Since the event is more of a fly-in meet rather than a contest, participants are pretty much free to fly as much as they’d like. There is no judging (except for special awards) or flight scoring— just pure jetting around a near-perfect Florida sky. Some of you with roots in jet activity may recall ducted fans being the primary propulsion system for “jet” models. Well, that entire mode of motion has grown, owing to a huge increase in the availability of electric ducted fan (EDF) power systems and airframes, mostly injection-molded foam, to the point that RC “jet” modeling now represents a significant segment of the hobby.
TECHNOLOGY MARCHES ON
More pure kerosene-fired turbines have arrived on the scene in a variety of sizes and thrust ratings, all the way from 6 pounds right on up to a whopping 50 pounds, making nearly any-size jet model a reality. Right along with this turbine progress, we find the ducted fan, this time taking advantage of the new generation and ever-improving “energy cells” of electric power, which have captured much of the RC world. Motors and battery-technology advances make this form of jet propulsion almost unbeatable and accessible now to a larger group of enthusiasts. Gone are the days of glow-powered ducted fan units with their erratic tuned pipes, critical needle-valve settings, blown glow plugs, and ear-piercing exhaust notes. In their place is the “plug in the bat