operating an RC jet $$$$$ don't tell your wife !! - RC Groups
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Dec 11, 2004, 01:09 PM
never fast enough !!!
wojtek's Avatar

operating an RC jet $$$$$ don't tell your wife !!

I have calculated out the cost of actually operating one of our turbine jets , and in particular put the #s to a perspective comparison. I will use a my KingCat as budgetary example, and an assumed lifespan of 200 flights on the set-up (I think this is more than the actual average of flights jets get based on fellow jet modelers I have surveyed) Here we go ! :

$4595 KingCat ARF
$4295 AT400 turbine
$200 bomb and pylon kit
$100 JetTec centerline header
$30 doubled up flex plates
$20 pito tube mount
$150 cockpit, canopy and pilot
$1025 8 digital servos
$120 dual 2700 NIMH batteries and regulator
$200 RX
$120 extensions, switches, etc
$85 nose wheel gyro
$120 slimline smoke pump setup
$45 BVM amt engine mounting hardware
$50 festo valves and fittings
$45 glue, aeropoxy, etc
$500 misc
$11,700 purchase costs total

now here are some estimates of spread cost from other necessary equipment, based on an assumed fleet of 5 operating jets.

$130 scuba tank
$250 amt gsu, start equipment, etc
$45 first stage scuba regulator
$220 jersey modeler fueling station
$150 extinguisher
$1000 9 – 10 ch TX
$200 nice radio tray
$1700 trailer to bring jets to field
$300 t-shirts, hats, etc from jet related vendors
$1000 chargers, and related accesories
$999 1/5th of $4995 (total of above)

these are per flight cost estimates based on an assumed 5 flights per visit out at the field and a 30 mile drive to field. In my case its 8 minutes per flight

$5.40 based on an estimate of $.45 per mile of gasoline, and auto/.trailer depreciation ($27 for trip total
$4.25 per flight fuel cost (1 gallon per flight, plus propane)
$5 wear and tear/etc estimate based on eventual parts needing replacement, maintenance, etc
$.50 eclectic bill for charging up

$3100 $15.50 per flight costs x 200 flights

sssssssssoooooo lets add all this up ….

$16K for 200 flights on a king cat !!!!

now into some more perspective !!! (this gets really messed up !! )

200 flights time 8 minutes a flight is 1600 minutes

1600 minutes is equivalent to around 25 hours

this means that it costs $640 per hour to operate a king cat !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

here is a further perspective on our lack of sanity !!!!!!!! (this might make some of you puke !! ) :

a lease on a decent Ferrari 360 Modena is $2200 per month per 8K miles per year, and that also means around $900 of gasoline to operate for those 8000 miles , lets add an annual insurance total of another $6500 to cover your ass … total per year cost for ferarri: $3380 for 8000 miles …

lets translate these #s for comparative purposes … lets assume your average speed during your 8000 mile sojourn is 45 MPH ….. this equals a total of 177 hours enjoyed in your Ferrari actually driving it (not counting the 20 hours you spend sitting in it and thinking “dude its sooo cool ! I have a ferarri” ….

The per hour cost to operate a Ferrari 360 Modena is: $190 !!!!!

OK lets recap !!!!!!!!!!!

$640/hour KingCat
$190/hour Ferarri 360 modena
$440/hour helicopter training in a JetRanger with instructor
$120 cessna 182 rental or operational fee of your own

More perspective !!!!!!

Many of us have multiple jets !!! calculate that out !!!!!

Last edited by wojtek; Feb 24, 2013 at 12:47 AM. Reason: .
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Dec 11, 2004, 08:07 PM
Registered User
Sorry Woj but it's not realy true...Assuming your Kingcat count is correct, it make 640$/hour for 25 hours...

A Ferrari Modena is about 200Kus. Dont count fuel or insurance. So Let's assume as you did for the Kingcat that you will only use the Ferrari 25hours. That make 200K / 25 hours = 8000$/Hour
Dec 11, 2004, 08:16 PM
never fast enough !!!
wojtek's Avatar
ferrari is figured on an actual monthly lease value. Do the math and it adds up

If a leasing program were available for RC jets, # might move around a bit .. but with a life expectancy of the average jet out there being way unedr 200 flights, even with a lease, these are the # we deal with .....

also, with a ferarri, you get a lot more that 25 hr of using it .... the math is divided for a side by side per/hr comparison

I could have easilly outright owned a frarri 360 (used obviously) if i had not bought my Audi TT and all the turbine RC models i own ... this is not even talking about a lease, out right owning on ..

I like this hobby better than Ferraris

Last edited by wojtek; Dec 11, 2004 at 08:21 PM.
Dec 11, 2004, 08:49 PM
Registered User
I will try to convience my wife that since i fly jet i can bought a ferrari lol
Dec 11, 2004, 11:41 PM
Permanently Banned
"$300 t-shirts, hats, etc from jet related vendors..."

Dunno. People always seem to give me FREE hats. Nobody ever gave you a free hat or t-shirt?
Dec 12, 2004, 12:44 AM
never fast enough !!!
wojtek's Avatar
i spent $160 on a RC brand ski jacket, a few sweat shirts, other jackets , etc ... its more than $300 ..... I was actually very conservative with all the #s, and i think the actual # in the equation would come out to even more than $640 .... im thinking of giving my local Ferrari dealer a call on Monday

Dec 12, 2004, 01:02 AM
Permanently Banned
See what a Ferrari T-shirt costs!

I have a couple of vintage sportscars...beleive me, you are talking apples and oranges. A set of head gaskets on an exotic car like a Ferrari will set you back more than a fully-equipped Bobcat!
Dec 12, 2004, 01:12 AM
never fast enough !!!
wojtek's Avatar
hey, with what i spent on RC in the last 1.5 years , i wcould have had a nicely equiped 360 moden instead of my Audi TT !!!! I hear you on the parts ... and yea, you can see i had to throw the math on a comparitive scale .. as for per/hr cost .. i believe I am right on ... also for the comparrison to be completely fair, you would have to be getting around 82 10 minute flights per month on your RC jet ... that would be equal hour for hour to 650 miles in a Ferarri (going back to that 8K mile per year lease deal .. )

as for the shirts, etc ... hey, add in the hats, jackets, sweat shirts, etc .... ok, actually deduct the $300 for the shirts, you still are in the over $600 range

dude, there is no denying it

Dec 12, 2004, 07:36 AM
You win again, gravity!
Muxje's Avatar
Ouch ouch... maybe I shouldn't be getting into Jets.

Then again, the Ferrari comparison works out a lot better for me... car puchases are taxed at over 50% over here . And I have the scuba gear so that's $175 already saved, yay!
Dec 12, 2004, 10:48 AM
Mumbling in the corner.
flyboy2610's Avatar
Do you have a phone number for the Bunny Ranch?
Dec 12, 2004, 11:54 AM
Gas, Glow, Diesel & Kero!
ajcoholic's Avatar
Well, for us "regular" joe's that drive 12 yr old trucks and wear the same jean's I wore back in college... I managed to get three running (two factory built and one homebuilt) turbines and two fully equipped, rtf airframes flying (regularly for two years) for just over $10,000 C - thats with digital servos and jr 10pcm receivers, wheels/brakes, etc.

There arent many (relatively speaking) people that will own either a ferrari or multiple high end (read that BVM or equivalent) jets. Thats does NOT mean however that more people cannot participate in the hobby for no more than one would spend on a fully outfitted 1/3 scale aerobatic plane.

IN many aspects of the hobby (jets especially) there is no limit to the amount of money you can spend if you have it. WHat is more important to me, however, is stating truthfully, that you can also get into turbine jet modeling for "x" amount of dollars (spend as little as possible), much like hobbycnc is doing, and I did 3 years ago.

(note: please dont get me wrong, if I had more disposable income than I do I would also spend it! And I see nothing wrong with spending whatever amounts of money you want to on jets, once again, if I had it, I would too. Just that reading thsi stuff tends to "frighten" away potential newcomers to the sport...)

Now if you REALLY want to save money and also get more personal satisfaction start machining your own parts, etc and you can save even more $$ than you can imagine...

Dec 12, 2004, 01:10 PM
Registered User

The real thing

It all sounds very expensive... But again to put it into perspective... It costs an average of 1000$ pr minut, to operate a fighter trainer jet. That is for maintanence, fuel, spareparts, pay and so on...
Dec 12, 2004, 01:51 PM
Permanently Banned
Leasing is not owning...a leased Ferrari is not yours. Might as well rent one for a weekend. Ferraris are nice, but not the kind of thing you really want to drive every day...they DO become a big hassle. Park it at the mall, get the door dinged by a shopping cart, see how much fun and cost THAT is...and since it is leased, you DO have to fix it. But it's apples and oranges...a car is not a model airplane. I like my cars, but not as much as my model airplanes...but another thing is this...unless you have actually OWNED an exotic car, you have not really experienced the hidden expenses that come with it. I guess you have to do it and see!

$1000 a minute for a trainer jet? Get outta here! Who does your math? I know guys who have L-39s and stuff like that, the expense is NOTHING like that. Guys can and do own private fighters, fuel ain't cheap, but maintainance is not that outrageous, not by a long shot. And when the Navy billed "TOP GUN" (the movie) it was something like $6000 an hour for Tomcats and such, if I recall correctly. NOT anything like $60,000 an hour. That's absurd.

Money and this hobby, well...money does not impress me. The finest models I have seen were not even jets, but rubber power, and they cost nothing to build. An $11,000 Kingcat, to me, is just another ARF...nice airplane, but not really any sort of modelling accomplishment.

Guys like Andrew Coholic impress me more, and he sure proves that you do NOT need to spend megabucks to get into turbines.

Nothing wrong with spending money...some guys have more than others, it's theirs to spend as they like, if somebody wants a $25k model, it's cool by me, no sweat. PLENTY of guys spend a LOT more than Wotjek, a lot more. He's not over the top or anything like that, but nor does he probably represent the "average" spender, either!
Dec 12, 2004, 01:56 PM
never fast enough !!!
wojtek's Avatar
i did not intend this post to be of "who spends more" kind of deal .... just a perspective comparrison ....

i agre on the $1000 per minute jet thing ... you can go to places in AZ or NV and get your hands on a fighter stule jet with an instructor for around $3K per day, whcih includes 2 - 3 flying ..

Dec 12, 2004, 02:27 PM
Permanently Banned
Oh, no, no offense intended. Don't take it that way. Just saying that SOME guys spend what would seem to be others to be outragous amounts of money on the hobby...I say...whatever makes you happy! It's your money, if you get pleasure out of it, that's what counts.
Some guys will spend $450 on an out of production Austin Healey glove comparment lock...and another $100 to have a locksmith pick it and make up a key! That's me. I just needed it.
Cars and models, though...apples and oranges. Totally different league. The money you can spend on a car is an order of magnitude over what you can spend on models. Even if you got one of every neat new jet that came out...cars still cost more.
Go rent a ferrari for a bit and see how much you really like it...then see how much fun you have with models...
I think your fighter school figures are a little more realistic than what was quoted before...and that's including instruction, and profit for the school. Guys who run l-39s and sabres and stuff, it varies wildly, but I have heard $1000 a hour is realistic. Most planes do not need a tremendous amount of maintainance...as long as they were maintained in the first place.

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