Well, now that Cactusman has outed me, I guess I'll tell my Catto story.
I have wanted a fixed pitch prop for my RV-12 since early in it’s history. Installation and maintenance seemed to be much easier. Compared to the ground adjustable, the blades are always in perfect pitch with each other, and the manufacturer can static balance the prop with a high degree of accuracy.
My Catto story starts with my Bro, Bob Bogash. A couple of years ago he decided on the Catto fixed pitch (without telling me) showed up one day at my hangar with this beauty installed. It is a 68” dia. 56” pitch. Bob calls this one Catto1.
This is Bob hisself:
Bob did an extraordinary amount of testing of the prop and shared all of that with Catto. Based on the data, Catto did a modification and developed a 64” dia. 62” pitch which is what Bob now has on his 12. Bob calls that one Catto2
Catto1 turns out to be what might be called a Takeoff and Climb prop. Bob arranged a home for Catto1 and I bought it used with 100 hours and now have it installed on my ship.
Here is data for Catto1 that I developed for comparison with Van’s published performance for the RV-12.
CATTO 3-BLADE FIXED PITCH PROP - 68” DIA. 56” PITCH
I flew multiple speed runs at 5500 rpm and density altitude 7500’
WITHOUT FAIRINGS IAS=98 TAS=110 MPH=127
WITH FAIRINGS IAS=102 TAS=114 MPH=131
VAN’S NUMBER WITH FAIRINGS MPH=136
CLIMB PERFORMANCE to density alt 7500'
Weight 1090 LB
Begin climb RPM=5178 IAS=77 1209 fpm
End climb RPM=5188 IAS=76 677 fpm
Time to Alt 6 min 42 sec
1. This prop gives cruise speed 5 knots less than Vans’s published cruise for the RV-12. This was expected.
2. The wheel fairings add 4 knots more than without fairings. This was also expected. I do have Van's step speed plugs installed...
3. Rate of climb is about 200-300 fpm better than Van's published numbers for the 912 ULS.
I believe that the Catto2 prop will give performance about equal to Van's published numbers as it is designed for a little more cruise speed. The prop that Cactusman has is a Catto2. Understand that Catto1 and Catto2 are just names that Bob and I are using to distinguish between Catto's prototype and the most recent prop. The prop Catto is selling now appears to be a Catto2.
Installation is a breeze. Just bolt it on. No protractor needed.
The spinner comes your choice of clear coat carbon fiber, painted to match, or primer. Bob got it primer and painted it to match. I opted for the CC carbon and it looks pretty cool, the workmanship is first cabin.
As Cactusman said the prop is very smooth running. The smoothness is probably my greatest pleasure with this prop, it feels like riding in a car. The noise is also subdued a bit and is more of a whirring sound. My non-pilot wife even commented on it. She thought is sounded quieter and had more "lift".
The prop and spinner are top quality stuff from a small boutique manufacturer. It's an expensive option. The prop & spinner kit with hardware costs about $4200. Delivery is slow due to the current situations in the supply chain.
Did I mention the looks