As we’ve said many times, if the wind is too light to kite, do a forward launch.
But experienced launchers like the occasional challenge and this no exception. The details of the launch are covered in Chapter 15 although no mention was made of the motor assist technique. That wasn’t perfected at publish time. Without the motor assist technique, this is much, much easier to do on a clutched unit since the prop doesn’t spin and with an easy-to-inflate wing. After all, it takes x mph of airflow to get the wing to come up and, without wind, you’ve got to generate it all regardless of technique. This method simply reduces the airflow requirement a bit since you get to stay on the A’s all the way through the process.
At some point in the past I was told that doing a reverse launch in zero wind was impossible. Poppycock! I’d done it before. All I needed now was proof.
The first time doing it for the camera was at Fly By Ranch with John Good recording. But, before I could launch, the slightest breeze came up. Even though though I made it and the 1/2 mph wind was directly accross, the camera angle didn’t make that clear. It was not proof positive.
Several months later another opportunaty arose. In Jim Jackson’s back yard there was no wind whatsoever. Wayne Mitchler and I set it up with smoke in a location where you could clearly see what the smoke was doing as I passed perpendicular the camera. Using Wayn’e easy-to-inflate Vitamin, it worked as advertised.
When we set it up there was absolutely nothing moving and the smoke was going straight up. Just before I strapped on the motor it leaned over. That was good and bad. It was oozing mostly across but was slightly tailwind. That would make the launch much harder but would also provide incontrovertible evidence. You’d be able to see the smoke as I went past perpendicular to the camera.
Thankfully, the launch worked. Click on the video to see.