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Three common types of RC props used where I fly are wooden, carbon-reinforced nylon (APC brand), and fiberglass-reinforced nylon
(Master Airscrew Brand).
Yes, there are more expensive higher end
propellers available, but these are what most of us common folk use. So how do you know which one of these to pick?
Besides from pure personal preference.. it really comes down to efficiency vs. durability. If you're a beginner, durability is your friend.
Watch your plane closely the next time you fire it up. You may be surprised at just how much the propeller flexes under load. The more a propeller flexes, the less efficiently it moves the air.
Wooden propellers are the most rigid and also the lightest. The lighter weight puts less load on the engine which allows for higher RPM.
The problem with wooden props?
If you're a beginner you probably know the answer to that question!
The chances of a wooden propeller surviving anything less than a perfect landing is slim to none...
When looking around the flying field, I notice that the majority of folks are using APC Props.
They're a little heavier and more flexible than wooden props.
Unless you're competing for the next Gold Cup, you're not likely to notice the loss in efficiency...
They'll still brake on those not so pleasant nose down landings, but stand a much better chance of survival than wooden propeller.
Master Airscrews (AKA Fiberglass-reinforcred nylon) come in as a close second among the favorite props at my field.
They're much more flexible than the other props, and have a very large blade area.
Ya, they're probably the least efficient of all. Not enough that the regular every day "Sunday Flyer" like myself would be bothered with though.
The beauty of these propellers is that they take can take a beating. That's probably why they're my favorite!
Make a long story short? wooden and carbon Fiber(CF) propellers are the most rigid and efficient type of model airplane propeller. If you're an expert pilot that greases every landing then these props are for you...
If you're prone to having a hard landing now and then during your Sunday afternoon flying, then your best bet is to go with an APC or Master Airscrew propeller.