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Take off RPM with a wood prop?

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Mar 16, 2016
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Hi All,

I realize there has been much discussion on metal versus wood props, and after reading through several threads, I didn’t find the answer I’m looking for, so...

The club I belong to recently purchased an L-4 with a stroked (Don Swords) C-85 motor and a wood Sensenich 72/44 prop. When I went to pick it up I could only get approximately 2100rpm on take off, and only slightly higher during the return to the airport. Even with a slight descent the max rpm I could get was about 2200rpm. The previous owner said that’s what he was getting out of it, and it was normal. I seem to recall the other Cubs I’ve flown would produce closer to 2400+rpm on take off, but they had metal props, and I unfortunately don’t know that the length/pitch were. Can anyone tell me if that is a normal rpm for take off on a 40 degree Fahrenheit day at 500’ msl? Could the prop be the reason the rpm is low, or more likely the gauge?


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