Home Forums Bows and Equipment Turbulators

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    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      A turbulator is just a piece of tape wrapped around the arrow shaft about 1/4 of an inch in front of the fletching. I used a piece of duct tape about 1/8 in wide. The purpose of which is to induce the air flow to trip and become turbulent before entering the fletching. The value of which is supposed to be less drag and better flight.

      O.L. Adcock is credited with coming up with this thing. And E. Ashby has worked with them too. I thought I would add my small observations to the mix.

      I tried this with 4 inch parabolic and 5 inch shield fletch on 4 fletched arrows. I still found the 5 inch fletch out performed the 4 inch fletch. But not by much. Out of a hundred shots, the 4 inch fletched arrow would slightly wobble maybe 5 times. The 5 inch fletch was good every shot.

      The best feature I found was noise reduction. And what I found was that it reduced the noise of a 5 inch fletch to be almost as quiet as the 4 inch turbulated fletch. And it took out the whistle and left only a slight hiss.

      I had a friend shoot the shafts while I stood to the side with my hands behind my ears to simulate a deer as best I could. The front of the deer not the back ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

      The difference in sound was really impressive. This may make me go back to 5 inch fletching. I had gone to 4 inch fletching because of the noise issue. But using the turbulator removes that issue. Since I am strictly a 20 yard and under guy, the air drag is not a concern for me.

      In conclusion – I can confirm the reduced noise that has been reported. I cannot completely confirm the improved arrow flight that has been reported. My 4 inch fletched arrows flew marginally better with the turbulator than without. I recommend using the turbulator as it costs nothing and really makes arrow flight more quiet.

    • Bloodless
      Post count: 103

      Thanks, Steve, for reminding us of this easy experiment we can all try for ourselves — a refreshing break from the “which shaft material is best?” discussions. I have a few questions I guess I’ll have to answer for myself, but maybe you, or another member, already knows.

      First, I’d think duct tape would be thick enough that it would tend to curl up on the front edge after enough shots, thus snagging a bit as it passes over the arrow shelf. Cresting tape, which is made to apply to arrows, would provide a cleaner shelf pass-over, but is it thick enough to “turbolate” the air in flight? Even for FoC fanatics like me, I don’t reckon a tiny piece of tape is going to change shaft balance notably. Another fun thing to play with during practice, thanks.

    • Hubertus
      Post count: 99

      Sounds interesting. First I’ve heard of it.
      Do you only use one wrap of tape? If not, to what thickness should it come to?

    • bruc
      Member
      Post count: 476

      Possible for a picture? Don’t quite follow:?
      Bruce

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      BRUC wrote: Possible for a picture? Don’t quite follow:?
      Bruce

      Dr Ashby has pics and explains here:
      https://www.tradbow.com/members/cfmbb/messages.cfm?threadid=C8EA4FBD-1422-1DE9-ED1A1C909376B7B6

    • George D. Stout
      Post count: 256

      I think Dr. Ashby’s tests were done with very small fletching…..2″ parabolic. Nothing has been tested significantly as I have seen….side by side with different models.

      When an arrow is released from the string, there is significant air force applied to the friction side of feathers, so I would need to see a study with scientific base as to what the difference would be. In addition, what is the effect of turbulence on extra noise. I think it is interesting for discussion, but one of those things that is negligible as far as real world function goes. Again….I think it was meant for those EFOC, arrows with tiny fletching.

      Since Nagler, Klopsteg and Heckman began articulating on engineering possibilities within the sport, someone has been seeking the better mousetrap. That is human nature I suppose; yet I find it odd that we seek the most technical aspect of the most simple sport, to eke-out the most with the least. I think in the grand scheme of things we are talking enths’ of a degree of change, whether positive or negative. And, like Redd Foxx said, “I don’t know what good it will do you in a brick fight.”

      Mechanical Engineers being what they are, are never satisfied, however, so on and on it goes. Nagler, Hickman and Klopsteg are probably saying, “Seeeeeee…I told you so.”

      At any rate, I don’t need extra turbulence on my arrow 8^). I got those big ‘ol fletch cause I can see them in flight…that’s why I like ’em. They still go through a whitetail, slicker than greased lightning….but maybe they don’t go out the other side quite as far. ๐Ÿ˜•

      I also don’t want my arrows weighted like darts, or flying like darts….I want them flying like arrows; fast, point on, and without a flicker. That makes me happy.

      Your mileage may vary, and I’m an old curmudgeon, so take from that what you will and brush the rest into the tall kitchen bag.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      By using the turbulator one should be able to use smaller fletching in a straighter pitch, which would be quieter than larger fletching on more of a helical. All else being equal.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      George D. Stout wrote: …When an arrow is released from the string, there is significant air force applied to the friction side of feathers, so I would need to see a study with scientific base as to what the difference would be. In addition, what is the effect of turbulence on extra noise. I think it is interesting for discussion, but one of those things that is negligible as far as real world function goes…

      George – you don’t need somebody to spoon feed you a study… you need a friend and you need to listen (to your arrow fly).

      I used duct tape because it is cheap and easy to put on and take off. I wrapped it around once with a slight overlap. When I got a friend to shoot it for me along with some other arrows, the difference is sound was amazing.

      I don’t really care to use a smaller fletch. But I do care about using a quiet fletch.

      Ashby recommends using the pin stripe tape available at auto parts stores. I thought I might try shrink tubing from Lowes Electrical department. Get a snazzy pink or red or whatever color they have that will look good. Shrink it on and see what happens.

      In less time than it takes to read this thread, a person could prove to themselves that the turbulator makes an arrow fly more quietly.

    • sapcut
      Post count: 159

      It is no secret that Mr. Stout doesn’t care for improving to the enth degree, like some of us do. And that is fine.
      These types of conversations are great for some of us but certainly DO NOT APPLY to others.

      The turbulators I have tried work very well. I use them on all my arrows and most are 4 inch nanners. They do quieten the feathers and that is pretty darn important IMO.
      It does reduce drag on the rear of the arrow and allows for a more efficient piece of equipment. And personally that is what I am trying to do.

      I use a 1/8″ strip of arrow wrap for my turbulator. I have’nt used anything else so I do not know how it compares to any other material. I am certainly willing to listen so let me know what may be better.

    • George D. Stout
      Post count: 256

      Richie is correct…..I don’t like tinkering with what works 8^). But I do tinker within the confines of what is working.

      Sometimes my posts don’t come across as I intend them ….if you sat with me and we talked, you could hear the goofiness of my oft unseen humor….or at least my attempt at humor. The keyboard and monitor can’t convey any kind of emotion.

      Guys….I think tinkering is good, but I always caution folks to take it with a grain of salt, or at least to think it through as it applies to what they do. Don’t buy into everything by word alone…or even a few words. Test if for yourself, and if it works to your liking then do as you think is best for you.

      I am at best a stick in the mud, curmudgeonly, opinionated turd. That is my good side. ๐Ÿ˜† As a personality, I’m somewhere between Foghorn Leghorn and Wally Cox, so you have to keep that in mind when deciphering my submissions.

      On the other hand, I do wonder to myself how something may work and venture into the backyard science project mode. Mostly though, I think about things like morning coffee; little valley cricks (creeks); roasted hot dogs and stump shooting. And of course, it’s early summer so I’m thinking about my wife’s home made raspberry jelly. UMMMMMMMM!

      We should be able to get together at least once in awhile, on a personal level….ETAR, ATAR, etc., so we can actually verbalize to one another to see what is meant to be BS and what is meant to be serious. I hate keyboards and monitors in that sense, but it’s the only way to talk to you guys and gals.

      But alas, feel free to tell me how I’m coming through this dumb window…cause it may well not be how I mean it. Disagreement is healthy, but at least we should understand what we are agreeing or disagreeing with.
      ๐Ÿ˜ณ ๐Ÿ˜‰

      And also understand this: We may have our disagreements about this and that, but if push comes to shove, I’ll cover your backs in a fraction of a second. I may be a thorn now and then, but I have great passion for the sport and a will to protect it.

      Carry on gents.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      George D. Stout wrote: Sometimes my posts don’t come across as I intend them ….if you sat with me and we talked, you could hear the goofiness of my oft unseen humor….or at least my attempt at humor. The keyboard and monitor can’t convey any kind of emotion.

      We can ALL relate! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Treetopflier
      Post count: 146

      Patrick says to George: “We can ALL relate.”
      I say, Speak for yourself! ๐Ÿ‘ฟ I for one am ALWAYS successful in my attempts at humor. (But don’t ask my wife for her opinion on this, as she is, well, my wife. :lol:)

      Here is what me thinks: Patrick’s humor, sorry as it is, comes through better than George’s. But George plays the guitar WAY better!

      It remains to be seen which of these would-be commedians is the most entertaining in hunting camp the night before opening day … which has to do with other influences, like raging adrenaline and the willingness and ability to entertain certain, uh, semi-natural social substances :D:D. I appreciate you both, and most everyone else here. Never been such a place before where we can disagree and have fun and respect with it. Like George says, we’re all trad bowhunters bottom line, and comedians only second. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • james gilmer
      Member
      Post count: 131

      Personally I am not having a problem with game getting out of the way because they hear my arrow coming.

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