The latest Jet Central Rhino SE turbine powers the author’s new Xtreme ARF Vixen.
I have completed my new aircraft, an Xtreme ARF Vixen Sport Jet.
This has allowed me to put
some flight time on my Jet
Central Rhino 200 Smart
Electronics (SE) turbine.
What a powerhouse this
engine is! Compliments go
to Jet Central on the new
electronics package for the
I have passed four hours of
runtime and I’m starting to
take advantage of the features
available within the SE
ground support unit (GSU)
to control and monitor the
Rhino. I find myself pulling
up the battery menu upon
initial power-up to check the
voltage of both the turbine
electronic control unit (ECU)
battery and the receiver-pack
battery. If you remember to reset the
ECU battery usage following a fresh
charge, you can monitor the remaining
capacity of the ECU battery.
The graph for fuel usage is also located
in the battery menu. This feature is
similar to the battery monitor; however,
it does take more manual input.
First, enter the fuel tank size in
milliliters, and then reset and fly the
model. At the end of the flight, enter the
percentage of fuel remaining in the tanks
to calibrate the fuel usage.
Jet Central also considered whether
taxi tanks would be used. The fuel usage
can be reset with a quick cycle of the
throttle from idle, to full throttle, and
back to idle, in less than a second. The
importance of calibrating the fuel usage
feature will be rewarded as telemetry
becomes available, and you can have in-flight monitoring of the remaining fuel.
What a nice option.
Jet Central has the acceleration and
deceleration opened up for the user to
adjust should he or she have the desire
to tune in faster throttle response.
Remember to carefully adjust the
acceleration or deceleration because it
can get you into trouble.
I was fortunate to speak with Juan
Ruiz, the guru at Jet Central who
engineers and builds these wonderful
turbines, during the First in Flight RC Jet
Rally held in May 2016 in Wilson, North
Carolina, and discuss the Jet Central
Rhino’s acceleration and deceleration
performance. Yes, it is capable of
improved performance at lower
altitudes, humidity, and temperature,
but, as he stated, he keeps his setup at
5,000 feet above sea level. At lower
altitudes, gains can be made.
I typically operate my models at 1,000
feet above sea level, but in the summer
at 90° temperatures with high humidity,
improvements are possible.
Let’s start our discussion of adjusting
acceleration and deceleration rates. First,
it can get you into big trouble and cost
you an airplane if you get too aggressive.
Fast deceleration rates are simple and too
fast and you could flame out.
Remember that what works on the
ground will be different in the air when
supplied with high velocity through
the inlets to the turbine. You should be
conservative when setting deceleration.
Let’s move forward to acceleration
rates. Accelerating too fast can set you
up for some serious problems. Be aware,
be alert, and understand that you are
playing with fire—literally.
The worst case of this was an issue
I experienced with my Wren 54 Mk3,
which is a small, sensitive turbine. It
usually ran like clockwork, except on
hot, humid days. It was easy to exceed
the acceleration-rate setup in the ECU
and move the flame from inside of the
turbine to the outside.
Nothing I could do with the throttle
99 Model Aviation SEP TEMBER 2016
Xtreme ARF Vixen features
by Jim Hiller