine has been used to tow glass scale ships up to 2.5 meters with success.
We recently finished an Electro Telemaster and equipped it as suggested for the stock version. Motor is the AXI 2826-12 with APC-E 12x8 prop and a 4-cell Lipo pack. It tows the Easy Glider okay, but lacks the power and weight to really do justice to towing. You are on the right track with the bigger motor and battery pack!
Another finding is the weight factor. As a sport plane, the new Electro is constructed to be very light and the AXI 2826-12 handles it very well. For towing, however, more weight is as desirable as more power. We are planning to install a larger motor, probably in the range you have, and try some more towing. We are also thinking of sheeting the fuselage with 3/32" balsa to add a little more mass and strength to handle the motor torque and to support the extra battery weight.
The stock gear is good, but we like the Great Planes Goldberg landing gear:
and the DuBro 4" Big Wheels:
Since the Goldberg gear has been discontinued, we are using this one:
Last edited by JimD; 06-22-2012 at 02:42 AM.
Reason: Updated landing gear info
A Site For Soar Eyes
We got out the Watt Meter and tested the AXI 2826/12 and 12x8 prop. This setup produces a little over 400 watts of power using a 4-cell LiPo battery pack. We have an AXI 4130/16 that should put us up in the 600-700 watt range on a 6-cell LiPo, so we are going to try that next.
thanks for your input. We are going to try to get folks interested in Aero Towing at our club, here in Montrose, Colorado. It seems that there are a few folks who would be interested if they see someone else do it. They have limited funds available, so we'll have to start out small. The Telemaster Electro seems to be the right choice for up to 3 meter ships, like you said. We are flying off of a dirt runway, so we are expecting some damage to the gliders. Perhaps this is a factor for guys not wanting to do this. I'm excited to try to get some stimulation going in this once highly motivated club. Thanks for your help.
Tow Dog at heart.
that looks excellent. You have very nice workmanship. That was a very ingenious idea on to set up the tow hook/servo installation. May I borrow that? Just curious, why did you sheet the tail? I hope my AXI4120/18 with an APC-E 14x9 prop and a Jeti 77 Opto ESC will pull well with a 6 cell Li-Po. Good job. I think these are the machines to tow the little gliders. If you could post some video, that would be great! Thanks,
Last edited by Pilatuspc12; 07-22-2011 at 08:27 PM.
Tow Dog at heart.
Here is a short video we shot the day of the maiden flight...the Telemaster went into tow service on the second flight! We are in the process of making refinements to the radio and Lipo installation (as well as finishing the trim scheme).
Telemasters are notorious for having twisting tails because of the aft fuselage construction, so we sheeted the tail. We also wanted to add a little mass to the plane and beef it up some because we anticipate using it for heavy duty towing.
Our motors look to be very comparable and we are using a 6-cell LoPo as well...the power system should be a winner! And yes, I agree that this is an excellent plane to tow small models with (like the Easy Glider and Cularis). We have used our glow version to tow dozens of newbies on tow and have had excellent results.
It looks very nice. I noticed the release. It is clever BUT I have a suggestion for an improvment. The rod that allows the arm to swivel, should have another two supports on the left and right side of the arm, closer to the middle, so that it prevents the rod from bending. OR using a thicker rod. When the rod bends, it can touch to floor under it, increasing friction during use, and putting strain on the servo. Just my thought
Mark, the rod (axle) is made of 1/8" music wire and is very stiff. I see your point, but I believe we have heavy enough wire that no troublesome flexing will occur. Nice to know someone is looking at the pictures!