Turbulator Tape & Gap Seal Tape

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Turbulator Tape & Gap Seal Tape

Postby FredHoffman » Sat May 19, 2018 9:39 pm

Sealed the wings to fuselage gap with sailplane gap seal tape today. I used to fly sailplanes and always tapped up this gap, the drag from high pressure air there really killed the glide maybe like 20%. Curious to see if I notice a difference on the Highlander.


Also experimenting with turbulator zig-zag tape. Going to try this first if not much change small vortex generators for the flaps will be next.

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Re: Turbulator Tape & Gap Seal Tape

Postby BDA » Sun May 20, 2018 1:11 am

Excited to see your results!
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Re: Turbulator Tape & Gap Seal Tape

Postby FredHoffman » Mon May 21, 2018 10:48 pm

Flew the plane with just the wing gap tapes. I feel that it floats a little on landing now. Might mean I should try to land slower next. Took off the zig zag as they didn't want to lay flat on the curve of the flaps. I think they make thinner more flexible zig zag tape that might work better.
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Re: Turbulator Tape & Gap Seal Tape

Postby Coltin.b » Tue May 29, 2018 7:45 pm


I work on some of the "slow" military airplanes and we have the turbulator tape down the underside of the whole wing, just forward of the flight controls surfaces. I have been wanting to experiment with this on my highlander but just haven't got around to it yet. From what I understand its a big thing in the glider world. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

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Re: Turbulator Tape & Gap Seal Tape

Postby FredHoffman » Tue May 29, 2018 9:53 pm

I had planned on putting the tape just ahead of the ailerons on the underside of the wing too, but the aileron leading edge drops well below the wing at full up. I think it may be best on the bottom leading edge of the aileron as this will be in the the breeze the most. Wings and wheels has many different sizes and thicknesses on their website. I had initially selected the thickest tape to get the best vortex going but I'll have to go thinner to conform with the aileron/flap curve.
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Re: Turbulator Tape & Gap Seal Tape

Postby ls6pj » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:18 am

These turbulator tapes are certainly a big hype in the gliding world, but...
Did i say hype ?
When the duo discus came on he market, a professor in aerodynamics mesured the performance of one in flight, then removed all the turbulator tapes.
No measurable difference, but the tapes cost 2000 $.
Just the cost should prompt you to approach this intelligently. The idea behind these tapes is that they are positioned in the laminar flow, just ahead of a zone of stagnant boundary layer. The tape will create tiny votexes which should re-energise the boundary layer and clear or reduce the stangant zone.
Positioning is all the difference between some good, or a lot of work and cost for nothing.
So using tufts is a good way to find out where trouble can be prevented.
But here's another question
Is the surface of your aircraft so good that this thinnish tape will be able to still sit in some energised flow ? Why are the vortex generators in the kit so big....to sit in the energised flow.
And why are those tapes almost exclusively seen in the gliding world ? Surely boeing would use them if they could save 1% in fuel
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