Gulgong Aeropark building prototype Hydraulic Pay-in Winch

Pay-in winch for paragliding & hang gliding

Ian Harris owner of Gulgong Aeropark is spending some late nights in the workshop lately, and working on a prototype for a Pay-In (Stationary) Winch for hang gliding and paragliding.  Ian wants pilots to have options when there isn't an tow plane and/or tug-pilot available.

To build this monster, he's teamed up with a hydraulics specialist from a local mine, and has sourced parts as far as Canada.  The local library didn't seem to have a copy of Building Hang Gliding Hydraulic Pay-in Winches for Dummies, but he's taking tips and applying what he knows from building a few sailplane winches.

This hydraulic hang gliding winch plans to be somewhat special as its goal is to achieve constant tow tension (important for bumpy air) during Pay-in operation.  -Most hydraulic winches for hang gliding & paragliding only have constant tension abilities for Pay-Out.  The Gulgong Aeropark< airstrip is a massive 2km long, but that is still limited when it comes to ground towing.  So, Ian has built a Pay-in (instead of pay-out on a car, which is better for longer areas) winch to maximize the potential height gain.

We'll be out there in a few weeks and hope to give Prototype #1 some testing, and promise to report back if it's ready.

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