5 straight days of nothing but jet time!
The Best in the West Jet Rally if I had to guess, is one of the largest RC Jet gatherings on the west coast. Held at the Elk Hills-Buttonwillow airport with regularly over 100+ registered pilots, the result is 5 straight days of non-stop jet flying from a measly 3200+ ft long runway. Plus, being held in early October in Southern California means that the weather is usually just about perfect (and it was this year!).
It had been a few years since my last visit to this event. I had actually attempted to get there last year (even paid my entry), but wasn’t able to work it out based on the proximity of the dates to the US Scale Masters Championships. So, when the event came around again this year, I knew that I wanted to get out there. The cool thing was, my dad decided to come with me and so it was a great weekend spent flying jets with my hero! That really made the weekend that much more memorable and fun.
There’s always a nice assortment of airplanes at the event ranging from sport jets to scale. And they all typically have one common theme…BIG! In years past, I remembered there being notably more sport jets than scale jets. However, my observation this year was that sport jets were far less prevalent and scale jets reigned supreme! For this scale geek, it was nice to see and there were some absolutely phenomenal scale jets out there. Between the assortment of Airworld F-104s, Composite ARF F-100s, and various F9F Cougars (these were extremely popular), there was much to geek out over and each one of those jets had an absolutely perfect finish!
My dad and I were there Friday and Saturday enjoying the phenomenal weather. I had in tow with me my trusty Jet Hangar Mirage IIIRS and A-7 Corsair II. In comparison to most of the airplanes there, they were park flyer sized! The coolest airplane at the event I thought was my friends massive 12ft long T-38 Talon EDF. He completely designed and scratch built the airplane from foam and balsa/ply wood. Weighing in at 45lbs and powered by two Jet Hangar E-Turbax EDFs, the airplane was extremely impressive and flies awesome (video further down)!
Somehow through the process with all of the immaculate jets that were out there, I was awarded the “Best Markings and Paint” award for my Mirage. Given the caliber of jets that were out there, it was a huge honor for me to even be considered for the award. The “Best EDF” and “Technical Achievement” awards went to my friend Brent Hecht for his amazing T-38 Talon. That thing is nuts!
Here are a few pictures from the event. I was focusing more on video (videos further down), but tried to get a nice assortment of pictures. In many cases, the airplanes I captured video of I saw only fly once so didn’t necessarily get pictures.
Here’s selection of some of the videos. New videos post every Tuesday on my YouTube Channel and there are more coming from the event!
GIANT Scratch-Built T-38 Talon EDF
GIANT AirWorld F-104 Starfighter (2016 Top Gun Champion)
GIANT Composite-ARF F-100 Super Sabre
GIANT Twin Turbine SkyMaster F-18F Super Hornet
SCRATCH-BUILT A-7 Corsair II
GIANT Mibo Twin Turbine A-10 Warthog
GIANT BVM F-16 Nellis Aggressor
GIANT Skymaster Blue Angels F9F Cougar