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Old Apr 15, 2007, 04:34 PM
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Turbines over the desert

Oh, wow. Wow. All I can say is wow.

Here am I, blissfully happy with my flying Styrofoam cups thinking how cool it is to fly.

And it is.

But for those who've never seen jets...

I just got my first up-close-and-personal look at turbine-powered R/C aircraft at a jet meet sponsored by the local R/C club. Before today, I'd never been to that club nor had I ever seen a turbine model in operation.

These guys are good.

Picture, if you will, a knife edge only about six feet off the runway at nearly 200 mph. That's 320 km/h for the rest of the world.

We are talking giant scale aircraft that not only operate on the same principles as their full-sized counterparts, they run on the same fuel and make the same sounds.

And hoo boy, do those big planes get small quick. Real quick.

Except for one poor chap who lost an engine hatch and collapsed a landing gear during the same flight, this event went off without a hitch. The airmanship was incomparable. Fantastic raffle prizes, too.

I didn't win...but hey, I had a ball.

Thinking it's time to reactivate my AMA membership and join this club. The new president has done much to eliminate the "us versus them" mentality of its members. There are those among them who think we electric guys are less than pilots.

They are in the minority.

With all due props to the glow guys, at least I don't have to clean up the goo all over my plane when I'm finished nor worry about a dead-stick landing.

That is, until I step up to glow or, better still, gas.

Bring on the flying weed whackers, gentlemen. Here I come!
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