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Model jets land at local airport

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Kentucky Jets converge on Lebanon-Springfield Airport

By Jimmie Earls

By Jimmie Earls

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Sun Staff Writer

If you spotted an F-18 Hornet, passenger jet or any other unusual aircraft over the skies of Springfield over the July 4 weekend, there's no need to be alarmed. It was simply the "Jets over Kentucky" model air show in town.

Hobbyists and manufacturers from the world over came to the Lebanon-Springfield Airport to show off their remote-controlled model jets. This is the third year for the event.

Rod Snyder, one of the weekend's participants, competed in the World Jet Masters competition in Budapest, Hungary in 2005 and in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland in 2007. The 2009 competition will be held June 18-25 in Dead Sea – Mezada , Israel.

Although they are models and are built from kits, these planes are anything but toys.

"They're capable of 300 miles per hour," said contest director Lewis Patton. "But we have a speed limit that restricts us to 200 mph. They're not your typical hobby store stuff."

Models at this show range in price from $10-35,000. This is clearly not a hobby that enthusiasts take lightly.

"It's a good hobby," said model pilot Bob Bush from Dayton, Ohio. "I've been at it for 40 years or so. When I first started there was only one channel, enough to run the rudder, that was it."

The turbine-powered jets weigh anywhere from 18-55 pounds and are fueled by K-1 kerosene mixed with turbine oil.

Patton travels all over the United States promoting shows every week and is thrilled to see his home state embracing this exciting hobby.

Jets over Kentucky will take place over an entire week next year, from June 28-July 5.