Tech corner
Launch control
Launching your passion to greater heights

Back to product overview

Hydrowinch LLC is the first glider winch manufacturer to use hydrostatic power. For several decades the glider world has been using torque converters (automatic transmissions) to drive their winches.

While torque converters tend to overheat during long launches due to their inherent poor efficiency, our hydrostatic drive system is designed to provide consistent SAFE launches. By incorporating tension control, the pilot controls airspeed in an intuitive manner: pull back on the stick to slow down and push forward to speed up (unlike traditional winches with torque converters where pilot actions are counterintuitive).

The drums are driven by standard hydraulic components with proven quality in heavy industrial and agricultural equipment. The hydraulic system is very simple, robust and reliable. The drums are mounted directly on the hydraulic motors. There are no couplings, clutches, bearings or mechanical brakes.
Hydrostatic drive
Hydrostatic drive

The drums can hold up to 10.000 ft (3000 m) ropes, based on a 3/16" (5 mm) rope diameter. The revolutionary design of the drums effectively reduces rope wear, and resists to the extreme loads caused by Spectra rope. The lifetime (fatigue) of our drums is optimised by Finite Elements Analyses and verified by stress measurements.

CALC is programmed into a PLC (programmable logical computer). Launch characteristics are parametrical: Acceleration rate, rotation rate and climb angle can be configured by the customer. Service data, launch information and configuration settings are easily accessible through the PLC touch display.

The electrical system is very simple. A single wire J1939 CAN bus system has reduced the total number to 4 wires. CALC even self analyzes and reports problems to the winch driver to minimize potential down time! Optionally, remote service can be provided through an internet connection.