by Bruce Tharpe


The ideal turbine for your airframe will depend on your jet experience and style of flying. The "official" recommendation from PST is 14 to 20 lbs. of thrust, but they do allow for up to 36 lbs. of thrust for advanced pilots. If the Reaction ARF is going to be your first turbine model, you should probably stick to the official range. To me, the PST J800R (18 lb) is a perfect match for the airframe. Others in this class are the JetCat P70 (17+ lb) and the Wren Super Sport (18 lb). Do not get the impression that the Reaction will putter around like a high-wing trainer with this kind of power! With 14 - 20 pounds of thrust, it will fly in the 120 to 150 mph range and be able to do all types of jet aerobatics.

The next level of turbines are at the upper recommended limit, or just over it. This middle range of turbines includes JetCat P80 (21 lb) and the Artes JF-100 Falcon (22 lb). This extra bit of power will be nice if you plan to install a smoke system.

The most power-hungry pilots will be looking at the top end of the spectrum. The prototypes were tested extensively at the factory with a PST J1300R (28 lbs) for power. The experienced pilots there loved the combination, reporting not much extra speed, but lots of extra vertical performance. They even installed one of their new J1600R (35 lb) turbines, and did demo flights at Top Gun 2008. That kind of power gives you unlimited vertical performance, but it uses a lot of fuel and pushes the airframe to the limit. Other engines in this class are the JetCat P120SE (28 lb), the Wren XL200 (33 lb), the Artes JF-120 Eagle (30 lb), and the JetCat Titan (34 lb).

Kraivuth at PST wrote this to me: "We tested the Reaction ARF with J1600R and wowwwww. I put her into vertical climb right after takeoff and she will go out of sight if don't power down. Structure strength is more than enough to take this 36 lbs thrust. We put her into many high G maneuvers with ease. Personally, I still think that the J800R is the best combination. J1300R and J1600R are for show and hot rod flying".

Keep in mind that you can "detune" your turbine to put out less thrust by simply programming the ECU to a lower rpm figure. This would be a good idea for early flights while you get used to the airplane.


You will need at least a seven-channel radio for the Reaction ARF. If you install the optional speed brake or add a smoke system then you will need more channels. If you have extra channels, you can use separate channels for each aileron and/or separate channels for the rudder and steering servos. Personally, I have settled on the Futaba 9C transmitter because it is easy to program, has lots of mixing functions, and has slider switches for flaps, which I consider much easier to use than knobs.

Digital servos are recommended for the ailerons, elevator, and rudder. I also like digitals on the flaps, but PST recommends analog servos to prevent over current draw and possible burnout. We both prefer analog servos for nose wheel steering and for activating air valves (retracts and brakes). The minimum recommended torque value for each function is listed here:

Elevator (1 Servo) 9 kg-cm/125 oz-in
Ailerons (2 Servos) 6 kg-cm/83 oz-in
Rudder (1 Servo) 6 kg-cm/83 oz-in
Flaps (2 Servos) 6 kg-cm/83 oz-in
Steering (1 Servo) 6 kg-cm/83 oz-in
Pneumatic Brake Valve (1 Servo) 3 kg-cm/42 oz-in
Pneumatic Retract Valve (1 Servo) 3 kg-cm/42 oz-in
Optional Speed Brake (1 Servo) 6 kg-cm/83 oz-in

I've made a list of common servos, broken down by manufacturer, that are suitable for the Reaction ARF. These are not the only servos that can be used, but it's a good place to start.

Download RECOMMENDED SERVO LIST 33.4 KB .pdf file - Updated April 2010

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