The Minden Airport is presenting the 5th Annual Louisiana Jet Rally, hosted by Shreveport Radio Kontrol Society (SHARKS). This is event is taking place today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days and is free for the public to attend.
The event itself will feature roughly 30 pilots flying “Turbine-powered R/C model airplanes flying around in the airport. Several of them doing different types of aerobatics and displays. Some airplanes will look like the actual full-scale models,” said John Judice, Contest Director.
These might not be the average hobby shop R/C airplanes that come to mind when people first think of R/C vehicles. These are essentially just scaled-down models of the actual airplanes/jets, having a wingspan that ranges from ten to fourteen feet.
“They’re basically the same jet engine that you would see in the full-scale aircraft. If the real airplane has a certain gizmo on it, so does the radio control jet. Generally speaking, an F-16 model looks like the real deal F-16,” said Terry Monroe, the Event Coordinator.
Having such high tech models doesn’t come cheap. Monroe stated that these model jets can range anywhere between $1,000 to $20,000 dollars.
These events essentially need to take place at an airport, in part due to their high cost. “Because of the expense of the models we like to have them in a more controlled atmosphere,” said Monroe.
Both Monroe and Judice expressed gratitude toward the Minden Airport for letting them hold the event there.
“We’ve been doing this for many years but this is the first time that we’ve done it at the Minden Airport. We appreciate being allowed to come out there and working with the airport manager to make sure we aren’t hampering any of the traffic coming in or out of the airport,” said Judice.
Some advice from Monroe for those interested in attending is to bring a lawn chair and don’t be shy to introduce yourselves to the pilots and the crew.
“We’re gonna have all sorts of neat model airplanes, food, and drinks. It’s family-friendly and won’t cost anything for a great time. If you ever had any interest in R/C airplanes or any type of remote control modeling, it’s a good place to come and check it out,” said Judice.
The Jet Rally will take place on Oct. 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Minden Airport can be found at 100 Aviation Drive. Call the Minden Airport at (318) 371-7862 for more information.