For many people the turbine powered jet needs a deep pocket and also the experience of many hours of RC flying. Although airframes have come down somewhat in price and vary between traditional balsa - ply construction and the more popular composite construction, the latter strong but light.
A few of our members have turbine powered jets and attract a lot of attention when they are present up at Cashmoor. The smell of kerosene or parafin mixed with turbo oil) and the whine of a turbine is something to enjoy.
Turbine power requires a lot of avionics on board to enable the model to fly. Safety devices to cut off the highly imflammable fuel or an onboard fire. Pumps and regulators all add to the expense and that is not including the fuel which is burnt at an alarming rate. A gallon doesn't last long but that 8 - 10 minute flight is something to behold and enjoy. An adrenalin rush to appreciate!
Meanwhile, coming back to something more afforable for the masses is the EDF jet. All shapes and sizes and able to be flown by less experienced pilots and tend to survive some crashes some of the time. More likely to be able to repair this type of model. Afforable they are too! Pictured right is an EDF model of the Breitling Display Team
Composite fibre scale models are very light and although they started life at the Turbine end of the market as EDF fans became more efficient and powerful they were also became popular. Power to weight ratio was much improved and therefore they would be able fly like a jet should, including vertical climbs.
Made from EPP or EPO foam (expanded plastic) and powered by the screaming EDF power plant. EDF = Electric Ducted Fan). The small but powerful motors in these units will be rotating the fan at speeds of 20,000rpm up to 48,000 rpm and drawing high amounts of current from the battery pack, typically LiPo (Lithium Polymer).
These lightweight EDF models will come in ready to fly (PNP), almost ready to fly(ARF) versions at very reasonable prices and therefore virtually all can be Top Gun pilots. Average prices from £40 - £185 depending on size and the amount of build already done.