THE SPICE Arena in Relau, Penang, was packed with visitors when the sound of a roaring jet engine saw them rushing outside to see what the commotion was all about.
It turned out that Ng Soo Meng, 58, was trying out his jet engine meant for a 15kg remote control fighter plane with a two-metre wing span.
“I am here at the International Science Fair 2016 to show some of my planes to the visitors as I have been invited to participate in the fair.
“I am just trying out the micro-turbine engine which is actually a mini jet engine,” he said.
“I have a company in Sungai Petani which makes and sells such remote control aeroplanes as I have a passion for such things.
“My interest was piqued in 1973 after watching the movie Little Adventurers where the hero had various adventures on planes, trains and automobiles.
“Not much money can be made by selling these models as there’s a lack of interest in aeronautical engineering. My models complete with an engine can cost RM30,000 each,” said Ng, an electronics engineer by profession.
He said a model F22 fighter jet coming in for a landing could be a sight to behold, adding that it could only be airborne for about five minutes due to the high fuel consumption.
“It has 17-kilo thrust engines with 4.7-litre fuel capacity and is one of the biggest models which can fly up to 250km an hour.
“I love talking to students about the remote control planes and it’s encouraging to see so many young adults showing an interest,” he said at the science fair.
More than 20,000 visitors were at the fair to check out the products showcased by multinational companies.
There were also workshops for students and competitions to create a robot and build a rocket in the fastest time.
There was also a MakerFest where 66 technology enthusiasts, hobbyists, engineers, artists and students from Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia gathered to show and share their creations.
The event was opened by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and organised by the Penang Science Cluster, an initiative by the state government.