Juniper Times

Latest News Magazine

A Guide to the Fundamentals of Owning an RC Gas Turbine Helicopter

Have you ever wanted to own and fly a scale model Helicopter? Lots would relish this opportunity, but what do they have over internal engined powered model helicopter?


The sound of a RC Gas Turbine Helicopter cannot be matched! Once you hear a Gas Turbine spool up (start) and then self-sustain itself (not rely on external driving) you will realise that this is a fully functioning turbine in everything but size. The smell the noise, it all adds to the thrill.

Turbine Units.

Several manufacturers produce these turbines in a variety of builds from plans only, to a fully built, balance and tested unit ready for install.

Gearbox and exhaust drive units.

These units either take the drive from the high RPM turbine shaft and reduce it for driving the main and tail rotors. Or as in the case of the exhaust drive, use the fast moving jet efflux gasses to drive a secondary turbine blade which in turn drives the main and tail rotors.


This device takes care of all the Turbines needs during starting and running, by taking care of fuel delivery, rotor RPM, exhaust gas temperature etc. Without some kind of control the Turbine would probably spin itself to destruction.

Ancillary hardware.

Essential items that are contained within the helicopter, to ensure safe and controlled functioning of the turbine include:-

Starter motor, either electric, compressed air, or gas cartridge.

Solenoid valves, control oil/fuel isolation.

Fuel and oil filters, ensure the quality of these liquids remains controlled and constant.

Fuel pump, to ensure correct fuel supply.

Fuel pipes, to transfer fuel from tank to Turbine.

What makes an RC gas helicopter a preference over a regular powered unit?

I have outlined above some of the factors that you will need to consider but, for me (and lots of other fellow model aviators) it is the feeling that you are not in fact dealing with a model, but rather a fully fledged Turbine powered helicopter, just a scaled down version, all the noise (and there is plenty of it) the smell of kerosene, the way which the helicopter handles is so much smoother (due to lack of vibration) and the crowd of people, fellow modellers and general public that they draw whenever they are flown.

One of the only drawbacks to owning an RC gas turbine helicopter is the limitations and restrictions on the availability of suitable venues where these impressive models can be flown.