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International Supplier of Winches and Components for Gliding and Special Purposes

Welcome to Skylaunch - manufacturers of not only the world's most popular Glider/Sailplane winching systems but also manufacturers of a huge range of special purpose winches and equipment for a wide variety of uses. We have 35 years of experience in winch manufacturing and support with more than 200 winches supplied to Military and Civilian customers in over 40 Countries Worldwide.

Skylaunch has built up a global reputation for the best glider winches. Our first winch was designed and built by Michael Groves, a skilled engineer and professional winch driver, assisted by the industry renowned professional winch driver Peter Salisbury, and Andy Holmes – a gliding and airline pilot. Tony Frazier, a highly experienced specialist machine designer / manufacturer and gliding instructor, is also part of the Skylaunch team.

The first Skylaunch winch was purchased by Midland Gliding Club (England) in 1989 and is still in daily operation at that site today. Since then, the RAF, British Army, Royal Navy, a host of UK and overseas clubs and services have replaced their winch fleets with Skylaunch winches. In recent years we have expanded our operations and now manufacture winches for a diverse series of applications such as crash testing, cars, HGVS, PSVS, trailers and carriages as well as UAV launching systems, military targeting systems and Aerostat, Helikite and balloon winching applications

Whether comparing performance, safety, reliability, simplicity, ease of use or economy of operation, no other winch comes close to a Skylaunch winch.

We can manufacture to customers' own designs, can develop or update customer ideas or we are more than happy to develop all new systems. We have some very experienced design, development and field engineering staff and use the latest 3D CAD development systems to help reduce design and development time and cost. The list below covers some of the projects we have worked on over recent years which is by no means exhaustive. Please don't hesitate to contact us to discuss your project or ideas.


  • Aviation
    • Glider launch and Retrieve systems      (See Glider Winches)
    • Aerosat winches
    • UAV launching
    • Aerial photography
  •  Film, Television and Special Effects
    • Technical support and winching solutions
    • SFX winches and cable systems
    • Manufacture of components for SFX projects
    • Cables and Pulleys for cable systems
    • Winching consultancy
  • Industrial
    • Crash testing winches - Cars, HGVs, PCVs, trailers & carriages
    • Tethered balloons
    • Advertising
    • Bore-hole winches
    • Testing equipment
  • Agricultural
    • Tractor mounted winches
    • Tethered balloons for advertising
    • Kites for bird scaring
  • Education authorities/universities
    • Research & development systems
    • Testing equipment
  • Marine
    • Oceanography
    • Long line winches etc
  • Military
    • UAV Launching
    • Aerostat winches
    • Testing equipment
    • Tethered balloon systems for parachute training
    • Tethered radio transmitters/antennae
    • Aerial photography
    • Mobile targetery systems
  • Science
    • Tethered ballons
    • Kites for meterological research
    • Testing equipment
    • Aerial photography

Enter the Special Purpose Winch Site

Enter the Gliding Club Winch Site



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