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XPONENTIAL Innovation Preview -- www.allthingsunmanned.com

Mon, Jul 26, 2004

Very Small Turbojets Provide Power To Very Large Models

And Very Small Manned Aircraft

By ANN Contributor Christopher Armstrong

Bigger isn't necessarily better. Especially when you consider the world of tiny turbojets.

United Kingdom model builder Gordon Nichols is now flying a 1/8th scale Boeing B-52 Stratofortress powered by 8 Wren MW54 turbojet engines, of 12 pounds thrust each. The B-52 has a 23.5 foot wingspan and weights 297 pounds dry, when fueled with 22 liters of Jet A1 its gross weight is 330 pounds. The plane is built primarily of balsa wood using traditional construction model methods with pine in high stress areas and light plywood for skins. The project cost over 20,000 pounds ($37,000) to complete.

As model planes have gotten bigger and more sophisticated the technology developed for very large models is transferring into light manned airplanes. Two J.E.T. Cobra jet engines have been installed on a French built Cri-Cri aircraft, to make a small twin jet powered aircraft.

Another Cri-Cri has flown using two AMT Olympus microturbine engines. With a total thrust of the two engines of approximately 80 pounds, Nicholas Charmont's Cri-Cri has demonstrated impressive performance, with a top speed of 150 MPH. Single engine speed is 100 MPH. Fuel burn is 15.7 oz/min per engine.

FMI: www.amtjets.com

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