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Special Projects

Skylaunch design and manufacture production or one-off winches for special applications.We offer configurations driven by mains or battery packs / UPS electricity, petrol, propane or diesel engines. up to 750hp is available with single engine machines and the sky's the limit with multiple engines!

We can manufacture for civil or military projects to specifications required by the customer. We have developed systems for crash testing, cars, HGVS, PSVS, trailers and carriages as well as UAV launching systems, military targeting systems with variable speed control and  Aerostat and balloon winching applications with single or multiple cables / risers.  

Aerostat winches

Skylaunch design and manufacture various winches for Aerostat control and handling for Defence, Scientific applications, photography, publicity, radio equipment, lifting etc.

A large variant of cable/optic fibre capacity, tensions, speeds etc are available to suit the customers exact requirements.

More pictures


High Speed / High Power Systems

The winch pictured below was designed for testing military equipment. It has a 675hp engine and a cable system that allows the 7 tonne breaking strain synthetic rope to spool off one drum to a reverse pulley 1km away and back to the powered drum. The drive system can be reversed to move the cable from one drum to the other.  For this particular application a fully automated remote control system is under development to allow operation via a fibre optic link from a remote control room 600 metres away.

UAV Launcher

The UAV launcher was designed for NATO forces to aid launching UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). UAVs generally have low powered engines and therefor need long runways or rocket assistance to get off the ground. By assisting the launch with a winch the runway can be shortened considerably enabling operations from short runways and more unhospitable locations than normal. Running costs of the Skylaunch winching system are also considerably less than using rocket assistance.

With suitably sized engines and transmission systems various different types of UAV can be launched and launching speeds of up to 120 knots can be attained. The winch is parked alongside the runway and at 90 degrees to it. The cable is routed round a reverse pulley at the end of the runway and back to the winch entering the winch pulley system at 90 degrees. This method makes it safer for the winch driver and affords excellent views of the launch. It also enables launching from either end of the runway to suit wind conditions without moving the winch.

Skylifter Balloon winch

Skylaunch were commisioned to design and build this winch for a specilist company in Australia. It is a relatively simple, low powered winch for raising and lowering helium filled balloons. The drum is split into 6 segments to allow 6 separate cables that are attached to different parts of the balloon to be wound in at the same time. Vikki was the project name for the creation of the 18 metre diameter tethered aerostat pictured below. The winch system was used to raise and lower the aerostat and a pod was slung below.


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Safe winching


Launch cable & component prices

Throttle guide
Throttle guide settings chart

Service Guide & Costs
** NEW **
Service Guide & Operating Costs

Winches awaiting re-furbishment
Winches for sale & awaiting re-engineering

Donor winches and engines

Used parts
Used and recon parts for sale for non-Skylaunch winches




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