could swear the winglets were going to meet somewhere above the fuselage centerline! I don’t think
I’ve seen one guy have more fun with a low budget
A lot of sport jets were on hand—from a wide
range of BVM offerings, through the Shulman Aviation and CARF-Models imports, right up through
some very sophisticated and slippery-looking,
scratch-built models. One of the more impressive
of these models was Jack Holland’s “Jacknife.” Jack
designed and hand-fabricated this exquisite model,
and he flew it frequently. It is composite and the two
examples I saw were beautifully finished. I understand he has kits available, as well as “turn-key”
versions. After watching it fly a number of times, I
think I understand where the term “it flies like it’s
on rails” came from. Very, very smooth! Sure, a lot
of it is Jack’s flying skills but you could tell it was
very well-mannered! Jack took home the Best Sport
Jet award. Another impressive sport jet was the BVM
Bandit, built and flown by Ron Schwarzkopf. The
eye-magnet here was the quality and color of the
I took the opportunity to ask Mike Kulczyk, a good friend and certainly one of the pioneers in jet modeling, to give me his assessment of the evolution of RC jets.
Over the 30+ years that I’ve known Mike, I don’t think I can
ever remember him referring to a “kit” that he has built.
Everything in the model jet world that he’s done was scale,
unique, and scratch-built off his own design. Those I’ve seen include a De Havilland Sea
Vixen, Gloster Meteor, A- 7 Corsair, BD- 10, Supermarine Attacker, and a gorgeous F- 105
with which he competed at Top Gun. His current project, which may have flown by the
time you read this, is a 90mm EDF-equipped North American FJ-1 Fury, predecessor of
the swept wing FJ-2 through FJ- 4 Navy jet fighter series. Here’s what Mike had to say.
“We’ve witnessed the model jet thing evolve from the days of the hand-carved, wooden
‘fan in a can,’ with a cantankerous glow engine that took six people to get running and successfully airborne, to the current situation where any reasonably competent radio flier can
throw two switches, one on the transmitter and one on the model, and become a jet pilot.
The advent of the model turbine engine put the jet modeler that much closer to the real
thing, where he could smell the jet fuel in the morning and appreciate the ‘heat bunnies’
emitting from the tail pipe. It is obvious to me that the turbine is here to stay.
The popularity of jet flying is obvious, witness the proliferation of park flyer foamies.
An even more exciting area, from a practical sense, is the arrival of the electric ducted fan
(EDF). With fan design improvements and amazing battery performance, several fan units
are approaching the thrust levels of the turbines, the mid sizes at least. And here again,
the simplicity of the operation is a plus ... two switches and go!
What does the future hold? Where do we go from here? I haven’t the vaguest clue, but
I do know this: there is plenty on the plate right now to keep us occupied for a long, long
time. Hmm, how about an F- 35 with V TOL capability?”
finish. Painted in a decidedly “hi-vis” red/orange
scheme with just the right amount of attractive
military markings, Ron’s Bandit looked great, especially against that blue Texas sky—a photographer’s
Another eye opener was a project by USAF M/Sgt
A lot of sport jets were on hand—from a wide range
of BVM offerings, through the Shulman Aviation and
CARF-Models imports, right up through sophisticated
and slippery-looking, scratch-built models.
Nick Robinson, who is a C- 5 flight engineer who
apparently can’t get away from the bird. He showed
me the plug for his latest, and ongoing model: a
135-inch-span version of his military ride. All indications are that this EDF behemoth is going to be
spectacular. His active service understandably limits
the time he can devote to the project, but he hopes
to have it done for next year’s SWJR.