All RC airplane fans dream of moving up to the next level of speed, maneuverability and thrill that can only be matched by an RC jet. RC jets are the ultimate in radio controlled flying machines and depending on the type, and fuel used, can reach speeds upto an incredible 300 mph, more than the almost all road cars & some planes even. RC jets are extremely hard to fly & control and to own one requires you to know a considerable amount about each part of the airplane and how it affects the flight, control and speed of the aircraft. Like a real pilot, you need to understand the inner workings of the RC jet and when you are ready to take it to the next level, you can go to a RC model shop and buy RC jet parts and assemble one together, on your own. For some people, flying an RC jet is not the main thrill, building them is. If you are one of those, then you have an incredible arena to explore.
Ever since the time Nikola Tesla used radio control to guide boats and wow his audience, people as well as nations have found new and more advanced ways to make models do their bidding. In the Second World War, the German Luftwaffe took the technology to the air in a whole new sense - to fight the enemy. The air force created several RC jet bombers that were subsequently used to bomb enemy ships without losing pilots to enemy fire. Not only were these explosive laden miniatures able to create enough destruction without pilots being lost, they were also hard to target due to their small size and had the uncanny knack to get their victims. As time went on, government and space agencies began creating scale models to test flight viability of various aircrafts, and to advance to the next level of aviation. The most widely used form of RC models in the military, RC jets have been used for everything from gathering surveillance footage & pinpointing targets with laser beams to acting as missile guidance hubs & even deploying bombs. Although as a RC hobby, it is more advisable to fly to enjoy yourself in the outdoors with a fantastic piece of machinery built by your own hands.
Unlike your RC toy airplanes, the RC jets are bigger and more realistic than any toy in the market. The body of the model is generally made of Carbon Fibre or Fibre Glass, which ensures a sturdy and strong frame to support the heavier weight of the larger model during hard landings and crashes even. The inside of the aircraft has wood reinforcement to make it more durable while the fuel tanks of the plane are generally made of Kevlar, the material more popularly used in bulletproofing. The planes run on 'Jet A' fuels with turbines that start on Kerosene. This allows the engine to start and then the jet fuel comes into action. Due to their build-nature and running mechanism, RC jets can only be flown in restricted areas where the local flying authorities allow such turbine-fitted planes to fly.
RC jets have a full digital control centre mounted on the planes that allow the flyer to remotely communicate with the aircraft. The RC jet also requires electric power that is generally provided through a Polymer pack built for 8 - 12 volts. Unlike RC toy airplanes, an RC jet requires a lot more expertise in not just building it, but to fly it as well. They are meant for seasoned RC aircraft flyers with tons of experience and flying hours behind them. Like all RC models, they too come in Ready-to-Fly packages wherein minimum installation is enough to make them flight-ready.
Choosing an RC Jet
For beginners, this is considered to be the best bet, along with choosing an Electric Ducted Fan Jet. These RC jets do not use the more powerful gas-powered turbines, but have a propeller that spins at an extremely high rpm rate. Although the plane still creates enough thrust to move at high speeds, they are definitely slower than your regular RC jet and are perfect to ease you into the real world of fast moving monsters. Another option is the pusher jet where the propeller is placed at the rear of the plane, pushing it through the air. These are the slowest of the three varieties available in RC jets and are also the easiest to control.
If you want the real thing that looks and sounds like the big brother - a fighter jet - then a gas turbine powered RC jet is the thing you are looking for. The basic structure of such an RC jet can cost over thousand dollars and along with the accessories and radio, it will definitely lighten your pocket by a few more thousands. That said, they are probably the closest you will get to fly a real jet fighter. The realism and functionality of these RC jets are incredibly life-like and they offer you the opportunity to understand how a real jet functions. The turbines run on actual jet fuel and work & sound exactly like the real thing.
Ready-to-Fly or Kits?
RC jets come in Ready-to-Fly packs where minimal installation is required; Almost Ready-to-Fly packs where the installations are more extensive and allow you to learn a bit more about the functioning of the RC jet including customizing some of the parts as well; and finally, the kits. Kits are generally the way most of the best models are sold. The process is extremely time-consuming and may take weeks, even months in some cases, to build an RC jet from scratch. But once its done, there is no holding back the sheer excitement and thrill of flying something you have built with your own bare hands.
Whether you are planning to join an RC jet flying club or be the lone ranger and conquer the skies on your own, there is nothing in the world of RC hobby that can match the adrenaline rush of flying your own RC jet. So go out to the nearest RC model store and get started on building that mean flying demon.