MTR-101 Reeling Machine

The MTR-101 Reeling Machine is specifically designed for Aerial Target Missions and provides aerial deployment and recovery of tow targets and is the premium system available today.

Air Affairs Australia mtr-101 reeling machine

Proven components and Air Affairs' experience assures:

  • High Life Cycle and Reliability
  • Low Life Cycle Cost
  • Product Support
  • Low Initial Cost
  • Ground Support Equipment

The MTR-101 system is includes a Operator's Control Panel, interconnecting electrical loom and a lightweight flight proven, compact, two-way Reeling Machine which provides launch and recovery of a wide range of towed target configurations. Horsepower is provided from free-stream dynamic pressure using a ram air turbine and requires minimal electrical power from the host aircraft. The reeling machine is a removable external aircraft store providing rapid changeover capability for multi-use aircraft and has extremely low drag.

The tow reel is designed to accommodate a variety of targets, for both air-to-air and surface-to-air weapons training systems. Either constant diameter for stepped diameter cable may be utilised to display targets on towlines up to 30,000 feet (9,144) metres) in length.

The Operator Control Panel, provides the user with readouts for towline reeling speed and tension, as well as an array of status indicator lights and function control switches. Either semi-automatic or full manual control of the tow cable reeling process may be selected in flight by the operator. Additionally, for those installations which require two (2) tow reels and targets (mounted under each wing), an option is available to control each tow reel sequentially using a single operator control panel.

Air Affairs Australia mtr-101 reeling machine ocp

The MTR-101's unique rotary arm target launcher mechanism provides a target carry position (rotated up and to the side) which maximises clearance distance between the target/reel combination and runway during aircraft take off, rotation and landing flair attitudes. During target launch, the launcher arm and target are rotated 90 degrees down from the side carry position to directly beneath the reeling machine. The launcher arm can also be configured to swing inboard or outboard.

The launcher arm remains in the down position during the target-out-tow portion of the training exercise. The extended launcher arm provides an extremely stable airborne launch and recovery platform for targets in a region, free from aircraft generated air turbulence. Additionally, the extended launcher arm also ensures critical separation distance between tow cable and tow aircraft fuselage/tailpipe areas during high "g" manoeuvres required by some air-to-air gunnery training scenarios. Once the weapon tracking or firing exercise has been completed, the target is reeled into the launcher arm and both arm and target are rotated upward to the target carry position.

The removable spool is a feature that is used to minimise turnaround time if a target/cable has been damaged or shot off. This feature allows the user to replace the flight spool of cable and attach a new target while the aircraft is refueled.

A camera is installed that monitors launch and final recovery of the target and is a standard feature. This provides the operator with valuable data concerning the stability of the target due to possible target damage during firing the exercise.

Extensive flight testing of the MTR-101 has been performed with a variety of aircraft and targets, resulting in flight certification by the Civil Aviation Authority in England, the Department of Aviation in Australia, the LBA in Germany,The Federal Aviation Administration in the United States and in the FMV in Sweden.

MTR-101 systems are currently operational with users in 10 countries.

Air Affairs Australia mtr-101 reeling machine


Reeling Altitude

2,000 to 25,000 feet AMSL

Reeling Airspeed

230 to 300 KIAS

Tension - reel in

1,200 Lbs Max.

Wire Diameter

0.161 Inch Max.

Captive and Tow Altitude

25,000 feet

Tow Airspeed (Design "q")

1.3 Mac No. at 10,000 MSL

Tow line length

2,000 to 30,000 feet Typical

G Loads


Turbine Horsepower

17 or 30 Horsepower

Max. Reeling speed

1200 to 1700 ft/min, semi auto

Operating current (maximum)

5 amperes






108 inches


25 inches


18.5 inches



Aircraft Suitability


Civil Certified

Learjet, F27 and G91

Flight tested on

F86 and F5

Compatible with

A4, A6, A7, C130, F4, F5, F14


F15, F16, F18, F20, F100, T33