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Old Oct 04, 2012, 09:40 AM
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Windsor, Canada, near Detroit
Joined Jul 2007
4,737 Posts
Discussion
conclusions on turbulators and steps

turbulators:
1.-stability increases;
2.-speed increases;
3.-drag is reduced;
4.-glide is more flat;
5.-duration increases;
6.-the most effective location is at leading edge;
7.-if using only 1, place it at the leading edge;
8.-when using more (besides the 1 at leading edge), placed at certain % similar to birds, all of the above increases even more than when using only 1;
9.-thickness has to be small (like thread).

steps:
1.-stability increases a lot (more than with turbulators);
2.-drag increases a lot;
3.-speed is reduced;
4.-glide is not as flat;
5.-duration is reduced;
6.-location (% of chord), thickness, and adding more steps does not change performance noticeably;
8.-thickness has to be large. i mean, about 1/4" and up.

conclusions:
1.-turbulators: increase stability and efficiency; drag is reduced; speed increases; reynolds increases;
2.-steps: increase stability enormously and efficiency is reduced. drag is very large; reynolds is reduced.

june 17, 2013: i have been using turbulators for a long time. most of them with spars at the surface, as part of the structure, an also threads glued along several positions of the wing, running parallel to the span, over the covering. in recent times i built 2 identical wings, 1 with turbulators, and another without them (on the surface) and compared the plane's performance, even measuring its speed. now am working with sailplanes around the 2 meters (80") wingspan.
what i do with all my planes is to fly them without turbulators, long enough to become familiar with their behavior, and then add turbulators, starting with the 1 at the leading edge, then adding more along the chord, and watch the plane's behavior carefully with the addition of each 1
(there are more details somewhere here in this blog). but it is important to comment on the advantages of using them.
an example is what i did the past few days with my Thermalis (a 2 mt sailplane). i began testing it in calm weather, then little wind, and it behaved very well. then, 1 day, as the wind began to increase, i decided to keep flying and see how much wind could it manage. there was a moment when, at the time of stopping the motor, it took me some time to stabilize it to get into a glide. also, it lost penetration: just stood still in midair. so i began playing with trim and decalage, but things didn't get any better. then i added 1 thread turbulator at the leading edge, and the plane now has a smooth transition into glide, and has more penetration. it is now an all weather plane. that confirms my previous experience, that turbulators add stability, penetration and speed.

for more details, see at the end of 'my goal is to have fun', 'what works for me', page 4 of this blog.
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Last edited by phil alvirez; Jun 17, 2013 at 03:41 AM.
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