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Seeking First Turbine Advice...

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Seeking First Turbine Advice...

Old 05-13-2002, 02:26 AM
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Default Seeking First Turbine Advice...

I think I should first start off by asking how many people have bought a turbine engine before they even had a plane for it? I'm tossing around the idea of doing just that for several reasons.

- One being I would like to know as much about the engines first hand.

- In case I come across a used turbine deal that is too good to pass up.

- I may discover after a couple bench runs turbines are not for me.

Would anyone recommend going this route? My main concern for doing this would be if turbines are anything like computers; every year new technologies arise making the previous models obsolete. If that were the case then perhaps it would be best to wait until I was ready to use it. Also, resale value may come into play?

Also, I would mainly be interested in the 12 lb class, and obviously would like to jump into the jet arena spending as little money as possible, perhaps around $1200 - $1400 for the engine.

After researching and reading these boards I've concluded my only real options would be the following:

- Building the Wren 54 kit. I've heard this is a very easy turbine to put together, even for a complete newbie, runs great and sounds reliable.

- Or purchasing a pre owned turbine, in particular a Ram 500. The Rams seem to be the most available, but I'm wondering if this is a bad thing. However, benefits to this is usually everything needed to run less the fuel is supplied. I'm not familiar with the different models, such as F, P, R, X. Are there any particular models to avoid, and what are the advantages of each? Or keep my eyes open for a Simjet?

- Are there any other options for my price range? I've heard of a couple overseas companies such as behotec.de and modellturbine.de but assume there engines exceed my budget.

I think that's all my questions for now. Thanks.
Old 05-14-2002, 01:04 AM
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Default Seeking First Turbine Advice...

Turbine technology is like computers, everchanging and always updating. You would probably be better off getting a plane and doing the building while saving then purchasing the turbine when ready. Your options are correct, however you may want to look at the SWB mamba, and the Simjet 1200, just an idea on a couple more alternatives. Hope this helps, good luck,
Old 05-14-2002, 01:47 AM
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Default Turbine

Be careful.

Just like stocks, turbines are often cheap for a reason.

Unless you become extremely well versed in model turbines and then personally inspect and witness the operation of any used turbine I would stay away from it. In addition, you absolutely need to be thoroughly familiar with every problem, upgrade, version, etc. with a particular used engine so will know exactly what you are getting into. A cheap used turbine becomes an extremely expensive proposition if it turns out to be unreliable and then un-salable when you try to get rid of it.

Orphan engines are no bargain. Stay away from obsolete, older engines that require overseas service.

Better you save your money and go with a well proven, up-to-date and most importantly, reliable engine. 12 lb class engines are cute, but right now the best 17 lb thrust turbines are extremely reliable, have the most airframe options and have excellent resale value.

Turbines aren't going anywhere. If anything they will become less expensive and more reliable as less desirable brands continue to be shaken out of the field. Don't rush into anything.

Right now the best model turbines made are JetCat or AMT. Ask around and don't just take my word for it. That's not to say other brands aren't any good, there are some fine running BMT's, RAM's, Simjets, etc. Remember, a lot of turbine flyers are sales reps for the engine they are using. A guy who sells one brand would never recommend another. Try to talk to regular modelers who pay for engines with their own money and have real world experience with them.

I know the feeling, you are itching to get involved and the temptation to get in for low bucks is almost overwhelming. Don't fall for it. Hold out and buy a JetCat P-80 or AMT Mercury if you can. You will be very glad you did.

Best of luck to you!
Old 05-14-2002, 04:33 AM
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Default Seeking First Turbine Advice...

Thank you both. I think I'm just going to be patient and monitor the progress and developments of these engines until I have a plane ready for one. I'm convinced that it is best not to rush into the jet arena, and most importantly not to take shortcuts. Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction!
Old 05-14-2002, 12:51 PM
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Default SimJet Turbine Options

Hi Jbertch
SimJet has a couple of products that may interest you. Like others have said, the SimJet 1200 is a good entry level turbine. It's available as an auto start or air start. We also offer a turbine kits of the 1700 and 2300, for about the same price as the 1200. They allow you to build the turbine up so that you can see how they work.

If you need any more info on the SimJet line of turbines, please do not hesitate to contat me at your convenience.

Old 05-14-2002, 01:42 PM
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Default JDE 54

looking for a 12 lb thrust turbine I recommend the orignal check out JDE

Old 05-14-2002, 03:08 PM
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Default plane or engine first

I agree with Greg. Although I bought my engine before I had a turbine airframe (got a good deal due to a manufacturer sale price at an event), I think that in this market it will be better to buy the airframe and then buy the engine when you have reached the construction stage at which it is necessary.

Technology and company viability change too quickly for these products. You don't want to get stuck with either obsolete technology or an engine for which you cannot get service.

When you are ready for the engine try to attend an event nearby and look for sale prices.

Good luck.


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