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Yellow F-16 Turbine Conversion
Gordon Dickens

I have received quite a few inquiries about the conversion of my Yellow Aircraft F-16A model to turbine power so here is a brief overview with some photos. My Y/A F-16 conversion is an open installation (without bypass) of a JetCat P-80 turbine.

The following overview should give you a pretty good idea of what is involved in converting the Y/A F-16A model to turbine power.

The Y/A F-16 conversion was quick and simple.  I had the airplane 90% constructed when I decided to convert it from a ducted fan airplane to a turbine powered airplane.  I added a few extra reinforcement items in addition to ensuring that the entire plane was constructed as solidly as possible. I added two layers of 3/4 ounce fiberglass cloth over the wing to fuse joints and rudder to fuse joints. I also reinforced the inside of the external inlet with fiberglass cloth on each lateral side and around the nose gear with Kevlar cloth (black tape in photo). I used a JR 8411 servo on the flying stab with a Hanger 9 metal servo horn.

The inlet was cut in half horizontally to make room for 66 ounces of fuel.  I built a plywood shelf atop of the remaining inlet piece that was the same height as the rest of the nose section.  This resulted in a large platform of constant height inside the forward fuselage for mounting the fuel cells, turbine electronics, pump, valves, etc. The forward hatch is secured in front with a hook and then held down with rubber bands and a single SHC screw in the rear. The engine bay hatch was also modified significantly.  I glued the original stock Y/A engine bay hatch lid onto the fuselage and then re-cut it out to the exact size of the engine bay opening in the fuselage. I then secured it  with two BVM hatch pins in the rear and  two BVM hatch latches in front. This installation is very secure, affords easy access and has improved appearance over the standard Y/A hatch installation per instructions.

The stainless steel tail pipe was constructed with one of my old GWM FD 3/67 bell mouths mounted to its front.  The original ducted fan exhaust duct was used as a template for making the aluminum outer pipe. The exhaust nozzle was cut off of the fuselage and reattached with poly ply screws after inserting the inner and outer tail pipes.

I used BVM wheels and brakes.  The model is equipped with a JetCat speed sensor that is programed for a maximum airspeed of 170MPH.  I do most of my flying, however, under 150MPH with the JetCat cruise control feature.

My turbine powered Y/A F-16 weighs 14 pounds dry and it flies great.  It doesn’t appear quite as authentic as my BVM F-16 does with scale gear, however, it performs very well in the air. I have 64 flights on this model as of  the end of 2001.

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