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  #1  
Old 01-03-2021, 06:14 PM
blaplante blaplante is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 168
Default Prop Tape Performance (or not)

I saw mentioned in another thread that someone had removed the prop leading edge tape from their Catto prop and gained 3 mph. And someone else said they felt they gained more than that. OK, well I'm up for trying that.

Notes- I had installed the tape, not the factory. Tape was .008" thick, 2 inch wide, edges cut with pinking scissors to give a zig zag trailing edge as I'd read a study that that is better than a straight step. Install wasn't perfect - had a 1/8" bubble on the leading edge near the tip on both blades. Hard to get the tape to conform to the swept back Catto leading edge.

Did a simple test of True Airspeed as reported by the Dynon, all tests at around 8000' density altitude.

With tape, 2 weeks ago:
7970 DA per D10A, WOT, not leaned out. Top speed 179 TAS 2760 rpm. Approx 30 Gal onboard. Thus 175 mph / 152 kt @redline, calculated.

Without tape - today:
8020 DA per D10A, WOT, not leaned out. TAS 179 mph but at 2670 rpm. 90 rpm lower, same speed! No leaning last time as was already at 2760.
So leaned out to ROP.
8040 DA --- 183 mph, 2710 rpm. Gained 4 mph. vs. with tape - at less RPM.
Recheck at 7510 DA --- 2710 rpm, 72% HP per JPI, 183 mph TAS. Approx 25 Gal onboard.
Thus 182 mph / 158 knots @redline calculated.

I'm astonished by the change. The only other change than removing tape is about 5 gallons less fuel on board.

I had this prop repitched (more pitch) and was fairly disappointed in the change. But I had installed tape before doing any testing. With the tape off it is entirely different.
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2021, 08:28 PM
Rallylancer122 Rallylancer122 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oconto, WI
Posts: 192
Default

We notice a few percent difference in performance when we tape helicopter blades at work. You experience doesn't surprise me.
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2021, 08:35 PM
ChrisHodgens ChrisHodgens is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Roanoke, Texas
Posts: 43
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Im not familiar with the tape, is it for prevention for erosion or abrasives?
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2021, 10:21 PM
blaplante blaplante is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisHodgens View Post
Im not familiar with the tape, is it for prevention for erosion or abrasives?
Prop tape is useful when the airport doesn't sweep regularly and the prop picks up sand (or worse) small gravel. Also with tape in place a composite or wood prop gets less damage in rain.

https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...?clickkey=4936
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