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New Developments and Latest News

  Archives: | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2011-2012 |

February 2023 - Another New Skylaunch at the SSA convention

We exhibited a two drum Evo winch at the SSA convention in Reno, Nevada, USA. This winch is owned by Fairfax O'Riley from Aerial Engagement in Scottsdale, Arizona who kindly towed it up to Reno. Fairfax and his team are starting a new gliding operation at Superior Airport (East of Phoenix).
January 2023 - New Parachute and Cable End System

We have developed a new 'low metal' lightweight arrangement for all the cable end equipment. This is designed to increase safety at ant gliding site where there are additional hazards, ie footpaths, highways etc.
December 2022 - Another Electric Winch Order for Germany

Skylaunch has received an order for our latest cordless electric Evo model, from a busy gliding club in Germany.
September 2022 - Electric Winch Presentation in Sweden

Mike Groves was invited to talk about the next generation of electric winches for glider launching, at their electric gliding event, at the airfield in Alleberg, a beautiful mountain in Vastra Gotaland in Sweden.

Around 25 clubs from all three Nordic countries were represented and it was a very sucessful event.

A copy of this presentation is available for anyone, please contact us.
November 2022 - New Winch Delivery

A new Skylaunch Evo 2 drum winch was delivered to Bognor Regis Gliding Club in England. This is the newest club in the UK, which is developing rapidly to offer excellent gliding.
October 2022 - Electric Winch Delivery to Germany

Our latest all electric winch model was delivered to the Aeroclub von Lubeck at Grambeker Heide Airfield, replacing their troublesome ESW winch. Significant increases in launch heights and safety were obvious, resulting in excellent comments from the club memebers such as - "we will own the best winch in the World!"
September 2022 - Another New Winch Delivery

We supplied a new Skylaunch Evo winch to the Bristol & Gloucester Gliding Club (Nympsfield) in England.
August 2022 - Women's World Gliding Championships

We were asked, by the organisers of the Women's World Gliding Championships, to exhibit and demonstrate our latest all electric winch at The Gliding Centre at Husbands Bothworth in England, who hosted the event.  It was a great event, and many thanks to all the pilots that came to see us.
July 2022 - New Skyflier rotating winch system

We have designed and manufactured a new rotating landing deck platform with docking arm and winching systems for Zip World. To be used with their new airship attraction in North Wales.
June 2022 - New electric retrieve winch

We are currently manufacturing a cordless electric version of our proven high speed cable retrieve winch system (28 years after the original model). This will help further reduce the emissions and carbon footprint for glider winch launching, as this system normally reduces the energy / fuel use by around 20% from vehicle retrieve systems. It also significantly increases launch rates and reduces airfield wear and damage.
May 2022 - Electric winch launching

The latest electric Skylaunch is being tested at our local gliding club with excellent launches and happy pilots.  It is shown here with one of the very early Skylaunch winches which is still working very well.  Many thanks to Staffordshire Gliding Club for all their help.
April 2022 - More special effects winching

The winch sold in January for use on the movie 'Mission Impossible 8' is now winching in many scenes on 'Fast and Furious 10', in ltay and Portugal. A second winch was also modified and shipped out to Italy to keep up with the very busy schedule, with kind permission of the club at RAF Shawbury.
March 2022 - Latest all electric version of Skylaunch Evo winch for Germany

This model is nearing completion before testing and delivery soon.
February 2022 - A Skylaunch fully re-engineered Tost winch for the Japanese Defence Academy

The Defence Academy in Tokyo shipped their Tost winch to us for complete re-engineering, so it will now have similar performance to the existing Skylaunch 2 winch at thier airbase.
January 2022 - Winch for film special effects

A fully re-engineered by Skylaunch winch was sold to a special effects company for some high speed scenes on a new big blockbuster movie. Sorry but details are classified at the moment.
December 2021 - Two aerostat winches for US military

We manufactured two more high torque winches for our partner company, Allsop Helikites Limited, which were delivered to BAE Systems for the US navy.
November 2021 - Skylaunch - so pleased with Netherland's agent we painted a winch Orange... 

Skylaunch Limited is delighted to announce the appointment of Aarnout Bakker as their newly appointed agent for the BeNeLux, Denmark and Baltic states.
The formal agency agreement was signed on Friday November 4th, and we welcome Aarnout warmly to our team.
Aarnout will ably assist Skylaunch with the demand for Electric and ICE winches in his area. Soon it is hoped, he will also be assisting our agent Herr Tobias Ernst in the phenomenal demand already underway in the much larger German glider winch market.
Aarnout is a seasoned Glider Pilot and Winch Driver, whose sucessful career to date has been in high level, professional sales - around the world. He is also fluent in German, English and virtually so in French.
Be assured Aarnout will be there to support you, wherever you are, on the road towards these new technology winches.
Skylaunch has known Aarnout over many years from the Gliding Club of Hilversum (www.gozc.nl) in the Netherlands. This club has owned a Skylaunch 3 winch with two drums, that has operated perfectly since summer 2009.
Skylaunch has built their first EW about 10 years ago that has since then operated without any problem.
We will now show our state-of-the-art new EW coming spring on the AERO-Friedrichshafen General Aviation Exhibition from 27 - 30 April 2022. We all invite you to visit our booth.
Skylaunch UK forsee a fruitful co-operation with Aarnout, as we are convinced that he is able and capable enough to support you in the way you need, and whatever level of complexity.
If you feel he can help, please contact:- aarnout.bakker@skylaunch.com
October 2021 - New compact four drum winch design

Our latest model available is the Skylaunch Evolution 'MAX' four drum winch, which uses all the proven components of the popular Evolution winch model but with two extra drums. Available with electric or combustion engines.
September 2021 - New Evo winch to USA Gliding Club 

A new Evo twin drum model has been completed ready for testing in the UK before shipping to Arizona, USA. We will then visit their airfield for winch driver and pilot training, and handover.
August 2021 - New Evo winch to English Gliding Club

A new Evo twin drum model was delivered to East Sussex Gliding Club (Ringmer), south of London, in England.
July 2021 - Fully re-engineered winch delivered to Germany

A Skylaunch fully re-engineered Tost winch was delivered to the gliding club at Stendal in Germany.
June 2021 - Another new winch delivered to Germany

A new Skylaunch Evo twin drum winch was delivered to the Gliding Club at Freiburg in Germany, and is already giving impressive launch height gains over their original winch.
May 2021 - New traffic light style launch signal system

We have developed a new radio linked launch signal system using a traffic light with buzzer in the winch, and a simple push button control at the launch point. Please enquire for further details.
May 2021 - Fully re-engineered winch for sale

We have manufactured another completely re-engineered winch (actually mostly new) and it is for sale in the UK and Europe only, at an attractive price. Please contact us for specification and details.
April 2021 - New special project winch for Germany

We are manufacturing another special high power winch for the Max Planck Science Institute in Germany.
March 2021 - New Evo winch for Germany

Another new Skylaunch Evo twin drum winch was completed and tested for Freiburg Gliding Club in Germany, to be delivered once the Covid 19 restrictions are lifted.
February 2021 - Updated electric winch model

We are now offering the proven Skylaunch all electric winch with a cordless option, in addition to our plug-in model.

Please contact us for further information.
January 2021 - New aerostat winch for the USA

A high-torque winch was manufactured and sent by air freight to the USA for special projects with the US Navy, through our partner company Allsop Helikites Ltd.
December 2020 - Re-engineered winch for Germany

Another fully re-engineered winch was completed for Stendal Gliding Club in Germany, but unfortunately delivery has been delayed due to Covid 19.
November 2020 - New winching system for the subsea pipeline industry

Skylaunch designed and manufactured a dual electric winch system, including pulley towers and electronic control system, which is to be installed as part of the oil and gas pipeline production process.
October 2020 - New aerotow ropes

Following many requests Skylaunch are now offering aerotow ropes, either as kits or ready assembled to customers requirements, made from our 10mm proven Skyrope, as used for winch launching. Please contact us with any enquiries.
September 2020 - RAF winch upgrades

A very early Skylaunch model from RAF Wattisham (England) was returned to our works for conversion to use Dyneema cables, and many other upgrades.
August 2020 - Winch delivery to Army Upavon

We commissioned a Skylaunch re-engineered winch (fitted with LPG powered 8.2 litre GM V8 engine), including new cabin, at Wyvern Gliding Club (England).
July 2020 - Increased stock for Tost winches

Due to increased demand for Skylaunch spares and parts to fit Tost winches, we are expanding our product range and stock levels. Please contact us for details and prices.

April, May and June 2020 - Covid 19 virus, National Lockdown

We temporarily closed our factory, but Adam Greaves (the owner of Skylaunch) continued to support customers and enquiries during this special situation.
March 2020 - Military UNO winch for drone launching

We shipped a special very high powered winch (815 horse power) to the USA last month, but the Covid-19 pandemic flight restrictions prevented us from commissioning it in Amercia. We plan to find another solution.

February 2020 - Skylaunch exhibits at SSA Convention, USA

Skylaunch were pleased to welcome many visitors to our stand at the Soaring Society of America convention in Little Rock, Arkansas.

We were also promoting the new 'Uno' winch and it's many benefits for the USA market. Many thanks to all those who came to see us.
January 2020 - Evo Winch Commissioning in New Zealand

Ed Jones travelled from the UK to Omarama (South Island), New Zealand to carry out training in operation and maintenance for the Youth Glide New Zealand organisation, with their new Skylaunch winch.
January 2020 - Soaring Society of America Convention

Skylaunch will at the Soaring Society of America Convention on the 20th - 22nd February in Little Rock, Arkansas. Please come and visit us at Booth 8.
December 2019 - New weak link indicator flags

In addition to our Hi-vis rope covering, we now offer indicator flags to easily identify the weak link for each glider.  Please see http://www.skylaunch.com/proddetail.php?prod=CC-WLF-

December 2019 - Upgrades and Improvements for Shalbourne Gliding

Skylaunch assisted Shalbourne Gliding (England) to complete their winch project. This included engine / transmission, final drive, cooling, controls, cab and panels etc.
November 2019 - New UNO Winch Model

Our latest Skylaunch UNO compact single drum winch is now in production and available as a club build model (minus powertrain) or as a complete ready to launch system.

Please see http://skylaunch.com/uno.php for more info
October 2019 - Luenen Kit Winch Commissioning

A kit winch supplied in September 2018 was completed by Flugsportgruppe Luenen e.V. in Germany, and Skylaunch visited for commissioning and training.
October 2019 - New Hi-vis Glider Connection

Skylaunch now supply the strop covering tube in bright orange to increase the visibility if the weak link breaks and the strop falls onto the airfield. Available per roll / per metre or spliced into ready made strops.

Please see http://www.skylaunch.com/proddetailnocart.php?prod=CC-3R/GR  for more details,
September 2019 - New Evo Winch for New Zealand

A new Evo twin drum winch (8.2 litre GM V8 EFI engine) using 2500m long Dyneema cables was tested at Lasham Gliding Society before being containerised and shipped to Youth Gliding New Zealand in Omarama (South Island).
September 2019 - Skylaunch Oils and Lubricants

Skylaunch are pleased to announce that we now offer our own comprehensive range of recommended high specification lubricants and fluids at lower prices than most suppliers for equivalent quality.

Please see http://www.skylaunch.com/Prodoil.php for more details
August 2019 - Dyneema or Skyneema?

Skylaunch have kept the prices of our High quality European manufacture Dyneema as low as possible but as pressures mount on the international exchange rates we are forced to announce our first price rise for many years.

This is why we are introducing a lower price alternative to compliment our range of Dyneema launch cables - Skyneema.

Skyneema is made in Europe from similar fibres to the World famous Dyneema, and to a comparable design and breaking strength but at much lower prices.

Please see http://www.skylaunch.com/ProdCable.php for further details.
July 2019 - Vintage Glider Club International Rally

Skylaunch are supporting the International Vintage Rally at Norfolk Gliding Club in Tibenham, England. 
July 2019 - Winch Refurbishment for Lasham

One of the Skylaunch winches at Lasham Gliding Society was refurbished and recommissioned after many years of hard work. This winch is using Dyneema cables.
June 2019 - Winch Upgrade for Southdown GC

Skylaunch have partially re-engineered an old Tost winch from Southdown Gliding Club in England.
Upgrades including Skylaunch control panel system, trailer mounting, cab modifications, rewiring etc etc.
These have made a big improvement to the ease of operation, safety for the glider and the winch driver, reliability and maintenance. 
June 2019 - Evo winch to Lusse, Germany

A Skylaunch Evolution twin drum winch (8.2 litre GM V8 Petrol EFI engine) using Dyneema cables was delivered to FCC Berlin e.V. with training in operation / maintenance.
May 2019 - Hamburg kit winch commissioning

A kit winch supplied in September 2018 was completed by Hamburger Verein fur Luftfarht e.V. Germany and Skylaunch visited for commissioning and training.
April 2019 - New Evo Winch in Belgium

A new Evo twin drum winch (8.2 litre GM V8 LPG engine) using Dyneema cables was delivered to EBNM Namur in Belgium, with full training.
April 2019 - Skylaunch exhibits at Aero 2019

Many thanks to everyone who visited us at our stand this year at Aero 2019 in Friedrichshafen, Germany. We exhibited a Skylaunch Evo twin drum winch, and spoke to many people from all parts of the world.
March 2019 - New Evo Winch at Lasham

A new Evo twin drum winch (8.2 litre GM V8 LPG engine) using Dyneema cables was delivered to Lasham Gliding Society.
March 2019 - Updated Uno

See the latest UNO development - a compact, low cost, single drum winch for both gliding and special purpose applications.

Read more .....
February 2019 - Glider End Cable Equipment Information

We have developed a detailed advice sheet explaining parachutes, strops, traces and components to assist our customers.

Go to the 'Safety, Technical Updates and Bulletins' section on our website to see more.
January 2019 - New winching platform for Lindstrand Technologies

We are designing and manufacturing a new concept specialist winching platform system for Lindstrand Technologies.
December 2018 - Move into new workshop

We have moved into improved facilities, next door to original premises, which will help us modernise using an improved stock control system.  We can now increase our stocks to reduce supply times for winches and components.
November 2018 - EBNM Namur (Belgium), Winch Build

A new Skylaunch EVO Twin Drum Winch is being manufactured for EBNM Namur in Belgium, powered by LPG.
October 2018 - Lasham Gliding Society Ltd, Winch Build

A new Skylaunch EVO Twin Drum Winch is being manufactured for Lasham Gliding Society Ltd, powered by LPG.
September 2018 - Kit Winch for Hamburg, Germany

A new Kit winch was delivered to Hamburger Verein für Luftfahrt e.V. Germany.
The Club will build this winch onto their lorry and when finished, Skylaunch will return to commission the winch and give full training in operation and maintenance.
August 2018 - Re-engineered Winch for Kehl, Germany

A fully re-engineered winch was delivered to Kehl Gliding Club in Germany, including full training in operation and Maintenance on site.
This winch is fitted with Dyneema cables
July 2018 - Kit Winch for Luenen, Germany

A new kit Skylaunch winch was delivered to Luenen Gliding Club in Germany.
The Club will build this winch onto a trailer and then we will return to commission the the finished winch and give full training in operation and Maintenance.
June 2018 - Site Work at the British Virgin Islands

Mike Groves from Skylaunch was asked to be the Chief Engineer on Moskito Island (owned by Sir Richard Branson) in the British Virgin Islands (Caribbeans) while their regular chief Engineer was away.
There are several hundred staff working on Sir Richards Islands (Necker and Moskito) so it was a very busy time as the Islands were damaged in the hurricane last year.
May 2018 - New Product available

We now offer winches with Triple Silenced Exhaust systems for airfields where noise can be an issue for nearby residents.
This system ensures launching operations are very quiet.
They can be fitted to new winches or supplied as an upgrade to older winches.
May 2018 - Helikites winch manufacture

This latest version of the Helikite launch winch system was completed and delivered to North America (unfortunately it's exact application is classified).
April 2018 - New special project winch assemblies

Two new special high speed winch assemblies were designed and manufactured for an overseas customer.  These units have interchangeable level wind gearing for different size cables.

 |  More info  |
March 2018 - New Evo winch in USA

A new Evo twin drum winch(8.2 litre GMV8 LPG engine) using Dyneema cables was commissioned with pilot and winch driver training at the Southern California Soaring Academy at Crystalaire.

- Skylaunch Evolution winch displayed at the SSA Convention, Reno USA

With SCSA's kind help the winch was also towed to the SSA Convention in Reno for display and was very popular in the hall.  Many thanks to all the people who visited us there.


 February 2018 - New Evo winch for Japan

A new Evo twin drum winch (6.6 litre V8 TDi engine) using Skyrope cables was commissioned for the Meiji University Gliding Club in Japan, and their personnel came over to Lasham for training, before the winch is shipped to Japan. (Many thanks to Lasham Gliding Society for their help with this winch program).


January 2018 - SSA Reno - First US Skylaunch winch exhibited!

Skylaunch will be exhibing our world beating Evo winch from the Southern California Soaring Academy at the SSA in Reno this year.
Please come and see us at booth 6 on the 1st - 3rd March.

December 2017 - Skylaunch Kit Winches

There is growing interest in kit winches for clubs wanting nearly all the benefits of a Skylaunch winch system but at a lower cost. It also encourages team working projects for club members on non flying days.
November 2017 - New large Aerostat Helikite winch for Germany

A  2nd new Skylaunch V8, dual fuel, heavy duty Helikite winch was delivered to the Max Planck Institute in Germany
October 2017 – Upgrades and Components for Non-Skylaunch winches

A We supply many parts, conversions and re-engineering to Guillotines, Cable Roller Heads, Drums, Final Drives, Pay-Ons (Level wind systems), etc. for all non-Skylaunch winches


September 2017 - New Large aerostat Helikite winch for Switzerland

This new Skylaunch V8 LPG powered heavy duty Helikite winch was delivered to the Institute for Atmosphere and Climate at the ETH University in Zurich, Switzerland (the University attended by Albert Einstein)
August 2017 - UAV / Drone mounted Winch project

A new design for a small winch was commissioned, designed and built by Skylaunch for UNICEF.
This winch will be used on UAV / Drone aircraft for making much needed Vaccination drops on the Vanuatu Islands in the South Pacific.

July 2017 - New order for a Skylaunch Evolution Winch to Japan

Meiji University Gliding Club in Japan have now placed an order for a new Skylaunch Evolution glider winch, with a folding roof to fit into their hanger.

This winch will be fitted with Skyrope launch cables.

July 2017 - New order for a Skylaunch Helikites Winch

Allsopp Helikites have ordered a new design Skylaunch Special Project winch with a V8 engine and large capacity cable drum, for Zurich University in Switerland.

July 2017 - Design upgrade for Skylaunch Aerochutes

Following a design review, Skylaunch now supply all our popular Aerochute parachutes with a compact metal eyelet connection for ease of use and durability.

The Aerochutes, as with all our Parachutes, are available in lightweight, hard wearing Poly woved white "Hessian" material as well as Red, Yellow, Blue and Orange PVC.

These can be seen on our website at http://www.skylaunchuk.com/ProdParachutes.php

June 2017 - New Evo winch for California, USA

A new Evo twin drum winch (8.2 liter V8 LPG engine) using Dyneema launch cables. It was commissioned for Ron Greg from the Southern California Soaring Academy at our local Staffordshire club in England, before shipping to the USA. Pilot and winch driver training in California are planned for later this year.

May 2017 - New Large aerostat Helikite winch for Germany

This new V8 powered heavy duty Helikite winch was commissioned in the UK before delivery to the Max Planck Institute in Germany


April 2017 - – Skylaunch exhibits at Aero 2017

Many thanks to everyone who came to visit us at our stand this year at Aero 2017. We exhibited 1 new and 1 re-engineered winch at the busy Aero Show in Friedrichshafen.
April 2017 - New model lineup

New model lineup for 2017. One exciting new model and updates to existing models gives us this latest lineup for 2017 - The EVO, The ECO and the new UNO.

More details....

April 2017 - UNO single drum winch

New UNO, single drum design winch using many of the EVO's proven components at a more affordable price. For clubs with a tight budget but still has around 80% of the launch rate of a twin drum model and gives the fastest possible launch rate when used with a retrieve winch.

More details....

April 2017 - New Eco winches

New ECO winches availability - A selection of twin drum, fully engineered winches are available for sale now.

Download the latest spec sheet / price list.

March 2017 - New upgrades available for Mel / Van Gelder winches

In addition to the extensive range of upgrades, parts, spares, repairs an re-engineering we offer for all non Skylaunch winches, we now offer an upgrade to fit Skylaunch pulley / roller units to Mel / Van Gelder winches.

These proven design pulley / roller units are suitable for use with Dyneema or steel launch cables and can help extend the life of the cables.

Read more ....   
Download flyer

February 2017 - Our stand is booked for Aero 2017

We will be exhibiting again this year at Aero 2017 from the 5th April to the 8th April. Please call in and see us in Hall B5 - stand 005.

January 2017 - Cambridge Gliding Club - Re-engineered Winch delivered

A Tost winch, fully re-engineered by Skylaunch was delivered to Cambridge Gliding Club. This winch is fitted with a 7.4L GM V8 fuelled by LPG, and is using 5mm Dyneema launch cables.
Pictures show the winch before re-engineering and after.

December 2016 – Helikites Winch – New Special order

Allsopp Helikites have ordered a new design Skylaunch Special Project winch with a V8 engine and extra large capacity cable drum, for operation in Germany.

November 2016 - Cambridge Gliding Club - Winch build

A Tost winch, fully re-engineered by Skylaunch is currently being built for Cambridge Gliding Club. This winch is fitted with a big block GM V8 engine fuelled by LPG.

October 2016 - Winch truck restoration

A 1954 REO 6x6 truck is restored at Skylaunch. An old Tost winch was mounted on the rear of this truck until it was scrapped, leaving the truck with very low mileage. As it was too good to scrap, it has been lovingly restored and converted to run on LPG.

September 2016 - Helikites Winch Delivery

Special winch is delivered to Allsopp Helikites (see July news below).

August 2016 - Aviation Club of Waseda University, Japan - Winch training

Four people from Waseda University visited Lasham Gliding Society (England) for training with their new Skylaunch Evolution winch before it is shipped to Japan.

July 2016 - Helikites winch - New order

Allsopp Helikites have ordered a new Skylaunch winch for modernising the communications systems and upgrading to digital in the far East, due for delivery at the end of August.
June 2016 - Upgrades to Buckminster's winch

Buckminster Gliding Club's (Saltby Airfield) Skylaunch winch (1999) has been fitted with various upgrades, including automatic tow-out brakes, repairs and new paintwork. This winch is using Skyrope cables.
May 2016 - Aviation Club of Waseda University, Japan - New winch order

Waseda University have ordered a new Skylaunch Evolution twin drum winch (8.2L V8 Petrol EFI) for delivery in August. Representatives from the club will travel to the UK in mid August to undergo training on their new winch before it is shipped to Japan. This winch will be fitted with 1400m long Dyneema cables.
May 2016 - Wellington Gliding Club, New Zealand - Winch delivery and training

The new Skylaunch Evolution twin drum winch (8.2L V8 Petrol EFI) has now arrived at Wellington Gliding Club, New Zealand. Mike Groves and Simon Adlard flew out to give winch and glider pilot training, and would like to thank everyone at Wellington Gliding Club for their kind hospitality. This winch is fitted with 2500m long Dyneema cables.

April 2016 - Ballenstedt, Germany - Winch delivery

A Tost winch, fully re-engineered by Skylaunch was delivered to Ballenstedter Aeroclub e.V. Germany. This winch is fitted with a new V8 engine fuelled by LPG, extra wide low ground pressure wheels, and is using Dyneema launch cables.


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