Build Your Own RC Jet Engine

By Paul Higgings

Can you Build Your Own RC Jet Engine

I have been doing lots of research on this topic, as up until now RC Jet Engines have been, as you can imagine extremely expensive to buy. Certainly in the thousands rather than hundreds of dollar range, one major manufacturer is Jetcat USA, who certainly has a fantastic product range, but they do come with a hefty price tag, unfortunately pricing many budding jet modellers out of the niche.

Can you make your own RC Jet Turbine? The main problem we will encounter is that the turbine wheel itself needs to be of the correct shape and material to work efficiently and aborb the immense heat and pressure involved. This was the same problem that the designers of the early Jumo series engines faced at the end of the second world war, they simply could not obtain the correct alloys to ensure reliability.

During my research I have found off the shelf Turbines are available that will form the basis of your home built RC Jet engine. It is clear however that you will still need a reasonable amount of engineering skill to use this turbine wheel and produce a working Jet engine. One company, March Labs can provide CNC ready plans so that you can go to your local engineering firm and they can produce all or some of the parts for you, thus allowing you to carry out final assembly of the components. You could soon be Jet Powered!

The engine that is produced using this turbine is known as the centrifugal type jet engine. This is the design adopted by most commercial manufacturers of RC Jet Engines. It was also the same design used in the early full size jets, pioneered by Sir Frank Whittle of Powerjets Ltd. This design was used to power Britians first operational Jet Fighter the Gloster Meteor. The later engines went on to use the slimmer and more efficient Axial Flow principle as seen in the BAC Lightning supersonic fighter that used a reheated version of the Rolls Royce Avon engine.

I'm sure there are some very talented modellers out there will be able to take the off the shelf turbine wheel and go and produce a working RC Jet Engine. For the rest of us mere mortals the plans available from March Labs will give us a valuable blue print to work with.

Obviously this is a very large project, but the money saved and the satisfaction gained by doing the work yourself will be great, now are you up to the challenge? - 31504

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