Field Evaluation: Aerovanes by Firenock By Keith Dunlap - Field Evaluator
May 18, 2009 - 6:51:11 AM
Firenock, LLC has developed a new vane for the archery industry. Eight months of research and development and input by some of the best minds in aerodynamics have culminated in the Aerovane. The Firenock Aerovane is available in three colors, and fits any carbon or aluminum shaft. Let's take a closer look at the new Aerovanes from Firenock. To see the full line go to: Firenock
Unique design for speed and quiet flight.
The sample package of Firenock Aerovanes arrived in good condition. Upon initial inspection out of the package, I found no visible defects in materials or workmanship. The package consisted of two each of the three available colors of the Aerovanes, and a square brass bar tool to aid in the installation of the Aerovanes. Firenock claims that the new Aerovane has extremely low flight noise due to its unique airfoil design. Airfoil design simply means the shape and contour of the vane, similar to the shape of a propeller or wing of an airplane. Airfoil designs can reduce drag, and produce lift and stability during flight. This design in a vane should translate into improved accuracy performance from the arrow.
The white arrow in the photo above is pointing to
the square brass bar tool that keeps the Aerovane straight
in the fletching jig.
Installation of the Aerovanes was a bit more challenging than most vanes on the market. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first reason is that because of its design, you must install the Aerovanes as straight as possible on the arrow shaft to prevent arrow drag and reduced arrow speeds. The second is that the airfoil design requires the use of the brass bar tool to keep the Aerovane straight in the fletching clamp during installation. These two factors combine to make installation a bit longer than normal. I used my clamp-style straight fletching tool, the square brass bar tool included with the Aerovanes, and some Goat Tuff glue to complete the task.
Aerovanes have a true whole-piece airfoil; with a continuous change of thickness and curved surface that improves flight path and speed. Aerovane's special shape at the front of the vane resembles an owl's wing (owls' wings make no sound when they fly), making the vane fly with less noise while at the same time producing rotation using circular lift. Because the Aerovane's design eliminates drag, this should provide for better down-range arrow speed.
Next, we move to the testing phase of my evaluation…
My evaluation included testing for accuracy, noise, and durability of the Aerovanes. To evaluate accuracy, I shot several groups of three arrows with Aerovanes, and several groups of three arrows each with other leading competitors' vanes from a distance of twenty yards at an indoor range, and averaged the results of my groupings. My arrow groupings using the Aerovanes measured an average of 1.75", while the average groupings with the other vanes were 2.125"…not bad. I am not a marksman with a bow, so you have to consider the shooter when measuring results such as these…but suffice it to say that the Aerovanes did perform with a greater degree of accuracy using controlled variables for the test.
Groupings at 20 yards were better than average, at 1.75".
The next part of my evaluation included a test for noise. This is a subjective test to say the least, but I used the help of a sound recorder to measure the noise of the arrow as it passed by the recorder just prior to the arrow striking the target. I do not have a decibel meter, so this was the only method I was able to employ to safely measure the sound of the arrows as they passed by. I fired an arrow with Aerovanes, and then an arrow with a competitor's vane past the sound recorder and listened to the variance between the two arrows as they passed by the recorder. I repeated this test 10 times to attempt to hear the difference between the two arrows. I tried three different competitors' vanes for this test, and compared each to the noise generated by the Aerovane. My findings for this test were inconclusive at best. I had two other people listen to the noise of the arrows from the recorder, and they both felt that the Aerovane was quieter than the other three vanes as it passed by the recorder. I was unable to differentiate the noise levels. The only true method to complete this type of test is to use a high quality decibel meter that measures low sound levels…I need to put that on my wish list this year!
The final evaluation was for durability of the Aerovanes. Because the Aerovanes are thicker and heavier than other types of vanes, they outlasted other vanes during the evaluation. I am tough on vanes, and constantly having to replace them after a few shooting sessions. This was not the case with the Aerovanes…they held up very well during the testing. I did not experience any cuts, or loosening of the Aerovanes during my shooting sessions for the evaluation.
Specifications as Tested:
Height: 14.14mm / 0.557"
Length: 93.77mm / 3.69"
Weight: only 11.3 grains +/- 0.2 grains
Colors available: available in white, green, red
Retail Price: $10.95 for 18
Warranty: 30 days limited to defects in material or workmanship
Pros: quiet, improved arrow flight resulting in greater accuracy and speed down range, durable.