LODI — Radio-controlled jets and planes of all sizes and styles will be taking to the skies in south Lodi for a weekend of speed, power and aerial acrobatics.
The Delta Valley Modelers and Delta Valley Flying Club are hosting the 11th annual Jet Rally in the Valley at Kingdon Airpark Airport Oct. 18-20, and as many as 45 pilots are expected to be showing off their radio-controlled skills.
Club treasurer Jose Macias said turbine engine models, warbirds and propeller jets will be reaching speeds of up to 250 miles an hour during the three-day event, with their pilots spending nearly all day behind the controls.
“For anyone who hasn’t seen or heard a turbine engine jet, this is a pretty great show,” Macias said. “We’ll have jets and planes anywhere from full-scale to quarter-scale in size. There’s one guy who’s got a model that’s 7-foot long with a 6-foot wingspan. They’re really impressive.”
Admission to the rally is free, but tickets for the awards banquet are $45. There will be vendors and food concessions during the day as well, he said. Pilots will begin flying at 9 a.m. each day.
There are no competitions like racing or aerobatics, he said. However, awards will be given Saturday night for best military plane, best jet and best in show.
Macias said some pilots will have propeller-engine planes with navigational lights that will be able to be airborne during sunset.
Macias said as many as 2,000 spectators come out to the airport over the course of the three-day rally to watch pilots fly their aircraft.
“Spectators are what we really want,” he said. “We want to get a lot more people involved in the sport, especially youngsters. We’re losing pilots because a lot of us are getting older and unable to do any flying these days.”
Those interested in joining the Delta Valley Modelers can attend club meetings on the second Monday of each month at Round Table Pizza, 2819 March Lane in Stockton.