Micro Vortex Generators are placed in a spanwise line two to fifteen percent aft of the leading edge of the wing. They control airflow over the upper surface of the wing and the tail surfaces by creating vortices that energize the boundary layer. This results in improved performance and control authority at low airspeeds up to the critical angle of attack.
A Micro Vortex Generator creates a tiny vortex in the airstream over an airfoil. This vortex energizes the normally stagnant boundary layer of air on the wing and tail surfaces. An energized boundary layer is more resistant to flow separation than a stagnant boundary layer. The result is that airflow "sticks" to the wing and control surfaces better, providing greater lift, which results in greater control in flight at slower airspeeds such as take-off and landing.
Installation using the provided illustrated installation manual can take as little as 6 hours and up to 14 hours depending on the number of surfaces on which the parts are installed, and how many total parts are in the kit for a specific aircraft model.
It will take your mechanic approximately 3 hours to install the templates on the aircraft and double check the measurements. The remainder of the time is gluing each Micro Vortex Generator in the cut-out of the template, and cleaning up any excess adhesive that may squeeze out under the base of the Micro VG when pressed in place. Some aircraft models also contain strakes which are installed with provided hardware.
Here is a video of an installation
Yes. We cannot, of course, test every possible combination of STCs for compatibility with our STC. However, our STC allows the installer to determine compatibility with other STCs on a given aircraft. The installer can perform an Operational Flight Check per FAR 91.407(b) after installation of the Micro VG Kit to determine if there are any adverse characteristics created by the installation of VGs along with another STC.
Ice does not form far enough aft of the leading edge to affect the Vortex Generators. We have confirmed this through extensive flight testing in severe icing conditions, per FAA flight testing requirements.
The only disadvantage is that the airplane wing is somewhat more difficult to wash. However, if sufficient care is taken this is only a minor difficulty, and is far outweighed by the safety and performance benefits. Using a brush with long soft bristles works well.
Unfortunately, there are so many different airspeed indicators out there we can't stock dial faces for all possible configurations. We include a dial face only for the Self Compensating True Airspeed Indicator. If you have a standard airspeed indicator or a copilot's airspeed indicator, please remove the instrument from the aircraft and have an instrument shop mark your current dial face using the dial face drawing contained in the Option#2 envelope. The aircraft may still be flown if it is in Option #1 configuration.
All Materials necessary for installation are included in the Micro Vortex Generator Kit, with the exception of a ladder for installing VGs on the tail, a roll of paper towels and bottle of isopropyl alcohol for cleaning the wing surface. If the kit includes strakes, then an electric drill and pop-riveting tool is also needed.
If your kit includes a Gross Weight Increase (GWI), or change in operation airspeeds, there are two options for installation.
OPTION 1: No Change in Performance
The vortex generators are installed on the aircraft, but the airspeed indicator is not changed, and the Pilot's Operation Handbook is not changed to reflect the improvement in performance.
OPTION 2: Change in Performance
The vortex generators are installed on the aircraft, the airspeed indicator is changed, and the Pilot's Operation Handbook is changed to reflect the improvement in performance.
Option #1 allows the owner to continue to fly the airplane even if the airspeed indicator could not be upgraded during the vortex generator installation. An Option #1 installation may be upgraded to an Option #2 installation at any time.
Any A&P mechanic with minimal tools can perform the installation. An I.A. is needed to return the aircraft to service with a 337 form after the installation of the STC.
No. We have flown a Baron with Dick Rutan at Edwards Air Force Base and used radar tracking to measure speed at different altitudes. The only conditions where we found a speed reduction was a 1 knot reduction in top speed at 12,000 ft. at full power, and no change in top speed at 75% power. There were no speed reductions at any other altitude. The small amount of drag created by the vortex generators is offset by a cleaner flow of air from the trailing edge of the wing.