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Swappable power pods-multiple FT kits? newb question..

#1
Very newbie here. never have flown. Hope to install and start running an old RealFlight G2 version simulator this week. Already have a mint used unflown E15 Apprentice trainer RTF package, but want some experience in the FT easy build trainers first. Been watching the FT YT easy builds for weeks now. Planning to build some beginner and intermediate planes over the next months, and would hope to use the same slide in power pod and motor between multiple planes to conserve costs.

For example, starting with a standard sized FT Simple Cub kit, is there a short list of other FT kit planes that use that same power pod and battery size? And hopefully the same motor size as well? I guess I would buy the appropriate power pack the first time, then use the same motor/power pod, and buy all the other electronics as needed for subsequent planes? I would hope to come up with a repeatable list of electronics to install in each plane.

Can the Spektrum Dx5e transmitter that came with the Apprentice be used easily for most all of these simple beginner and intermediate planes and components?

Am I overthinking this trying to consolidate too much?
Thanks much!
 

Brett_N

Active member
#2
DX5e will be fine. Just pick up a cheap DSMX reciever on amazon (Orange or Lemon) to use on your crashies.....err...foamies :LOL:

Only disadvantage of that radio is not multi-model capable, so your stuck flying 1 model at a time, but starting out, that's probably a smart thing.

Along the lines of the cub, pretty much any of the FT planes can use the same power pack but I say build the Cub, fly it, crash it, rebuild it, repeat, and then think of what's next. Cub's can do a lot. My only other recommendation would be to start with the tiny trainer, or even Hon's MUTTS trainer version of the Tiny (but, I have a soft spot for Sticks :love::love: )

Happy flying. Just remember crashing is all part of it.
 

Arcfyre

Well-known member
#3
You pretty much have the idea down correctly. There are essentially two classes of FT plane, minis and full sized which often have a "simple" prefix.

Minis are made to fit the "A" and "F" power packs, where A has less power than F.

The full sized models are made for the "B" and "C" packs, where the C pack is more powerful.

The vast majority of the excellent trainer planes take the C pack. Scout, Storch, Cub, Explorer, Soarer, etc. All good beginner planes and all will fly off a C pack.

For a list of available models to scratch build, check @SP0NZ's post here.

As for the DX5e, it should work. You will likely need to get some off the shelf Spektrum or other DSMX equivalent receivers, as I don't think you'll be able to use the one from the Apprentice in an FT model. Those RXes are usually factory coded with AS3X and SAFE technology and that doesn't play well outside the airframe (There are ways around this but it's outside the scope of this discussion).
 

FDS

Well-known member
#4
Most people don’t bother moving power pods, they end up with lots of holes in and not fitting very well. You also tend to break things learning, so it’s unlikely that your first power pod will live long enough to go into a second plane. In most of my FT planes the receiver and ESC cost as much as the motor, prop and servos combined, both of which are easy to get at and unplug should I need one out of a plane.
Batteries- Those are worth planning, so an 850 40c 3s will do lots of minis, a 2200mah 3s will do larger planes, nearly all of the 800mm+ wingspan ones but some of the others depend a lot on motor choice or all up weight, for example a lighter TT with a 2400kv lighter motor will run great on a small 2s, which won’t run any other planes. Some of those are under $8 each tho, so not expensive.
Check out Hobbyking for lipo, they are cheaper than many other places and their packs are fine. Avoid anything under 30c in sizes below 1500mah.
You can just fly a foamboard airframe to death then move the electronics, it’s easy to unglue servos with a hairdryer and a bit of IPA.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#6
Power pods...TECHNICALLY you can swap them out, but honestly? It's a pain in the butt. I had one that I was switching between a Nutball and a Mustang that I'd built, and in doing the switch, I poked the bbq skewer through the side at just the wrong angle and it caused a split of the power pod, enough to where it was causing the motor to pull to one side when I tried to power up before takeoff. Not a good thing, so from that day forth I just set up each plane to have its own set of electronics.

Batteries, as mentioned before, are great to have multiples. 2200mAh 3S batteries are kind of the de facto standard for all of the full size planes, but the minis kind of vary depending on which one you're working with.

I kind of shy away from the minis as a first plane/trainer, only because I don't have the best eyes. Putting a UMX/mini sized plane up in the air at 150 ft up is a lot harder to see than a full sized plane, plus the full size planes are a little less susceptible to wind gusts. Other people have had success with the minis as their first planes, so it's not a major issue, but these are things I try to point out to people who are learning. :)

I will tell you that the Apprentice is a SOLID plane to learn to fly with, and to keep in your hangar; our club teaches people how to fly using those planes specifically - they have a really solid glide rate, they're stable in flight, and you can do some basic aerobatics with them when you've mastered the basics of level flight. In fact, one of the pilots at our field uses one to make LOW inverted flights (and I mean less than an inch of clearance between the tail and the runway) when he's goofing around.