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Table of Contents The Company Behind the Technology
What are AirtabsTM?
Field Test Results
Airtab速 Installation Instructions
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THE COMPANY BEHIND THE TECHNOLOGY Aeroserve Technologies Ltd. was founded in 1997 near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The company manufactures and markets the patented Airtab速 fuel saver and conducts aero vortex generation application research. It currently has distributors in over thirty countries world wide.
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What are Airtabs™? Airtabs™ are patented, unique wishbone shaped vortex generators designed to increase vehicle aerodynamic performance and fuel economy by reducing aerodynamic pressure drag at two key locations; the tractor-trailer gap and the rear facing surface (the base area) of any commercial bus or motorcoach that routinely attains highway speeds. Drag reduction and fuel economy benefits from Airtab® application is not limited to commercial trucking operations. While the results may vary somewhat with vehicle type, the aerodynamic theory and principles are the same for all. Airtabs™ are mounted three per linear foot, or every 4 inches on center. Take the number of feet to be covered and multiply by three to give the number of Airtabs™ required. Each Airtab® creates two tight swirls of air or vortices that combine to reduce the suction and drag at the rear of vehicles traveling at speeds above approximately 35 mph or 55kmh. Airtabs™ are also effective at the rear roof lines of automobiles that have a rear window slope of greater than 30 degrees. Airtabs™ offer several safety benefits as well. They improve vehicle stability by altering the airflow at the vehicle’s rear. The large random eddies at the rear surface are changed to an array of small vigorous “stream wise” vortices. The majority of users comment immediately on the improved vehicle handling performance, especially in gusty cross wind conditions or when passing (or being passed by) other vehicles. This increases driver safety margins by reducing wandering and sudden adjacent lane incursions. Mirror visibility in rain or snow is also improved as the Airtabs™ help suppress precipitation and spray patterns. Safety is improved through better mirror visibility yielding safer lane changes as well as improving the visibility conditions for other road users. By reducing the suction and aerodynamic drag at the rear of vehicles, the tendency to accumulate snow and road grime at this location is reduced. This helps to improve corporate image and reduce cleaning time and expense. It also enhances safety by keeping conspicuity tape, tail and brake lights cleaner and helps the bottom line by reducing snow and weight build up in winter.
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Operators put Airtabs to the test
Vortex generators reduce wind resistance and aerodynamic drag to improve fuel economy By David Hubbard
Specially designed for large heavy-duty commercial vehicles, Airtabs™ are unique vortex generators that control airflow over a moving coach. They reduce wind resistance and aerodynamic drag to improve fuel economy. The air rushing to fill the vacuum left by a moving vehicle creates drag and turbulence. This causes the engine to burn more fuel to produce the necessary power to overcome the resistance. Wishbone-shaped AirtabsTM attach easily at the rear of the coach to create two tight vortices. These vortices combine to reduce suction and drag at the rear of vehicles traveling at speeds above 35 mph. Airtabs™ improve vehicle stability and safety by altering the airflow patterns at the vehicle’s rear. The large random swirls at the rear of the bus are replaced by dozens of small, vigorous, “stream-wise” counterrotating vortexes that trail several feet behind the vehicle. AirtabsTM put to the test Already proven to be effective in the trucking industry, Airtab, LLC, asked BUSRide to test the product on motorcoaches. BUSRide selected five motorcoach companies that represented a variety of climates and geographic conditions. Airtab, LLC, supplied each motorcoach company with Airtab® vortex generators to install, test and evaluate during the summer. BUSRide asked the participating operators to keep a careful record of mileage and fuel efficiency both before and after the product trial, and to report any noticeable changes or improvements. The drivers participated in evaluating vehicle stability and handling of the coach in actual service on the open road. Maintenance techs weighed in on the overall cleanliness of the rear of the coach, particularly from splash and spray during trips in adverse weather. THE RESULTS ARE IN All Aboard America! Mesa, AZ All Aboard America! installed and tested three coaches with AirtabsTM, for product trials on the same line-haul run from its Midland, TX, location. The coaches ran from May through June for evaluation prior to installation. Two coaches ran July through August with AirtabsTM, while one continued without the product.
BEFORE AIRTABSTM fuel mileage: Coach 478: 6.30 miles per gallon Coach 454: 6.35 miles per gallon Coach 474: 7.11 miles per gallon WITH AIRTABSTM fuel mileage: Coach 478: 6.54 (a 2.8-percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Coach 454: 6.53 (a 3.7-percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Coach 474: 6.87 (Continuing without AirtabsTM, Coach 474 showed a 3.5-percent decrease in fuel mileage over the first period.) One driver reported noticing improved stability and better handling with the AirtabsTM through gusty West Texas cross winds. Cyr Northstar Tours Lines Old Town, ME Cyr Northwest reported a “neutral experience” after a 10-day before and 10-day after trial period, comparing fuel data with and without the AirtabsTM. For the most controlled conditions, Cyr installed AirtabsTM on one coach that runs the same line-run route daily from Bangor, ME, north to Caribou, ME, with the same three drivers doing the testing at highway speeds. BEFORE AIRTABSTM: 6.9 mpg WITH AIRTABSTM: 6.5 mpg (a 6.2-percent decrease in fuel mileage.) Cyr notes that none of the three drivers reported noticeable change in the handling of the coach, and none was aware of the coach feeling any differently. The wash bay personnel did not notice anything different in the way of a cleaner appearance to the rear of the coach. They did say, however, that the washer brushes did not damage the AirtabsTM. Pacific Coachways Charter Services, Inc. Garden Grove, CA With AirtabsTM installed on one MCI J4500 coach, Pacific Coachways sent it out with the same driver on several extended trips as far away as Yellowstone, WY. Comparing fuel records from previous trips without AirtabsTM, the company reported the same fuel consumption for both before and after installing the product. busride.com | BUSRIDE
BEFORE AIRTABSTM: 5.82 mpg WITH AIRTABSTM: 5.82 mpg (0.0-percent gain in fuel mileage.) Winn Transportation Richmond, VA Winn Transportation installed the AirtabsTM on a Prevost H3-45. As Winn does not run regular scheduled service, the company tested its AirtabsTM on coach charters with one senior driver to various destinations. BEFORE AIRTABSTM: 4.56 miles per gallon WITH AIRTABSTM: 4.86 miles per gallon (a 6.2-percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Winn notes the short test period, along with conditions like differences in idle time, traffic, accident delays, and speed limits. In his time with the coach, the driver did not notice any difference in handling or less sway in the coach. The company says it will continue to monitor fuel mileage with the AirtabsTM over a longer period and offer its findings. Arrow Stage Lines Omaha, NE Arrow Stage Lines installed AirtabsTM on four coaches at its Denver, CO, facility. The company provided 6-1/2 months of data before having AirtabsTM along with data from 3-1/2 months of testing. MILEAGE and FUEL CONSUMPTION RESULTS BEFORE AIRTABSTM: Coach 508: 7.34 miles per gallon Coach 509: 7.26 miles per gallon Coach 510: 6.99 miles per gallon Coach 511: 7.35 mpg
WITH AIRTABSTM: Coach 508: 7.46 miles per gallon (a 1.6-percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Coach 509: 7.55 miles per gallon (a 3.8-percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Coach 510: 7.06 miles per gallon (a 1.0-percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Coach 511: 7.85 mpg (a 6.4-percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Arrow Stage says its driver reported nothing different as to the handling of the coaches. Tour West America Phoenix, AZ Tour West America installed AirtabsTM on a 2013 MCI J4500. Prior to the product trial, the company reported fuel mileage for one-month. The company tested the AirtabsTM on coach for approximately two months. BEFORE AIRTABSTM: 5.79 miles per gallon WITH AIRTABSTM: 6.13 miles per gallon (a 5.5 percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Of the three drivers who drove the bus before and after, one reported the rear of the bus staying cleaner throughout his trips. Another stated that the rear end of the bus felt a little more stabilized. The company intends to install AirtabsTM on a 2003 Prevost H3-45 and test the product for an extended period. With the Airtabs™, the seven coaches showing improved fuel economy averaged a 3.51 percent increase in mileage. Based on a $3.85 per gallon diesel fuel price as of November, this represents a savings of 13.5 cents per gallon. Airtab®, LLC, represents the Airtab® product in Canada and the USA. Airtabs™ are a product of Aeroserve Technologies LTD located in Carp, ON, Canada. Airtab® is a registered trademark of Aeroserve Technologies Ltd. US and Canadian Patents.
SAVE FUEL. INCREASE STABILITY. REDUCE SPRAY. BUY AIRTABS. Apply Airtabs™ to the back of your motorcoach. You’ll notice instant results: • Up to 2-3% annual fuel savings per coach • Increased stability and less swaying at highway speeds • Less spray and snow collection on the back of the coach For technical information, please visit airtab.com. To purchase please call 970-663-9075 or visit buyairtab.com. 6
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AirTab Installation Instructions ®
The Airtabs are installed on the roof and two sides at the trailing edge of the vehicle. The point of the Airtab® faces toward the back of the vehicle. The scoop (wide part) of the Airtab® faces toward the front of the vehicle. Airtabs™ must be installed when the vehicle skin and air temperature is above 40°F (5°C) Attempting to install Airtabs™ when colder will yield unsatisfactory results. General: All work should be performed with due care and in accordance with all existing codes, safety regulations, labor laws, hazardous material practices, etc. For photos of typical installations, painting instructions, for removal instructions, visit www.Airtab.com Materials: 1. Sufficient Airtabs™, tape measure, erasable marker, masking tape. 2. Automotive soap and water, degreaser (if necessary), sufficient clean shop rags or paper towels 3. Ensure the vehicle manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines are followed. 4. Scaffolding or secure work platform (preferred) or a ladder 5. Vehicle wheel chocks Surface and Site Preparation: Airtabs™ should be installed when the vehicle skin temperature is at or above 40o F (+5oC). The surfaces must be free of all contaminants. Airtabs™ should be installed on warm, clean, dry, flat surfaces. If degreaser is used, it must be completely removed before installation. Regardless of the cleaning agent used, the final cleaning process should use an alcohol-based product, such as rubbing alcohol, Varsol or paint thinner. Do not use Windex or window cleaners containing ammonia. Use clean shop rags. In short, for installation purposes, the cleaner, the dryer, the warmer, the better. Chock the wheels to prevent movement. Secure ladders with rope, etc., if a suitable platform is not available.
Location on Vehicles: Airtabs™ should be installed as close as possible to the back (trailing) edge of the vehicle, while ensuring proper adhesion surfaces. Airtabs™ are effective shielding gaps effective or reducing turbulence from entering undesirable areas. Any part of a vehicle that presents an edge that is at right angles to the airflow is a possible Airtab® location, provided the area receives an adequate amount of relatively undisturbed airflow. Examples include forward of wheel wells, on slung tool boxes, etc. Airtabs™ should not be mounted with the wide end of the Airtab® farther than about 14 inches from the back of the vehicle. Mounting further forward may reduce performance. Ensure that the leading (wide) edge of the Airtab® is absolutely flush with the mounting surface, Ensure that AirtabsTM are lined up properly for an attractive and professional look. Installation: Install Airtabs™ 3 per foot or every 4 inches on center or about 3/4” spacing between edges (about the thickness of your thumb). Increase this spacing to avoid rivet heads, bolts, grab bars, etc. but do NOT decrease the spacing as this may decrease performance. Measure forward from the trailing edge of the vehicle to where the leading edges of the Airtabs™ will be. Mark at several points and lay a straight vertical strop of masking tape along the marks as a guide. Mark the tape every 4 inches at several points and install. Remove the marker masking tape. DO NOT let the backing papers accumulate underfoot. They are very slippery. For installation planning purposes, allow 1 hour per unit. Full setting of the tape takes 24 hours, however, vehicles will be operational after 15 minutes. The warmer the surface temperature, the faster the tape will set.
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Frequently Asked Questions How many Airtabs™ do I need: Measure the sides and the roof of the Vehicle at the back. They are placed 3 per linear foot (4” inches on center) Airtabs™ are mounted 3 per linear foot, or every 4 inches on center. Take the number of feet to be covered and multiply by 3 to give the number of Airtabs™ required. For example if the total distance is 24 feet multiply 24 feet by 3 which equals 72 Airtabs™. Do you operate 40’ or 45’ motorcoach? Measure the sides and top perimeter of the trailing edge of your vehicle. You will need 3 Airtabs™ per lineal foot (mounted no closer than 4” centers — see install instructions). Purchase Airtabs™ individually in whatever quantity you need. We recommend that you buy one or more extra Airtabs™, in case your measurements were slightly off, or you drop one during installation. If you drop an Airtab® after removing the lining and the adhesive gets dirty, you will probably find that Airtab® will no longer adhere to the surface of your vehicle. Are Airtabs™ available in colors? Airtabs™ may be painted in accordance with the specification of the paint you have chosen. Some paints such as “Krylon Fusion for Plastic” from Sherwin Williams is made specifically for plastic. What do Airtabs™ cost? Airtabs™ are priced $2.75 USD each for the black or white Airtabs™ plus shipping and handling and the appropriate sales tax when ordering in Colorado or Canada. Visa, Discover and Master Card are accepted. Prices are subject to change without notice. Need to equip more than 500 units? If you need more than 40,000 Airtabs™, (enough for 500 motorcoaches), please click www.buyairtab.com or call 970-663-9075 for fleet pricing.
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Airtab® and Airtabs™ are registered trademarks of Aeroserve Technologies, Ltd, August 2009. The makers of Airtabs™ assume no responsibility for damage caused by misuse or improper installation of the Airtab® product.