Aircraft Development has developed a vortelator kit that can increase your homebuilt aircraft speed by 4 to 7.5 mph. This is accomplished by placing vortelators at certain critical locations which will 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 the 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 thatís 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 strutís chord. In the area where there is no vortelator, the air flow separates from the lift strut and becomes turbulent, at approximately 40% of the lift strutís 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 2.01Ē thick, and at the 80% chord position the lift strut is 1.18Ē thick. That means the turbulent 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.
LANCAIR The vortelating of the airframes of the Lancair 235, 320, 360 aircraft will give about a 4 to 5 MPH increase in speed. The vortelating of propellers of these aircraft is more random in nature. From flight tests the increase in speed can be from 2 to 4 MPH depending on the propeller used.