HOW VORTELATORS CONTROL THE BOUNDARY LAYER TO REDUCE AIR DRAG
The 246-100 Cessna vortelator kit can increase Cessna speeds by up to 6 MPH. This is accomplished by placing vortelators at certain critical locations including the propeller which cause the boundary layer to stay attached to flying surfaces for a greater distance, and to keep the boundary layer thinner. The net result of these two actions is that it reduces both the profile drag and skin friction drag components of parasite drag. Another way to think of it is that the wake behind the aircraft will be smaller thus requiring less horsepower to propel the aircraft through the air. Behind the vortelator mini vortices are created as can be seen by the lines of oil that form behind the vortelator. These mini vortices sweep the oil to a point in between the mini vortices, and that’s how the oil lines are formed. Whenever one sees these characteristic oil lines forming behind the vortelator one knows the vortelator is working. The vortelator allows the air flow to stay attached to the lift strut for approximately 80% of the lift strut’s chord. In the area where there is no vortelator the air flow separates from the lift strut at approximately 40% of the lift strut’s chord, as can be seen from the pile up of oil at the 40% chord position. At the 40% chord position the lift strut is 2.01” thick, and at the 80% chord position the lift strut is 1.18” thick. That means the wake coming off the lift strut is only 59% as thick with the vortelator attached as without the vortelator attached. That also means with a narrower wake less horsepower is required to propel the lift strut through the air.
Another benefit of this kit is that it is so simple to install that any aircraft owner can install the kit without any difficulty thus saving much of the installation cost. However, be advised the FAA regulations require that a licensed mechanic must work on the aircraft. Because of the simplicity of this kit installation, an arrangement can be made to do the work under the supervision of a licensed mechanic. The basic procedure for installing the kit is to prepare the surface to which the vortelator is going to be applied by thoroughly cleaning the surface. Then simply peel the liner backing off the adhesive back vortelator and apply it to the cleaned surface. We believe this kit can have a pay back in gas savings that will help offset the cost of the kit. This vortelator kit is FAA STCd and manufactured under a FAA PMA approval. The kit comes with 200 feet ofvortelator, more than enough for one airplane, and clear simple instructions on how to install the kit. The kit can easily be installed in one day and will add about 5 ounces of weight to the aircraft and not change the handling qualities of the aircraft. To be more specific the cruising speed increases one can expect from this vortelator kit is about 4 MPH for the 140, 150, 152, 170 aircraft. About 4. 75 MPH for the 172, 175, and about 5.50 for the 180, 182,185,205, and 206 aircraft. The top speed increases will be slightly higher than those listed.
I ordered a set of vortelators for my Ivoprop 3 blade fitted to a Rotax 582 on a Top Dog Trike some months ago. I think I gained about 1/2 gallon/hour less fuel consumption. Meanwhile I have had problems with the prop and replaced it-therefore need another set. From S.H.
Hi Richard as far as I could tell I picked up 30 RPM on my 150 HP Cardinal. From S.J.
I have a 3 blade Ivoprop and would like to order some vortelators. Had them previously on another plane. From B.H.
I ordered your prop vortelator kit for my 150 HP Cessna 172. I was impressed with a 40 RPM increase at full throttle and 2,000 feet above see level. From S.C.
Before we installed the propeller vortelator kit we did static run ups and then stabilized climbs at 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 MPH and wrote down the RPM’s. We fly in high altitude density environment in the mountains and we were interested in an RPM increase. After installation we repeated the test and across the board came up with a 25 RPM increase. On the first take off my son looked over and said “their worth it”. On take off we normally would have a slight lag in RPM, now the transition is very smooth and in cruise we can now go to red line, 2,600 RPM very easily. When you fly in high density altitude and short strips 25 RPM’s means something! Other potential assets would be some increase in speed, better cooling and gas mileage. Vortelators won’t make a C-85 into an O470 but if you’re looking for just a little help in performance then it’s worth the money. Thanks for a good product-it works. From J.H.
The vortelator tape that you installed on my prop that is on my single seat Challenger let me see approximately 150 RPM increase at full throttle and about 5 MPH increase in airspeed on a normal climb out at take off. This increase in RPM and MPH does not affect the ultralight performance too much as we cruise at a certain RPM so the increase allows me to reduce the throttle setting and saves some fuel. From R. B.
When vortelating material was installed on the propeller I notices immediate results. With the aircraft stationary on the ground, with no wind present, the RPM increased from 2150 to 2170. When in the air, the RPM increased by 25 (from 2800 RPM to 2825 RPM and the MPH went up by 4 (from 199 MPH to 203 MPH). From M.T.
My experience with the application of vortelators showed an increase in air speed of at least 5 MPH along with seemingly effortless acceleration and lower power requirement at each speed along the way up to top speed. The installation of the kit was smooth and relatively fast compared to any other change to the aircraft I could have done to increase air speed. After washing the airplane, the installation of the tape-like vortelators took less than one hour. My airplane is an experimental Thorp T18. It is the standard model, the original design, with the standard airfoil and body length and with. The engine is a Lycomong O-320B2B 160 HP with a Sensenich WL 66-78 wood prop. The airplane reaches top speed at about 2650 RPM. I recommend this product for an easy and quick 5 MPH increase in speed, better fuel mileage and lower fuel consumption are other ways to benefits of this product’s application to the T18. From K.N.
NOTE: The use of parentheses ( ) throughout the table below, permits the use of the vortelator kit on any propeller that has the basic model designation preceding the parentheses regardless of the remainder of the model designation. With regards to Sensenich Wood Propeller Co. some documents may not show the (W) designating wood propeller at the beginning of the model designation, plus any designation on a wooden propeller beyond that shown in the table below, still permits the use of the propeller vortelator kit.