TWO questions:

1. If I build a 701 with the folding wing option, is there any builder option that I should / must fore go ?  Like wing gas tanks?   Any advice about the folding wing option ?  Thumbs up or thumbs down ?

2. Most photos I have seen of STOL 701's show standard two blade props.  Anybody have any experience with a three blade props?

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Comment by Wendell Downs on November 18, 2021 at 11:54am

Don't take my comments about folding wings wrong.  I still like them.  There are still advantages to having them.  But nothing is free.

Comment by Wendell Downs on November 18, 2021 at 11:48am

A couple of considerations for the folding wing option: 1. Both of my folded wings blew off in a very rough/gusty wind storm.  The failure point was at the folding wing juncture. Securing and supporting the wings with adequate straps, front and rear, is critical. Fortunately, the wings were repairable.  (Those same rough/gusty winds would have put the whole plane at risk without adequate tie down ground anchors, something I have remedied.)  2. Though I have not had opportunity to fold the wings after a flight yet, it seems logical that some de-fueling of the wings will be necessary for safety.  The wings, without fuel, are sufficiently difficult for one person to manage.  Some sort of quick-drain method would be advisable.  Unlike the Kitfox's and Avid Flier's, these wings take more planning and effort to fold, making full removal almost a competitive idea.

Comment by Bob Pustell on November 3, 2021 at 5:28pm

The only real advantage to a three bladed prop is extra gound clearance. (And many folks think they look cool). Drawbacks are more drag and less efficient.

The main reason to go to a three blade is when you need to put a lot of power into the air - a two bladed prop can only transmit so much power before ceasing to work effectively. Extra blades allow more power transmission so the more powerful the plane the more blades on the prop(s). I think that is one reason folks think a three blade looks cool - it is associated with powerful airplanes.

Since our planes all tend to not make enough power to require three blades to get the power into the air, you are left with appearance and ground clearance as the two possible reasons to go from two to three, but bear in mind they are a little less efficient than a two blade. In theory a one bladed prop is the most efficient but balance issues make that one a problem. There was one single blade prop certified that I know of, it had a short stub on the other side of the hub with a fairly heavy weight in it to balance the rotating mass. It was flown and did not seem to show much if any improvement over a two bladed prop in the real world. The concept has layed dormant ever since.

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2018/november/pilot/si...

Comment by Daniel Niendorff on October 21, 2021 at 3:25am

You probably already know, but just a heads up that 3 blade props make removing the cowl a real pain……

Comment by Perry Delano on October 21, 2021 at 1:15am

1: I don’t believe the folding wing option affects the plane  beyond a little extra weigh

2: Have 70” three blade whirlwind untested, but three blade seem quite common on newer planes

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