There are dozens of scale jet kits, both with and without engines, available through several manufacturers. There are also a variety of kits for turbojet engines. Model jets with an engine range in price from $5,000 to $15,000. They typically have wingspans of 60 to 80 in. and weigh 18 to 25 lb. The price, size, and necessary expertise tend to restrict RC model jets to the more avid hobbyist.

Custom-designed jets are common, particularly for scale models, and some of these scratchbuilt models are quite advanced. A 1/8-scale B-52 with eight turbojet engines, for example, was recently flown in the UK. And a scale model of a Harrier VTOL jet, complete with a ducted turbofan engine, is currently being developed and tested. Obviously designing and building a model jet is hardly a trivial task. The hobbyists must understand high-G stress, flutter, and other aerodynamic problems.

Model turbine engines are also used to power propeller aircraft, boats, and helicopters by attaching a gearbox to the turbine shaft, like fullsizeturboprop engines. This provides lightweight power at the expense of some fuel economy. For example, the Simjet 1200 TCP turboprop engine produces 7 shaft hp but weighs only 4 lb.

Manufacturers of model jets and engines include:

AMT USA LLC, (304) 375-3777, usamt.com
BVM, (407) 327-6333, bvmjets.com
FTE Inc., (863) 607-6611, franktiano.com/turbines.htm
Jetcat USA LLC, (818) 781-2300, jetcatusa.com
SimJet (Denmark), (45) 86 36 46 67, simjet.com
SWB Turbines, (920) 725-3721, swbturbines.com
Turbojet Technologies (Australia), (61) 089 478 1877, tjt.bz
Wren Turbines Ltd. (UK), (44) 562 467 0260, wren-turbines.com