This is a little info for the PPG trike flyers, it is a description of the
Reverse launch method I personally use when launching with a breeze. As I now
just about always use the “reverse launch method with my PPG trike when
launching into a breeze.
So to first control the wing, I will do a full canopy hook-up and full flight
inspection in an area that is away from the wind, I then gather the lines and
rosette the wing, move my trike into the launch area and with the wing still in
a rosette, with the centre of the nose facing upwards. (I found that the rosette
helps to control the wing from being blown about
I then stretch out the centre A lines to a full line stretch while angling the
trike at about a 45 deg angle facing towards the wing, I also try to have the
nose wheel turned in the direction I want to rotate the trike.
Now I get comfortable in the trike and warm the motor while getting the toggles
and risers sorted, still with both feet placed firm on the ground, when ready to
launch with both brakes in the correct hands (as I have a left handed throttle)
and with the top crossed A riser (one only) in the right hand I then twitch that
A riser to help get air into the nose of the wing and start to inflate the wing
from the centre cells outwards to build a nice wall.
Still with both feet firm on the ground, I kite the wing up to over head and
when it’s stabilised over head, I apply power, with both feet now placed onto
the trikes steering pegs I spin the trike around to face the wind and complete
the reverse launch with the ground roll to lift-off into wind.
I try to do this launch all in one smooth motion, I have found that if you do a
start stop kind of action during the kiting of the wing from the ground to over
head, the wing has a greater tendency to want to fall off to one side and then
you have to start all over again. Once you have the feel of this method to
reverse launch a trike you will find it a lot easier than the forward launch
method while there is a slight breeze blowing.
Remember it takes plenty of ground handling practice and at first it can be a
little frustrating getting the feel and the timing correct but I find the
reverse trike launch quite easy to do (with practise). As all new tricks take
time to dial in the technique, but once it’s there it’s a nice one to have in
that magic little bag.
(Q) Do you face 90 degrees to the wing? (A) “NO” My reason for not facing 90
degs sideways to the wing is that it’s harder to get your risers and brakes
sorted and to control the kiting of the wing from the ground to over head, due
to the risers being so uneven sideways across the trike base.
(Q) Do you still face forward? In stronger winds? (A) “No” As the reverse launch
is far easier than doing a forward, and it reduces the chance of becoming a
turtle or being dragged backwards if the wing decides to make it’s own wall.
(Q) When launching your trike in winds above 5 mph: Do you face your wing as in
a PG reverse launch? (A) “similar to this but slightly turned off to one side by
about 45 degs in the direction you want to turn your trike”
(Q) Do you plant your feet on the ground to try and prevent the trike from being
pulled by the wing or do you use a helper to hold the trike and prevent it from
rolling as the wing comes up? (A) Yes I plant both feet firm on the ground until
I have the wing kited safely over head.
(A) To the use of a helper? Well this is okay for a forward launch with a
breeze, but what happens if you have to land out and re-launch and you don’t
have a helper, I try to launch every time completely by myself while learning a
method that is successful on every attempt. (doesn’t always happen but I can
always launch by myself)
(Q) Do you face forward and try and use throttle to prevent the trike from being
pulled backward? (A) Again this is Okay but it can depend on the wing and how it
reacts with the prop blast and then when coming over head one has to be careful
not to let the wing over shoot as it will have a lot of energy when it comes up
to over head and one will need to apply deep brakes, then apply power and let
the wing fly again, which can be a problem for a new pilot getting it all in
co-ordination with correct timing and into a successful launch with so much
happening at such a critical time.
For myself I have found that with the reverse trike launch I can now launch in a
breeze and as such have increased my flying time greatly to more of the daily
met conditions, I believe that one should have as many tricks as possible, as in
this way you can enjoy a lot more time in the air.
Please understand that this information is given freely, if you choose to use
this method, then it’s at your own risk.
Cheers Brent C.