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 Parachute Training Balloon Winch

The PTB winch has been developed by Skylaunch for military use all over the world. Its design features many attributes that reduce overall costs of ownership and simplify both operation and maintanance. The winch is mounted on a standard ISO, 20ft flat-rack mounting system for quick and easy deployment.

Winch features

The winch features a single, direct hydraulic drive, large diameter drum. It encorporates a pay-on mechanism which ensures a very smooth pay on/off of the cable which makes it more comfortable for the parachutists in the balloon gondola than multi-drum capstan type systems.

The simplicity of the hydraulic drive system also reduces cost of ownership and simplifies maintainance. In the event of failure of any of the electrical systems, hydraulics or engine an emergency brake is automatically applied to bring the winch to a stop.  A manual hydraulic pump can be used to release the brake to allow the balloon to ascend to a safe height for jumping.

The whole engine and winch drum area is accessed by sliding back the  the two large engine covers to give full acess in seconds without the need for any tools.
 Cable control

A fully pivoting roller box assembly "follows" the cable and balloon to allow for drift, a wide operating envelope and smooth cable entry/exit into the winch. A hydraulic cable shock absorbing system absorbs shock loads from the cable to reduce stresses and  to give a comfortable ride for the parachutists. The shock absorber is activated/deactivated automatically once the balloon passes through the pre-programmed "landing" height.

A balloon lowering system is also incorporated to bring the balloon tether down to ground level for ground tethering/hangering. Full access to the shock absorber, pulleys and hydraulic control valves is completely clear when the access covers are raised. 
Operator environment

The operators cabin is quiet and comfortable and features fingertip operating controls at the end of padded arm rests. The main winch control is by joystick which controls cable direction and speed. Various safety interlocks are built into the control system with all functions being monitored and controlled by the combined display and control unit .

A CCTV system allows the operator to monitor the winch drum, level wind, and shock absorber systems. The winch unit also incorporates an on-board weather station.

Comfort and cab features

The tilting cab is operated by a rocker switch on the LH armrest and enables the operator to tilt the cab backwards as the balloon ascends to reduce the possibilities of neck ache. A clear vision panel in the cab roof  gives a clear view of the balloon and coloured Nav lights on the roof show the status of the winch for the balloon jump master. For night jumps the winch features spot lights to light the main area in front of the winch together with a joystick controllable search lamp.

Control system and monitoring

The control system features a full-featured display that shows integrated winch, engine, transmission and diagnostic information in an easy to read operator interface. The display unit is a full-color, 7 inch bonded LCD for brighter, smoother graphics and best-in-class sunlight readability. The rugged design is suitable for use in extreme environments. The display shows cable speed, cable tension, balloon height above ground, engine speed and main hydraulic pressures. An automatic (cruise) control mode will maintain cable speed and will decelerate and stop the winch as the pre-programmed height is reached.

Safety interlocks stop the winch paying too much cable off and will also decelerate and stop the winch at the ground if the operator doesn't intervene soon enough. Smooth operation of the winch is assured by unique joystick/controller interface algorithms.


The standard specification is as below. However there is a wide range of options and winches can be manufactured to suit the customers specificic requirements and balloon size/capacity. 
Engine 165Kw @ 2,300 rpm
Hydraulic system pressure 285 Bar
Hydraulic tank capacity 200 litres
Max hydraulic flow - winch circuit 165 lpm
Max hydraulic flow - auxiliary circuit 165 lpm
Maximum operating speed 150 m/min
Maximum cable tension 30 Kn
Normal operating tension 15 Kn
Cable size 8.2 mm
Cable breaking load 6.2 tonnes
Can be manufactured to suit the customers specificic requirements 

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