For these taxi scenes an afterburner effect isn’t required.
Here’s the scene with engine effect that I think works best. The key was making an animated texture for the alpha channel that included a fade out to 100 black on the left side of the texture. That way the exhaust shape faded to nothing at it’s end. Another key was adding a blur to the shape in the effects menu. I like the way the exhaust blurs the front of the jet that’s following it. I briefly played with a particle system, but it required a huge amount of render time and I really didn’t test it out since the animated alpha texture seemed to do the trick.
In working on animating the wave deformation - the wave seemed to start in the middle of the shape and work it’s way out toward the ends. I couldn’t see a way of changing the orientation of the wave. I clicked on the buttons for the different axis, but the effect didn’t seem to change. It might make a difference how the shape was oriented when the deform wave was applied.
Again, thanks to everyone for their suggestions