Winch


A winch is a mechanical device used to pull in or let out cables or ropes. In aviation, winches are commonly used for launching and retrieving gliders, sailplanes, and other aircraft that are not capable of taking off under their own power. A winch typically consists of a drum or spool onto which the cable or rope is wound, a motor or hand crank to turn the drum, and a brake to control the tension of the cable. The winch is usually mounted on a trailer or other mobile platform, and the cable is attached to the aircraft via a tow hook or other attachment point. Winch launching is a popular method of getting gliders and sailplanes into the air, as it is relatively inexpensive and does not require a runway or other infrastructure.


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