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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am seeing more and more of these on straight and semi trucks for their (alleged) fuel and stability enhancing properties. Many trucker forums swear by the stability aspect of them. AirTabs seems to be the most established in the business. Have any of you given thought to using them on a car?? I've seen photos of AirTabs on Vettes, Prius and other cars. Thoughts from any truck drivers or others who've tried them. I recall the Mitsubishi Evo 10 had them on the roof as standard and that they did work.

Airtab | Aerodynamic Fuel Savers | Welcome


VorBlade -
 

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They use something similar in the Aviation industry. They call them vortex generators. They create a wind vortex around lift creating surfaces, wings, etc.

It would make sense then that this would create a smoother air flow around a car and reduce wind drag. I doubt it would help much on a small car with minimum air displacement, but makes sense for larger trucks.

I'd be interested if someone had hard numbers from a wind tunnel study, or at least before and after mpg numbers for a regular sized car....
 

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Well, the Airtab site has data from testing on a Honda Civic that shows 4% HP reduction at 55MPH(or 65?). But that was on a Hatch running down the sides. Not so sure about placement on a sedan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I'm seeing them more and more on trucks and RVs so there must be something to the science or there's a sucker born every minute. My buddy had them put on his E55 Baron and when we flew, it made a big difference in rotation and landing stability.


https://youtu.be/9Whd_KnsLKE
 

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Think xtreme had them on his car and removed them recently.
 

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Interesting. I wonder if it's a purely stylistic thing that the manufacturers don't put something like this on certain cars.
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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Interesting. I wonder if it's a purely stylistic thing that the manufacturers don't put something like this on certain cars.
It would be rather difficult to implement in a production setting, especially since you can't stamp it into the roof panel itself.
 

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I had them on my car for about 2 years. Took them off a few weeks ago since I got rid of them. When I had them on, I noticed slightly better stability during cross winds and when passing trucks. I don't drive enough highway for it to matter anymore, and during the winter, they would always get clogged with snow or ice so they weren't really effective then. I may put in some fin-style vortex generators in their place.
 

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Not sure how much they cost, but seems kinda like a gimmick to me. I guess if you lived in an area of country with frequent high velocity winds it might help.
 

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Not sure how much they cost, but seems kinda like a gimmick to me. I guess if you lived in an area of country with frequent high velocity winds it might help.
Kyle Drives on youtube has some good theoretical videos and some empirical testing he performed himself. Other people claim to show results with windshield yarn tests. I claim they look cool.

Regardless, Vortex generators do work and are effective, on certain applications and in certain conditions. I see where you going with the Gimmick comment, I can certainly see a company selling these slap them on random parts of trucks, cars, RVs and then say it helps economy, backed up by fake CFD analysis and cool graphics.

A 0.1 MPG increase is significant to an automotive OEM, you would think more OEMs would employ VGs, but it seems to be a "band aid solution" like on an Mitsubishi Evo, where modern designers design the rear windshield geometry to not require vortex generators to keep flow attached.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Kyle Drives on youtube has some good theoretical videos and some empirical testing he performed himself. Other people claim to show results with windshield yarn tests. I claim they look cool.

Regardless, Vortex generators do work and are effective, on certain applications and in certain conditions. I see where you going with the Gimmick comment, I can certainly see a company selling these slap them on random parts of trucks, cars, RVs and then say it helps economy, backed up by fake CFD analysis and cool graphics.

A 0.1 MPG increase is significant to an automotive OEM, you would think more OEMs would employ VGs, but it seems to be a "band aid solution" like on an Mitsubishi Evo, where modern designers design the rear windshield geometry to not require vortex generators to keep flow attached.

IIRC, they put these "stock" on the roof of the EVO X when it came out. Many swear by them, but they give no empirical evidence. I see more of them on straight trucks and semi trucks these days and was just wondering why a smaller version hasn't made its way to production cars. Could be an esthetic thing since I can't see it negatively affecting functionality. Look at the new Prius Prime. There's lots of aero tricks on it, but it sure is ugly.
 

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IIRC, they put these "stock" on the roof of the EVO X when it came out. Many swear by them, but they give no empirical evidence. I see more of them on straight trucks and semi trucks these days and was just wondering why a smaller version hasn't made its way to production cars. Could be an esthetic thing since I can't see it negatively affecting functionality. Look at the new Prius Prime. There's lots of aero tricks on it, but it sure is ugly.

Youtuber empirical study on his particular vehicle: https://youtu.be/eP-YUDe9HF0?t=2m54s
 
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