Swappable Pusher Jets FT/MesaRC Style

by Jpot1 | June 22, 2016 | (3) Posted in Projects

Hello everyone!

Being new to this hobby with a low budget has led me to be frugal with my spending on electronics.  At current I have two power pod setups that I swap between ~8 different FT and other DTFB planes.  When I first started, I built the FT22 with the fixed firewall.  Subsequently I wanted to build one of the MesaRC planes and was stuck with screwing and unscrewing the motor to move it from plane to plane.  Being inherently lazy, I had the motivation needed to look into a swappable pod that was bigger than the mini pod but smaller than the full size.

Smaller Pod Details

Using the FT22 as a model, I used the width of the channel where the firewall sits as the basis for my smaller pod.  The dimension was ~ 1.5 inches.  I kept the height of the standard FT power pod but shortened the overall length quite a bit.  I also kept the width of the standard FT firewall and just attach it with equal overhang on either side.  I did this as I was using this pod on various pusher planes and the extra firewall width is supported by foam that it rests against to handle the force of the motor rather than relying on the BBQ skewer only.


When installing in the planes, in many cases I flip the pod upside down so that I can leverage the BBQ skewer holes at the top of the firewall as well as the BBQ skewer hole through the pod itself.  An example is shown below of the MesaRC F-18 build.  In this case I used the standard dual BBQ skewer with a piece of foam to raise up the core of the pod.

The next picture shows the full installation.  Note that you have to be a little creative as to how the BBQ skewer access is done and in some cases you have to place the skewer holes BEFORE attaching the top/side plates in order for everything to be aligned.



I have successfully used this approach with several planes and it allows me to easily swap the same pod from plane to plane.  The FT22 result is shown below as a completed example.

Not yet maidened but this also works in a tractor arrangement with the smaller pod when the full size will not fit.  Trying out plans from TEAJR66.



The mini pod has worked like a charm especially in pusher style "jets".  Unfortunately, I don't have any video but there really is no impact to flight characteristics as a result of this pod.  Most recently I utilized the same pod on the MF-Tomcat from MesaRC.


Air-headed Aviator on August 7, 2016
They say some of the best innovations come from laziness. Looks good, but I can already tell you that your gonna have some motor overheating problems with that set up. The firewall blocls almost all oncoming air. I have the same problem with my pushers. Maybe if you have the motor on the inside for your pushers pod, facing some cooling.
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Jpot1 on August 8, 2016
Prodigy - so far so good. Had about 20-30 flight in the FT22 before it came to its demise but motor never came down too hot. MesaRC plane has a similar number of flights with no problems. It very well may be due to my flying style which is mostly half throttle with occasional WOT.
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Swappable Pusher Jets FT/MesaRC Style