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Who is using VGs?

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  • Who is using VGs?

    I am interested to hear from anyone who is using VGs or who has experimented with them.

    I have had feedback on BCP Forum from Mike Creek, that his VGs yielded improvements in control and handling during the lowest speed regimes, as well as a possible reduction in cruise speed and stall speed - albeit minor.

    I tend to think that the Bearhawk already stalls with such a high nose attitude at such low speed, that it is practically impossible use the last few knots before the stall during a short landing. That being said, there is always the take-off, and riding through squally wind conditions on-approach - more control and safety margin is always good.

    There is a local Murphy Rebel which apparently made 5kts better on the stall speed with VGs, which is a safety margin worth investigating. My research into the brands suggests that each are equally effective, it's the placement which makes all the difference.

    Keen to hear from other Bearhawkers!


  • #2
    I'm thinking about trying VGs on my Patrol. I really cannot get a full stall with 28 degrees up elevator (which is all I have) with idle power and mid to forward CGs. Under these conditions I just get behind the power curve and develop a healthy sink rate, but still have full control. I looked into installing VGs on the bottom of the HS. Micro Aerodynamics sells VG kits without the STC for $395. Kits include a installation template and some double-sided tape which can be used to mount the VGs temporarily. They have an STC for the Husky, and that template should be close enough to start with. It kind of turns me off to pay for all the wing VGs, which I do not think the Patrol requires, and they don't want to sell the HS VGs separately. I have also looked into just buying a length of tee extrusion and making my own. The only source I found that might be suitable is Mann Made Inc - II, which specializes in miniature Al extrusions.

    Owen Smith


    • #3
      Owen -

      Tke a look at the STOLspeed VGs, one of the best I found, and just $97 US...

      The kit includes laser cut 3M adhesives, and patterns for mounting the VGs at the correct angle.
      They are also soft and flexible, unlike many STCd ones, which makes cleaning easier. Available from Aircraft Spruce. If you need a specific number, just email JG at his personal website, he's helpful.

      These are the best I found, and I ordered a set.

      I am very interested to hear from anyone who has installed any kind of VGs, and experimented - it would be good to know what percent of MAC they work best at, for the Bearhawk wing, without days of test flying???
      Last edited by Battson; 12-16-2013, 11:46 PM.


      • #4
        Dan Shilling has VGs on his BH wings and the underside of his horizontal stab and likes them, but that's all I know. I don't believe he monitors any group anymore.


        • #5
          I earned my tailwheel endorsement in our bearhawk, and installed the Vg's part way through. They helped me round out a bit in the flare without the "bearhawk bounce". We operate off airport and I also notice them in short field ops.
          Last edited by Maverick; 12-19-2013, 08:56 AM.


          • #6
            I screwed up my post somehow, anyway, we installed the vg's on the wing and underside of the horizontal stab. They were moved back a few inches on the cord of the wing compared to blackrocks to in theory keep the air attached longer and improve cruise performance. This change is virtually unnoticeable between the two bear hawks. Think vg's are a worthy addition and comparatively cheap. I don't recall what brand ours are but they are clear, stiff 3m plastic. Make your template out of something somewhat stiff but still has flexibility similar to linoleum. I stole blackrocks and it was made of something similar. I have since heard horror stories of folks having to remove vg's along with some paint because they didn't realize they were getting off line.


            • #7
              What is a "bearhawk bounce"?


              • #8
                More of a skip really. Other bearhawkers coined the phrase, but for me it was an inexperienced 3 point landing, never really bounced it. The plane touches then hops or skips just a little before settling. With experience I have gotten away from that mostly....or the bush wheels cover it up well. They are wonderful to fly and land. I didn't have any trouble earning my tailwheel endorsement in ours.


                • #9
                  Interesting. I've flown in four different Bearhawks and that's the first I've heard of it, that's why I asked.


                  • #10
                    It may be relative to most taildraggers, all my t.w. experience is in a bearhawk. The first time I heard that was from a builder from Salt Lake City that has a great deal more time than I have in type. I have approx. 200hrs in our bh, the vg's did make a favorable change.


                    • #11
                      Here is a YouTube video of my very first landing in my Bearhawk. It shows the skip that I usually experienced. Not really a bounce, more of a skip. I think it is a product of too much airspeed. I found that with mine, to get the full stall three point, you had to end up with the tail wheel touching down just slightly before the mains.

                      <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
                      Eric Newton - Long Beach, MS
                      Bearhawk Tailwheels and Builder's Manuals


                      • #12
                        Trying it again - sorry
                        Eric Newton - Long Beach, MS
                        Bearhawk Tailwheels and Builder's Manuals


                        • #13
                          I agree. I've found in that case it's easier to make a tailwheel low wheel landing. Just relaxing some back pressure on the stick rolls the mains on. Our skips, hops ect.,may have been a product of pretty high d.a. also. (our strip is at 5,200 ft msl).


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Maverick View Post
                            It may be relative to most taildraggers, all my t.w. experience is in a bearhawk. The first time I heard that was from a builder from Salt Lake City that has a great deal more time than I have in type. I have approx. 200hrs in our bh, the vg's did make a favorable change.
                            I have been told by others who are flying that it can be hard to avoid a little landing "skip", unless you're using a lot of flap to make sure the wing is dead once you get to the ground.
                            The tailwheel first landing issue is clear to us already. Hopefully some 29" wheels alleviate the problem to some degree. I was initially thinking "there's no point in having VGs" as a result, but they do a lot more than just shave a couple of kts off the stall speed. Certainly flaring at full flaps needs a burst of power if you don't have VGs under the horizontal.

                            Good to see you on the forum, Maverick, can you tell me what distance you placed your VGs on the wing?


                            • #15
                              I'll make a measurement and get back to you. I have 31" ABW's and they certainly take the ugly out of a bad one. I would definitely recommend the vg's from my experience. Also as I mentioned, rolling the mains on tailwheel low works best for me.