Mini FPV pod for Nine Eagles Sky RunnerMini FPV pod for Nine Eagles Sky Runner
Apr 28 2012
Original conversation: Sky Runner project

Aileron modification: Aileron mod project

As yet my Sky Runner has been had all electronics swapped and ailerons installed. Now it's time for the FPV side of things. Usually I'd just glue components onto the airframe where ever seemed best but because the Sky Runner has a pod area just like that of an Easystar and other models I thought I try make a "mini pod".

The big advantage of a single contained pod unit is the easy removable at any time to replace or upgrade etc. Although because this will be my main nano FPV kit now I may replace the 4 gram weight on the tail with a 8 gram GPS for OSD (On Screen Display) more towards the center of the fuselage giving me even more data and the ability to set-up a tracker.
The shape of the pod area is rounded so no straight edges except front/back plates. I took some 2MM balsa wood and submerged it in boiling water for about 30 minutes, this softens the wood fibre allowing you to bend it. The trick now is wrap it around a round object and hold it there until fully dry.
You can now shape the wood into the basic shape and then use thread to temporarily hold the pod against the fuselage. This is where I used thin fiber glass sheet over the top and used CA glue to bond it to the balsa wood. When the CA is dry you can cut the thread and trim the pod as it now holds the shape of the fuselage.
To re-enforce the area around the new cut I boxed in the battery also ensuring the lipo cannot get damaged. I again used fibre glass and CA to strengthen the box area further.
Another view this time from below. Also it is worth mentioning I used ZAP medium gap filling CA glue, this takes care of any small spaces left over. A final sanding will smooth it all out.
Now for the matter of keeping the pod in place during flight! The front area of the pod already has a slit for the lipo so I added a piece of wood on the top of new boxed area so I know it won't hit the lipo. This can now slide into the area in the front pinning the front of the pod into place.
I use a 1 cell lipo which I use heat shrink pipe sealed at one end for the lipo to slide into. The lipo sits sideways on the pod just in front of the box area being the heaviest component it's weight is now in the middle of the pod.
The electronics I've covered plenty of times in previous projects so here you can see I've mounted my 3 gram camera on top of the lipo box area. The video transmitter sits on the back of the pod with the most air flow for cooling although it doesn't get super hot anyway.
You can see on the back of the pod there is 2 poles stick through into the foam of the fuselage. I used some heat shrink pipe over the ends to stop the carbon fibre rods being able to pass all the way through, this completes securing the pod in place.
An over all view. The whole pod with lipo weighs 21 grams, as for COG on the Sky Runner itself, I found a 4 gram weight on the very end on the fuselage at the tail is enough to counter balance and still leave a tiny bit nose heavy which is best for gliding.
First of all sorry for the quality my video receiver is on it's last legs and I'm building a new ground station with a new receiver. Overall I'm super happy with how the Sky Runner flies even though its 168 grams AUW with FPV equipment on board.

This is going to be my full time mini FPV plane because it boasts so much potential, as you can see in the video it has plenty of power (I can even do a belly take- off from the ground). Gliding its a little nose heavy so maybe 5 grams on the tail would be best. Because I want tracking for this it'll have GPS eventually, GPS chips generally weigh 8 grams so this could become my new tail weight by moving it further up the fuselage.
Other projects you might like