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I know the advantages of vortex generators (VGs): lower stall speed, lower landing and takeoff speed according to www.stolspeed.com. So what are the major reasons most GA planes and low speed ultralights don't have VGs on their wings?

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  • $\begingroup$ Someone has ruined this question. My answer of Cost was Not provided as a Disadvantage, it was provided to the original question of why most most GA airplanes etc. don't have VGAs. There are NO Disadvantages to having VGs. $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads Aug 24 at 23:34
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Cost. A set of Micro AeroDynamics VGs can run around $1500 plus installation cost. On my plane they are installed on the top of the wing, the sides of the vertical stabilizer (fin), and the bottom of the stabilator. I wasn't aware there were other suppliers of STC'd VGs for certificated planes. I installed mine in early 2000s, price may have gone up some since then.

They do work well, lowering stall speed while allowing the controls to be effective the same as at higher speeds. No noticeable loss of airspeed at higher power.

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I've been thinking of putting them on my plane (a homebuilt). I can make them myself, but would have to figure out the proper chord wise location. I think the biggest negative to them is the care required to avoid knocking them off.

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  • $\begingroup$ They are glued in place. The only area likely to have them knocked off is near the fuel caps if one is not careful with the hose. $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads Jun 4 '18 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ Really?you can make them yourself? How?how do you cut them,how to you align them with the wings....Am gonna make vgs pretty soon and there's little resource on the internet on how to make them ,any link to help me,or article?🙏 $\endgroup$ – David Teahay Jun 5 '18 at 11:19
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    $\begingroup$ Check out the shapes and materials used here. stolspeed.com/id/3 Can't help you on placement, other than what I said earlier about placement in general. $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads Jun 5 '18 at 11:46
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    $\begingroup$ On an amateur built aircraft yes. You can make them from T extrusions and you can buy kits for homebuilders with plastic ones you figure out for yourself. The general rule for angle I believe is 15 degrees but the tricky part is finding the right chordwise location. The sweet spot is just before the transition from laminar to turbulent flow at stalling AOA. If you put them too far back they don't do anything and too far forward they are less efficient. Best thing is to look for an airplane with the same airfoil and find one that has a certified kit installed and copy that installation. $\endgroup$ – John K Jun 5 '18 at 14:46
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The most important reason by far is that if you design your wing (or other surface) correctly they aren't needed. Since they consume energy all the time, most manufacturers have done just that.

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    $\begingroup$ I would disagree with that. VGs are beneficial to the vast majority of GA aircraft. But they are an add-on that most people can't be bothered with. $\endgroup$ – John K Jun 4 '18 at 15:02

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