Guide to build your own e-Winch


Blog: Build your own Hangglider and Paraglider Winch

Latest update: 28/11-2022

This is a guide to build an electric winch based on a wide range of easy accessible components.

It will be continuously updated.

System description

The thoughts behind this design, was to make a winch with optimal performance, flexible design, with as less mechanical complexity as possible and build by simple and cheap techniqes that everyone can do with basic tools, and by easy accessible components.


The motor is an industrial 230/400VAC induction motor with and is controlled by industrial frequency converter with torque limitation function.


A stepmotor is used to wind up the wire in equal layers on the drum. The synchronization of the sled and drum overall control of the winch is done by a industrial PLC.


The battery pack is based on lead acid batteries from UPS. Each battery has a voltage of 12V and 50 batteries are put in serial connection to have a total voltage end of charge voltage of 700VDC. A little ventilation channel is made to exhaust the gasses when charging.


The winches are put on a closed trailer to protect it from rain and to make it easily portable.


The wire cutter is based on a 25mm width hobby knife blade, which is placed in an angle 2 x 45° to the wire.


The main dimensions are based on the drum which is Ø125x1000mm. The height of the motor is 132mm from the feed to center of the shaft.

Main specifications and calculations


The most important questions are:
– How much force do you want?
– How much speed do you requirer?


Our expirences is 115kg for a tandem flight and 60km/h as max speed for both hanggliders and paragliders.


On the left side you can see the main specifications of the winch. If you change the numbers, you will see how they affects each other.


You can see more calculations under other pages, ie. more specific motor and drive calculations and calculations of battery consumption.

Calculations on page 2 is related to the PLC-program and the programming of the zig-zag pattern.