The remarkable mechanical winch

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 Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my own tow line?
Yes. We recommend a test of about 5 times the pull. For example if you tow at 3 lbs, use at least 15 lb test.

How is the pull tension adjusted?
By changing the spool post positions or gear configuration. There are two gear configurations and 5 post configurations for a total of 10 settings. Extra gears are provided for this adjustment.

Is there a guarantee or warrantee?
Yes - click here.

Can I use a hi-start with the winch?
We have not tried it.

What are the advantages over a hi-start or electric winch?
Click here. And one more - it's very cool !


Do you ship internationally?

How do I order?
Click "Ordering" on the left side of the screen.

Do you sell spare parts?
Yes - please see the Ordering page.


What is the size of the winch?
15" deep x 9" wide x 9" high.

What is the pull force and distance?
The winch outputs over 1,000 ft-lbs of energy. You can adjust the force from 3 lbs over 120 yards of pull to 16 lbs over 25 yards. Generally we recommend a pull of about 3 times the plane weight (significantly less than a hi-start due to the winch linearity).

Is tension really linear?
Yes it really is 95% linear due to the special reverse wound spring arrangement.

Will the spring rust?
No - it's made of a special stainless steel.

What kind of bearings are used?
Quality steel ball bearings.

Will the Grasshopper work with a larger wingspan like 3M?
Yes. The weight is the main issue. You can launch up to a 5lb plane but the altitude is inversely proportional to the weight of the plane. A 1lb HLG will "go to the moon". We generally recommend using it for 1 to 3 lb planes.

How is spring tension achieved?
By pulling out the line.

How does a one man launch proceed?
Please see:

Is a turn-around pulley needed?
No - the winch sits upwind. But you can use a turn-around if you want the winch near you.

How do you release or start the launch?
By removing your grip of the plane.

Does the line completely retract?
No - you select how much slack you want. The slack line stays on the ground.

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