My wife took the day off and we went with friends, Ray and Elaine to the Florida Jets rally. Even though I've flown radio controlled aircraft for more than 30 years, I've never seen a real turbine fly. These things are amazing! They are beautiful, fast and expensive. I just can't justify spending several thousand dollars for something that can be gone in a split second. I used to always tell people I was training to fly radio controlled planes, "If you can't afford to crash them, you can't afford to fly them." If you fly RC, I can guarantee you there will come a time and probably many times that you WILL crash!
The first plane we saw go in today was BVM KingKat. The airplane was worth at least $10,000 and probably a few thousand more. I looked up when he was about 50 feet off the ground and I knew he was going in. The plane was probably flying 100mph when it hit the ground. I took photos with my film camera and will post them when I get them developed and scanned. The plane instantly burst into a fireball about 30 feet in diameter and a black mushroom cloud rose over the crash site. It didn't take too long for the ground crew to get to the accident location and put out the fire.
The next plane to crash was scale P-80 Shooting Star. When the pilot took off, I thought he was purposely rocking his wings. As he gained more altitude, I knew he was in trouble. I looked away when I heard my friend's wife scream then I heard the impact. The plane also burst into flames and by the time the fire crew got to it, it was pretty much toast! Several more thousands of dollars bit the dust.
A very large and beautiful F-86 Sabre made a beautiful flight and when the plane was brought in for a landing, the pilot got a little too high off the runway and stalled, slamming the plane down hard. The plane instantly buckled in the middle and the damage was done. The right wing panel was destroyed too. I'm sure the owner of this plane had well over $20,000 invested.
The fourth plane was taking off when the cross wind got him off course and turned toward the fence on the side of the runway. The pilot decided to try and take off and when he did, the plane snap stalled and landed upside down and skidded into the fence. It may be able to be repaired.
It was an exciting day! Although I hate to see anybody crash any model airplane, it is what makes our hobby challenging.
One of the more unique planes was an F-14 Tomcat with twin turbines and working swing wings just like the real jet! The plane was for sale for $5,250 and that included the landing gear and the swing wing mechanism. That is not a bad price at all for as large a jet as it is but don't forget that you have to purchase two turbines and they will probably set you back about $8,000 and a good radio will be around $1,000. By the time it is all said and done, to set this plane up, it will cost you around $15,000 +.
There were so many planes that were so incredible, it is hard to pick out my favorites. I was impressed by an EMB-14 Super Tucano. This is a prop plane but uses a real turbo prop engine complete with smoke system. It sounded great with the turbine spinning up and the prop turning. What an impressive sight!
Parkzone puts out an electric "jet" which is really a ducted fan called the "Habu". The whole airplane with radio is only $400. At one time today, they had 14 in the air. It is really a wonder that there were no mid air collisions. This is an awesome little jet and I would like to add one to my livery one of these days if I can convince my wife of the great need I have of one!
There were some European Typhoon fighters that were amazing. They could hover them and do beautiful waterfalls. They were my wife's favorite planes.
We had a great time at Florida Jets. The next big rally I will go to is Top Gun, a major event with super scale airplanes. The airplanes entered in Top Gun are museum pieces. I have wanted to go for years and this will be my first time. I can't wait!
The 4 photos above are of the Parkzone Habu
This Rafale did awesome 3d flying
This EMB-14 Super Tucano was the only turbo prop at the meet. Very impressive!
This is my buddy, Ray, next to one of the many jets on display
This was BVM Jets' display. They are the leader in RC jets and fly off my home field
This plane was flown by David Shulman who broke the RC jet world speed record in Jan 2010 at over 337mph! This thing was flying around at 200mph not over 10 feet off the ground!