Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Kitplanes has a good article on choosing a prop in this months issue.
The stock prop for the Jabiru 3300 XL in 2007 was the Sensenich wood W64ZK-51 cruise prop, 64", 51 pitch. At the time, using a ground adjustable wasn't recommended due to the additional weight, cost and lack of any significant performance gains. 5 years later, I get the same advice.
If I had to do it over again, I would get a wooden propeller from Props Inc. in Newport, Oregon. Same prop is half the cost, $425, of the comparable Sensenich.
As for performance, from 3,500' msl, I'm getting 1,000 fpm @ 100 mph, off the ground in 300-500', 500' on a calm day.
124 KIAS (143 mph) @ 3,140 rpm, 10+ gph.
100 KIAS (115mph) @ 2,700 rpm, 4.7 gph
One of the best ways to increase performance is to build it light. A 700 pound XL/650 will out perform an 800+ pound XL/650 and burn less fuel.
You pretty much nailed it on the head. I just 1st flight test flight of a CH601XLB/Jabiru 3300 with the Sensenich carbon fiber adjustable composite prop. I have also done 1st test flights of the CH601 XLB with standard Sensenich wood W64ZK-51 cruise prop. After flying and testing both props my advice is to stick with the Sensenich wood W64ZK-51 prop. Better engine cooling and fewer EGT / CHT issues with this prop. "It just works". Building light is more good advice. There is a difference between prop manufacturers, especially when it comes to wooden props. Pitch, prop mass are measured different by manufacturers and there is a huge difference between the number of wood laminations used in the prop construction which also affects prop performance. Do not buy the no name prop and expect Sensenich performance... you will get what you pay for in most things in life...."like no name performance". Get leading edge protection on the Sensenich prop for longer prop life. Aircraft engines and props are not the place to try to save money in aircraft construction.... unless you place a low value on performance of the final project or your life. IMHO
I mentioned Props Inc, since they have a good reputation among RV builders. Props Inc claims better performance, but it's not worth replacing the Sensenich, unless I do some damage. I will start gathering data to share with the group.
Thanks for your input, it's good to hear from someone that has actual experience with different props on the same airplane. Keep it simple, keep it light is the path.
Another plus for wooden props, they look good :-)