The action photo shown was taken during the 2005 Pikes Peak Race. The truck is driven by owner Mike Ryan of Mike Ryan MotorSports.
The truck has approximately 16 Airtabs™ place along the back of the roof. The Airtab® is a vortex generator that creates forced vortices. The product is currently being marketed to the trucking, RV, horse trailer, auto trailer markets for the reduction of drag, increased vehicle stability and fuel savings.
The amazing photo shows how the 16 Airtabs™ on the roof smoothly bend the airflow down into the area behind the cab. The photo shows the Airtabs™ create an array of vortices that smoothes airflow behind the cab so it can closely follow the wing's contour to create more downforce and traction. The bending of the air coming off the cab allows the wing to operate in clean, undisturbed air, improving the wing's effectiveness. The effect of the wing can be clearly seen as it lofts the air upwards. Rare weather conditions make the vortices look like a layer of white fog in this remarkable photograph. The picture was provided to Mike Ryan courtesy of a race fan.
I had problems getting air flow the the rear spoiler on my Porsche 914. I added AirTabs along the rear of the roof and did some testing at Buttonwillow Raceway. Here are my results, I couldn't be happier!
Porsche 914 #52 PCA, POC, SCCA
Observation #1: Substantial difference in the rear end feel going clockwise around the Riverside turn
Previously the rear would get very 'light' and start twitching around through this turn, limiting throttle to about 50% in 5th. With the vortex generators I could actually feel the rear end 'squat' over 100 and could keep about 90-95% throttle through this turn! Appears that the vortex generators are helping reduce the air turbulence behind the back window and getting some air flow to the rear spoiler.
Observation #2: Previously would only have to 'lift' exiting Riverside to make the R to L transition going up to Lost Hills . With the increased exit speed from Riverside, this is now a 'brake' (a 'tap' is not enough! Almost went farming the first time through)
I was not expecting this much difference. As a matter of fact with all of the feedback on why this wouldn't work, I was wondering if I would notice any difference at all. I'm very happy with the results
Times showed a 1/2 second improvement, or about 6 car lengths through this section. I'm sure there is more out there as I work with this new setup.
Even if the times did not improve I'd keep the vortex generators just for the increased stability and confidence in high speed handling. The rear end skating was too much 'excitement' for me...
September thru December 2008
What a summer. I have tested the AirTabs and WOW........is all I can say.
* See News Section for further info.
August 10, 2010
Snakebite here. As promised here are pictures from Armdrop live held at Cayuga Ontario Canada. We have now been almost a full season with Airtabs on our race car. The difference is like night and day.
We will not go without them as they offer stability to our car at the speeds we do going down the quarter mile. This product works without question!
With the installation of Airtabs on our hauler we have noticed a big difference in the handling of our trailer with more visibility during rain storms. This is a great safety feature that we can greatly appreciate.
Bob H (Snakebite)
Notice the row of Black Airtabs on the trunk and on the roof forward of the back window.