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Should a power pod be strong, or a crumple zone?


Well-known member
I smacked the nose of my Baron into the ground good and hard again while flying too fast too close to the ground. Amazingly I didn't even break the prop!

What I did break was the firewall off of the power pod. The tape ripped and the hot glue let go. No other damage to the airframe.

I had built it with cheap packing tape over the firewall as I was out of the good stuff. I was about to repair it with good strong fiber or repair tape, until I realized that maybe that stuff letting go saved my motor shaft or at least my prop and spinner, and probably absorbed a lot of the impact rather than transferring it to the fuselage.

So... is your power pod toughened or is it weak?
My pod is stronger than the firewall! Seriously, last crash that I had smashed the firewall but the pod has absolutely no damage, my secret is that I use corrugated plastic for my pods. Oh, and that last crash, didn’t break the apc 9x6 prop. In my opinion it only needs to be a crumple area if you crash a lot, if you don’t crash often then it doesn’t matter.


Well-known member
Well, I usually don't crash this much, but I usually don't fly $2 airplanes either, so I'm having fun doing dangerous things :) If you're messing around doing split-s's within 20' of the ground, I guess you have to watch out for hilltops that stick up a little... Basically my opinon is why not fly the nuts off this one and then build another, right?

What I really want to preserve is my motor and ESC.

I also have an invitation to fly it in streamer combat with a group of guys, which apparently results in hitting the ground fairly often.


Legendary member
I consider my power pods disposable. I would rather replace the power pod than the motor shaft. I have eliminated the 2 BQS that go into the firewall and cut the firewall a bit shorter. Now if I take a hit the power pod can easily get shoved into the plane, saving both the motor and firewall. When you crash something is going to break first, I want that thing to be the power pod.

I use the old power pods as battery trays. I modify the fuse height so it’s now 2 power pods high. The tray now holds the power pod in place.


Well-known member
I always keep a couple of spare pwr pods on hand at the field, THEY ARE DISPOSABLE. I use fiber reinforced packing tape made by "duck tape" on mine. I noted that Flite Test has improved their firewalls with a thicker material, thank you very much. Fly fast, crash hard, build again, repeat. Have a good day.
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Well-known member
OK, disposable it is. I like that idea @Merv, let any impact onto the motor just drive the pod back. If the pod gets wrecked, yeah a new one can be cut out and built in 10 minutes.

So how do you secure the front end of your pods? Just a BBQ skewer through the sides, same as the rear? Seems a lot simpler than the overlapping firewall and 2 skewer thing, which only has strength in compression anyways, now that I think about it - there is no force bearing there in flight at all, the thrust is just pulling on the rear skewer.

My firewalls are cut out from hobby plywood, can't remember the exact thickness, it was kicking around. Seems to hold up.


Old and Bold RC PILOT
I also make my powerpods collapsible in a collision but I do things a little different.
Firstly I glue my firewalls to the powerpod using epoxy so I do not reinforce the pod with any tape.
In addition I add a series of extra holes, (made by a BBQ skewer), but in front of the mounting holes so that there is plenty of "Meat" when the motor is pulling hard but in a crash the skewers will rip through the extra holes and allow the pod to be pushed back into the fuselage a little easier and hence less motor damage. Ensure that the pod moving into the fuselage does not crush any other pieces!
The firewall is recoverable, (if undamaged), with a sharp knife and a little sandpaper if required. I have some firewalls that have been used in 5 or more powerpods.
Finally the 2 skewers used to hold the firewalls are both required and both support the motor thrust, (the FB does compress slightly under motor thrust so both are loaded). In addition both are required for a stable motor thrust angle.

Just what works here!

Have fun!


Legendary member
So how do you secure the front end of your pods? Just a BBQ skewer through the sides, same as the rear?
A BQS through the side would work but I've never tried that.

I use the old power pods as a battery tray. I slide my battery tray underneath the PP, it's the battery tray that holds the PP up. I do have to make sure the fuse is exactly 2 PP high. Not to tall and not to short, some modification to the fuse is necessary.


Well-known member
I use a modified "swing down" pwr pod, load the battery swing it up and insert forward skewer. To make it easy for skewer insert I bush my holes with 1/8" plastic coffee straws and use a continuous straw piece across the inside of the pod. The straw makes easy insertion of skewer stick.

Edit: This is on Wonder's and Baron's
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Well-known member
Have been thinking about holding the power pod to the fuse with velcro. My experience has been if you have a hard crash, the BQS will also rip the fuse, making alignment of the pod a problem. If the velco idea works, on a nose in crash, the pod will move and absorb some of the energy as do the doublers and the nose itself. Anybody have an idea as to whether or not I'm on the right track? Also thinking of building the nose and pod out of coroplast with a foamboard fuse tail and wing(s). That should be a pretty solid plane.


Active member
LOL - just don't crash?

Easiest solution.
lol, I've been flying since September and so far I think I can count my actual "landings" on one hand. I haven't totaled a plane yet. Knock on wood. Just some minor scuffs. Most of my crashes have been nose overs, the rest, pancakes.

I'm under the school of logic that something has to give. If the power pod is too strong, either the motor or the plane is going to give and I'd rather rebuild a power pod for 15¢ in foam.


Elite member
My Tiny Trainer is on power pod number 10 in 3 months. I got through a whole 6 flights on this one, it might be my longest lived one so far. I have two spares in my flight box now to save time.


Well-known member
Either way, I think it is great that we are just having this conversation. In the old days, crashes were devastating. After spending sometimes hundreds of hours on a project and hundreds of dollars it was a bad day when you bit the farm. Now with our foam board creations it is more often than not, just a good laugh.

Our club is made up mostly of old school guys with big gas airplanes and a little corner of FT guys. I've noticed that more and more the old school guys are coming to our side. Comments like, "Seems like you guys are having all the fun with you 3 buck airplanes?" It's true!