Speed | Altitude | STOL | Performance

The RV-3’s can vary in speed depending on the build. If you’re currently flying, we can use existing flight data to find a prop that is best suited for your engine and airframe. In order to begin your order, we will need to know your True Airspeed (TAS) at wide open throttle, straight and level at 7500’ Density Altitude and your corresponding maximum RPM. Additionally, the current size and type (wood or metal) of your existing propeller can also be helpful to optimize your expected performance. If you have a RPM restriction with your current propeller, please do not exceed it but instead let us know what you TAS is at 2600 RPM and about how much throttle you have left.

With your current flight data, we can help recommend a propeller that will provide the type of performance you’re looking for out of a new propeller. We offer three standard options for flight performance: climb, a “good all-around” performer and a cruise prop.

The climb propeller will have a lower pitch; this increases the static RPM during takeoff. This is a great option if Density Altitude needs to be a considering factor for your home airport operations or mountain flying. It is important to note that the climb propeller will slightly exceed 2700 RPM at wide open throttle.

The “good all around” performing propeller is right in between climb and cruise performance and is our standard recommendation, especially for your first flight. This prop will hit 2700 RPM at 7500’ DA in straight and level flight.

The cruise propeller has the same top speed as other recommended propellers listed just at a lower RPM, great for fuel economy. With this cruise propeller you would expect to see 2650 RPM at wide open throttle at 7500’ DA. The static RPM is lower with this prop so it will take longer to accelerate but will let you reach your airframe’s top speed in cruise. This prop is great if you’re flying off longer runways or plan on doing a lot of cross countries.

It’s important to note that all of our props are capable of achieving the same top speed, it’ll just be at a different RPM. Additionally, any engine modifications such as changes to the: compression ratio, electronic ignition, port & polish, etc. all add to your available horsepower and will be factored into your propeller selection.

Difference between the two and three bladed propellers:
A three bladed is much quieter and smoother, you’re able to run a smaller diameter so greater ground clearance and it has more of a braking affect when you pull the power back. You will also see your RPM will come up faster as you start accelerating on takeoff. The two bladed is slightly faster at wide open throttle around 2-3 mph top speed below 7500’ but the three bladed will maintain its speed at 12,500’ but the two bladed loses top speed. The three bladed becomes a few mph faster at 12,500’. The climb performance between the two are very similar.
The following table represents our standard recommendations available but may vary slightly depending on the speed and specifications of your current airframe.

320/150hp Diameter of 2-Bladed Diameter of 3-Bladed Pitch Design RPM WOT @ 7500’ DA WOT at 7500’ DA
Climb 66” 64” 75” 2750 200mph
Good All Around 66” 64” 76” 2700 200mph
Cruise 66” 64” 77” 2650 200mph
320/160hp Diameter of 2-Bladed Diameter of 3-Bladed Pitch Design RPM WOT @ 7500’ DA WOT at 7500’ DA
Climb 66” 64” 76” 2750 201mph
Good All Around 66” 64” 77” 2700 201mph
Cruise 66” 64” 78” 2650 201mph

Speeds for the RV-3 vary quite a bit depending on the build, speeds are spec and about average of what we typically see.
We do manufacture propellers for the RV-3 with different power plants, just drop us an email at: info@cattoprops.com

Leading Edge Protection Options
Nickel: Nickel is an additional leading edge protection which is great if you fly through rain, off grass or off strips that aren’t that well maintained. It is very durable and allows you to fly through rain at any RPM without erosion. If you are a fair-weather flyer the nickel isn’t necessary for your flight operations.

LET tape: We offer a polyurethane leading edge tape to protect the leading edge of erosion through rain. You can still get some nicks from small debris and rocks. The adhesive on the tape normally starts breaking down after 3-5 years and will need to be replaced. We do sell kits so you can install or replace it yourself.

Without nickel or leading edge tape the propeller will hold up like a wooden propeller through rain. You’re able to fly through rain without leading edge protection if you are throttled back below 2200 RPM. With the leading edge tape or nickel you’re able to fly through rain at your cruise throttle without erosion.

Hardware needed for the RV-3:
Most RV-3’s use a 4” extension. We require a 7” diameter mounting surface on all of our 0-320 applications. We also require all six lugs to protrude into the propeller at least .350”. If you have a smaller diameter mounting surface or if you do not have extended length lugs you will need a new extension. There have been many evolutions of extensions throughout the years. If your extension has both the extended length lugs and a 7” diameter mounting surface we will try to accommodate and get you all the parts you may need for install .

If you are purchasing a new extension, we will need to know what size engine bolts you have in the engine. The Lycoming O-320 can have either 3/8” or 7/16” engine bolts.

If you are going to reuse your existing extension we will need to know the bolt size on the prop size of the extension. Additionally, let us know if you have a lock nut on the back of the propeller bolt or if the extension has a threaded lug.

Bolts: We can supply the engine and propeller bolts for you. We aren’t able to get bolts longer than 7”.

Crush Plate: We do require a 7” diameter crush plate to be mounted on the face of the propeller. We have them available in a variety of thicknesses depending on the installation. If you’re using Van’s spinner kit, the alignment between the front and rear bulkhead is critical. Just let us know and we can ensure you get the correct thickness crush plate for everything to align properly. We also offer a weighted crush plate if you need to move your CG forward.

Spinner for the RV-3:
The RV-3 use a 12” spinner. We sell a carbon fiber spinner dome, a fixed self-centering carbon front bulkhead and an aluminum rear bulkhead. If you anticipate using a weighted crush plate, please let us know as we have a different forward bulkhead in order to accommodate the weighted crush plate.


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