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  #1  
Old 11-26-2006, 07:23 PM
smoke smoke is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 51
Talking Catto propeller performance

Well after several months of wait, I finally installed a Catto 3 blade propeller (66X76) on my RV8. First, a little background. I purchased a flying RV8 in Feb. of '04. It is equipped with a stock Aerosport O-360, 180 H.P. The propeller was a 72X85 Sensie - as provided by Van's. The airframe is very light (1056 lbs.) and straight.
As far as cruise and top end performance - it is fast. It will outrun most of the constant speed equipped aircraft, even a couple of 200 H.P. aircraft. But, top end performance has a price - it took nearly 800ft. to get airborne, and climb performance was relativly poor until 125 KIAS was obtained. The propeller and engine combination was very smooth - especially after Leroy @ 52F dynamically balanced it.
NEW AIRCRAFT
The Catto arrived via USPS - I had already purchased a prop extension kit from Sabre machine shop in Granbury, TX - The man is a real artist! The propeller was installed per Catto's instructions, including the pre-fitted spinner.
The start up was very different - no lurching or swaying from the inertia of the big Sensie - just a smooth running and quiet powerplant. Taxing to the runway I could tell that this was a new aircraft - the sound and feel is totally different. The takeoff run is much shorter and the tail came up very quickly.
The climb performance was outstanding. The air was very bumpy that day so I decided to wait on the performance numbers - Besides, I already made an appointment with Leroy for a dynamic balance.
Again, Leroy did a fantastic job - it is like flying behind a turboprop!
On Wednesday, my dear sweet wife and I had to go to her family thanksgiving get together in KLBB., what better time to get some real world numbers - especially given the weight that we would be at - why do all women pack as if they are moving home??
Brake release weight was 1800LBS.+++. To my suprise, we were airborne in less than 700ft. and climbing at better than 1300FPM.
After reaching 8500, cruise power was set up (68%) and the other fuel tank was selected(1hr.). With a power setting of 2550/19in hg., the Dynon said our TAS was 174KT. This was confirmed by the trusty E6B. After arriving in KLBB, the tank that was used for 1hr was serviced - 8.4 gallons.
One other plus was noted while playing - It will finally slow down !! those of you that fly with the Sensie, know what I am talking about. I used to overtake everyone on the formation break - not anymore - from a 165KT., std 2G break, I am now @ 100KT while rolling wings level on downwind.
Not only that - but landing is easier - pull it to idle and it stops flying.
As far as noise and smoothness - a world of difference, both in the cockpit and on the outside. Everyone says that it sounds like a 540 flying over - less propeller noise and more engine growl.

Initial performance numbers

72X85 Sensie 66X76 Catto

ALT 2500 power TAS ALT 2500 power TAS
2300/21 159 2300/20 158
2450/22 163 2450/22 162
2550/24 171 2550/23 170
2700/26 185 2700/26 186

Rate of climb
1600# gross weight 1650 gross weight

2500-5500 MSL 1100FPM 2500-5500 1600FPM


Summary
The speed numbers are almost identical - but the takeoff,climb performance, and comfort level are superior - not to mention almost 20# less weight!
If you cannot afford or don't want the weight of a constant speed propeller, the Catto Prop is very much worth your consideration!
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2006, 06:00 AM
pierre smith's Avatar
pierre smith pierre smith is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Louisville, Ga
Posts: 7,459
Default Definitely..

Hi Smoke,
You're another smart prop buyer... However, if you experiment (As we did) and try climbing at 150 MPH, then 160, etc, you'll be amazed! We get 1200 FPM with two 190 pounders at 150 MPH and around 1000 FPM at 160!!
Yes, no regrets and BTW, race someone with a CS prop and prove to them that a fixed pitch Catto is faster if it's pitched for max cruise We sometimes run 2700 RPM at 8000 or so and true 204 with our 6A, burning 9.4-9.6 GPH.
Regards,
__________________
Pierre Smith
RV-10, 510 TT
RV6A (Sojourner) 180 HP, Catto 3 Bl (502Hrs), gone...and already missed
Air Tractor AT 502B PT 6-15
Air Tractor 402 PT-6-20
EAA Flight Advisor/CFI/Tech Counselor
Louisville, Ga

It's never skill or craftsmanship that completes airplanes, it's the will to do so,
Patrick Kenny, EAA 275132


Dues gladly paid!
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2006, 06:20 AM
Bob Axsom Bob Axsom is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 5,685
Default C/S Owner Observation

It sounds like you have winners. The best I have been able to get out of my RV-6A so far, with a standard C/S Hartzell, is 200.5 MPH but I'm still working on it. The two super hot biplanes at Reno are running Paul Lipps designed Catto manufactured props. Cris Ferguson told me last week that they got Jeff Lo's biplane over 300 MPH on a straight run this year. They are considering going for the biplane speed record that has stood since the 1930s.

Bob Axsom

Last edited by Bob Axsom : 11-28-2006 at 10:33 AM.
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2006, 06:23 AM
pierre smith's Avatar
pierre smith pierre smith is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Louisville, Ga
Posts: 7,459
Default What??

Bob........300 MPH is incredible for a bipe Do you know of a link to the airplane?
Thanks,
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Pierre Smith
RV-10, 510 TT
RV6A (Sojourner) 180 HP, Catto 3 Bl (502Hrs), gone...and already missed
Air Tractor AT 502B PT 6-15
Air Tractor 402 PT-6-20
EAA Flight Advisor/CFI/Tech Counselor
Louisville, Ga

It's never skill or craftsmanship that completes airplanes, it's the will to do so,
Patrick Kenny, EAA 275132


Dues gladly paid!
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  #5  
Old 11-27-2006, 06:35 AM
pierre smith's Avatar
pierre smith pierre smith is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Louisville, Ga
Posts: 7,459
Default I found it

Hi Bob,
Here's the link http://flyin-lo.com/. Notice that the airplane has a James type cowl, (probably a plenum), upper and lower intersection fairings and an RV tail I also only see long, tapered, high aspect ratio wings on the fastest of the Formula Ones (Mariah 95) and this airplane, plus it sports a three bladed Catto. Still....300 MPH! Awesome.
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Pierre Smith
RV-10, 510 TT
RV6A (Sojourner) 180 HP, Catto 3 Bl (502Hrs), gone...and already missed
Air Tractor AT 502B PT 6-15
Air Tractor 402 PT-6-20
EAA Flight Advisor/CFI/Tech Counselor
Louisville, Ga

It's never skill or craftsmanship that completes airplanes, it's the will to do so,
Patrick Kenny, EAA 275132


Dues gladly paid!
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2006, 06:38 AM
Mel's Avatar
Mel Mel is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 8,169
Default

Congratulations Smoke,
I've been running my Catto 3-blade for nearly 3 years now and am still extremely happy with it. I have more of a climb pitch, since I fly off a 1500' strip here in Texas. My top speed is 201 @ 75% and my take off is 17% shorter than with my Sensenich wood. (175hp)
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Mel Asberry..DAR since last century
A&P/EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Specializing in Amateur-Built and Light-Sport Aircraft
<n168tx(at)flytx.net>
North Texas (8TA5)
RV-6 Flying since 1993
175hp O-320
3-Blade Catto (since 2003)
FRIEND of the RV-1
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2006, 06:44 AM
Paul Tuttle's Avatar
Paul Tuttle Paul Tuttle is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Lantz,Nova Scotia ,Canada
Posts: 497
Default

I like hearing this stuff . I ordered a Catto prop for my 8 a couple of weeks ago. Looks like I shouldn't be disappointed.

RV 8 Fuselage
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  #8  
Old 11-27-2006, 06:53 AM
Bob Axsom Bob Axsom is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 5,685
Default No but I can refer to magazines

It is on the cover of Sportsman Pilot for Winter 2006. It is also in the October issue of EAA Sport Aviation listed there as "Arkansas / Pitts" but this is strictly a one of a kind airplane. The plane is called "Miss Gianna".

Bob Axsom
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  #9  
Old 11-27-2006, 06:55 AM
Wes Hays's Avatar
Wes Hays Wes Hays is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Winters, TX
Posts: 156
Default Prop Balancing

Again, Leroy did a fantastic job - it is like flying behind a turboprop!

Smoke,
Can you tell me where Leroy is located? Sounds like the man knows what he is doing. If he is anywhere close to the North Central Texas area, I would like to contact him.

Thanks,
Wes Hays
N844WB
Winters, TX (77F)
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2006, 07:48 AM
TShort TShort is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Indianapolis, IN (KUMP)
Posts: 612
Default

Boy, this sure sounds tempting ... I have been convinced from day #1 that I would put a constant speed prop on the -8. But ... less weight, less complexity, good performance - what's not to like?
Is there a downside or any real negatives?

Thomas
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Thomas Short
KUMP - Indianapolis, IN
RV-8 wings (SB - riveting bottom skins)
N329TS (had it, lost it, looking for new number)
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