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Old 03-28-2022, 09:51 AM
whpilot whpilot is offline
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Fall City, Wa
Posts: 15
Default Propeller Choice

I am getting ready to buy the prop for my RV-6A. Is there any performance difference between the 74" and the 72" prop? Any advantages either way?

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Old 03-28-2022, 10:07 AM
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jneves jneves is offline
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 208

A little info on engine and if you are looking at FP or CS would help. Also are you looking for climb or cruise performance?

N455DM - RV-6A - Bought Flying - 2021
Tip Up Canopy
FP 66" Catta 3 blade Carbon
IFR - 2 Garmin G5s - 430W - GFC500
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N89WD - Flight Design CTSW - Sold 2021
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Old 03-28-2022, 10:56 AM
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Walt Walt is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dallas/Ft Worth, TX
Posts: 6,727

Ground clearance is the issue, definitely the 72".
Walt Aronow, DFW, TX (52F)

EXP Aircraft Services LLC
Specializing in RV Condition Inspections, Maintenance, Avionics Upgrades
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RV7A built 2004, 2000+ hrs, New Titan IO-370, Bendix Mags, MTV-9 prop
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Old 03-28-2022, 12:29 PM
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wcalvert wcalvert is offline
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Anacortes Wa
Posts: 467

Two blade? Three blade? Fixed or constant speed?

What's the mission you have in mind? CG considerations? Cost?

So many questions!
RV-7 Tipper
Bill (Wild) VA-165 '90-'93
Anacortes, Wa

First Flight 7/17/2021!! 200 hours 6/22
- Been there, Donated 2022
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Old 03-28-2022, 03:47 PM
gregfuess gregfuess is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 84

I asked the Van's representative this same question. They recommend the shorter diameter propeller for both the tricycle and taildragger. I don't recall why, but that's what they use.
Greg Fuess
Albuquerque, NM
Waiting on an RV-14 kit delivery
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Old 03-28-2022, 06:24 PM
BoydBirchler BoydBirchler is offline
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 167

I have 600 hours on a 74" Hartzell mounted to my RV7. So far clearance has not been an issue. I probably do 200; 3 points to every wheel landing.
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Old 03-28-2022, 07:19 PM
Desert Rat Desert Rat is offline
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Wichita KS
Posts: 916

There is a spec in the FARs for normally certificated airplanes that prop clearance needs to be certain minimum distance from the ground.

Without looking it up, I believe it's in FAR23 and the rule is 10 inches? If I'm wrong about the details, somebody please correct me.

Anyway, the gist of it is that the 74" prop potentially blows that minimum on the tailwheel airplane during landing.

Personally, I don't thing that 10" vs. 9" prop clearance is a big deal, but Vans doesn't have different performance numbers for either one, so I'm going with the 72" just because that's what they recommend.
Terry Shortt
AGI, CFI, CFII, MEI, A&P, Janitor
RV7 Empennage & Wing done
Fuselage in process
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Old 03-28-2022, 08:01 PM
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ChiefPilot ChiefPilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 1,588

Originally Posted by whpilot View Post
I am getting ready to buy the prop for my RV-6A. Is there any performance difference between the 74" and the 72" prop? Any advantages either way?

I have a 74" Hartzell on my -6A. I'm not sure there is any performance difference. I was told that a 74" can be repaired and shortened to a 72" if the tip is dinged somehow but that the 72" cannot be shortened further. Some prop shops might do it anyway since it's not a certified prop so it may not really matter.

Performance-wise, it's great. Video of my bird doing 164KTAS on 5.8GPH at 15,500. The prop certainly plays a part in this.
Brad Benson, Maplewood MN.
RV-6A N164BL, Flying since Nov 2012!
If you're not making mistakes, you're probably not making anything
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Old 03-29-2022, 10:19 AM
penguin penguin is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: England
Posts: 1,146

I had a 6A for 17 years, I would say 72" definitely. If you're going FP then Sensenich metal is the best compromise I found. Some have found a ground adjustable (Sensenich or Whirlwind) to be easier to tune to local or personal preference factors. If you plan CS then carbon blades save 25lb on the nose.
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