Giant RC Airbus jet takes model aircraft flying to a new level

Some people take their hobbies very seriously, and I'm pretty sure we can count Swiss RC aircraft enthusiast Peter Michel in that group. Last month, at a club meeting in Switzerland he showed off his gigantic scale model of a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380, and the specifications are pretty mind-numbing.

Powered by four JetCat P120 jet turbines that can each deliver around 30 pounds of thrust, the model can't exactly compete with the 280,000 pounds of thrust you get with the real thing. On the other hand, at 155 pounds, the model has almost the same power to weight ratio as a fully loaded 1.2 million pound real A380. Range is another problem however, and due to its tiny 2.5 gallon fuel tank the model can only stay aloft for a little over eight minutes. That means you can't exactly recreate Singapore Airlines' nonstop 18 hour Newark to Singapore route using the model.

It took Michel 5,000 hours over eight months to build his 1:15 scale A380, using lots of styrofoam and lightweight balsa wood to keep the weight down. That's a lot of work for something you can't even ride in, but you've got to admit that his plane looks and sounds incredibly realistic as it rolls down the runway and lifts into the air.

Check out the video to see expert RC pilot Michael Bräuer put the mini A380 through its paces at last month's model aircraft meetup in Switzerland.

RCHelijet News, via CNet

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