Q: How does an electric jet work?
Lithium Polymer batteries provide the necessary wattage to power a brushless motor through an Electronic Speed Controller (E.S.C.). The motor direct drives the Electric VioFan (EVF) at high RPM to yield thrust.
Q: Can it really perform like a jet?
In January '08, the BVM factory team demonstrated that an EVF powered "Electra Jet" could exceed 200 mph. Click to Speed runs in perspective. The same model can climb straight up to the limits of sight.
Q: Is an electric jet cheaper than a similar size turbine?
Actually, it's not that much less expensive. It is more simple to own and operate. And it depends on how many sets of Saddle CellsTM you own. Consider that with today's technology, a properly cared for set of batteries can last 200 flights. For a 10s system that boils down to about $3.00 per flight.
It is interesting that to get x amount of thrust out of a 3 1/2" tailpipe, the cost of the energy source is similar, be it electric or turbine power.
Q: Do I need an AMA Turbine Waiver?
No, even though the EVF power system is high performance, a Turbine Waiver is not required. This is due to the much reduced possibility of a fire upon a high energy crash. This reduced fire risk also allows the electric jet to operate safely during exceptionally dry conditions and at practically any R/C model club field.
Q: Can an EVF powered jet model also fly slow?
Yes, all BVM Jets have computer optimized airfoils and wing "wash-out" that allow stable flight at slow approach and landing speeds. On some models this resistance to stall is also enhanced with flaps.
Q: Which model should I start with?
Assuming that you have learned to fly Radio Controlled models in the 100 mph range, we recommend our Electra Jet for all around, everyday sport flying enjoyment. Its generous wing area and extremely effective flaps offer a wide and safe speed envelope.
Q: But I like scale models! Can I start with one of those?
Sure, if you have a bit more building and flying experience and realize that a scale jet usually is more intricate when it comes to the landing gear, door operation and maintenance.
Q: Can I put the Electric VioFan in another brand of jet model?
It depends. A ducted fan powered model must have a properly designed inlet and tailpipe system or a full one half of the thrust can be wasted. Proper inlet design is a hallmark of BVM Jets, but not usually with Brand X designs. So, some will work well and some won't. See also Inlet Adaptor.
Q: How about grass field operation?
Absolutely, that is a design requirement at BVM. Cow pasture? No, but well maintained 300 - 400 ft grass strips like most clubs have will be quite sufficient. Obstacle free approach paths are necessary.
Q: How about noise levels?
An EVF installed in a BVM jet has a very pleasant sound as compared to some higher winding electrics. And, if there is another fuel powered model in the sky, you can barely hear it. The EVF is definitely neighbor friendly.
Q: How much maintenance is required?
Practically none, if your landings are reasonably good, there is just very little to deal with. Keep your receiver and batteries in good working order and you will find that your BVM electric jet may well be the most maintenance free powered model that you own.
Oh yes, if you usually transport your jet with the wings attached, do check the security of the wing retention bolts occasionally.
Q: Are the batteries going to change much in the near future?
The 70c LiPo Cells we are now using deliver excellent performance and flight times. At some jet events, we demonstrate that an EVF powered model can hang with and even surpass the performance of many turbine powered jets.
As new technologies proceed, the increments of advances become smaller. So, we think that you will be pleased with the current battery performance for at least the next year or so.
Q: Is there a learning curve with Electric Jets and the batteries and where do I start?
As you know, every new technology does have a learning curve. With electric jets, the battery and charging information is well covered in the BVM EVF instruction manual click to EVF Instructions.
Q: If I get into electric jets, can I use any of the airframes to switch to turbine power?
Yes, the BVM F-86, F-80, T-33, and MiG-15 can be flown with EVF power and then converted (with BVM parts and instructions) to P-60 power. There is a turbine conversion for the Electra Jet.