In the past two decades, Micro AeroDynamics has earned STCs on more than 500 different models of aircraft, shipped out thousands of VG kits, and received more than 60 phone calls and letters from pilots who claim they owe their lives to the vortex generators.
Still going strong, the company continues to expand the list of single and twin engine aircraft that can be retrofitted with its kits. In the past 30 days the FAA has issued STCs for VGs covering five new aircraft models.
Picking up on jet aircraft technology, Charles White, founder of Micro AeroDynamics (pictured), wondered if the vortex generators on jets might provide some benefits to GA aircraft owners. He started his company by focusing on the Beech Baron and found that his tiny vortex generators did indeed make a significant difference in the slow speed handling and performance of the aircraft. He was able to lower the stall speed, improve aileron control, and virtually eliminate VMc. What worked on the Baron was soon applied to a wide range of other twins and single engine aircraft. Every one of them saw a reduction in stall speed, improved handling and better control up through flaring.
VGs are made out of aluminum, are about 1 inch long and stand up above the wing, stabilizer or vertical fin surface about a quarter inch. They are highly effective in keeping the boundary layer attached to flying surfaces at higher angles of attack and slower speeds. The entire collection of VGs for any one aircraft amounts to little more than a handful, weighing only a couple of ounces. They are attached to aircraft surfaces with the aid of templates and Loctite adhesive. For a fee the company will paint the VGs to match the base color of the aircraft.
“Improved controllability at slow speed is the most important improvement with vortex generators,” said White. “The feedback we get from pilots is enthusiastic and positive. They all regard the kits as a form of insurance that can make a tremendous difference in a crisis.”
For more information: MicroAero.com.