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Thread: Firman belly pod

  1. #1

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    Firman belly pod

    I was wondering if anyone had info on the Firmin belly pod. Is it a cargo or fuel or combo pod? is it available? how do you contact them? I would be interested in one if it is a fuel or fuel/cargo combo.
    Thanks Dave

  2. #2

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    Firman is cargo pod only. Holds 56 lbs or something like that. Airglas makes the fuel/cargo pod. $3085.00

  3. #3
    Crash's Avatar
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    Pod

    I have a Firman pod on my PA-18. It is all cargo and very large. It makes the PA-18 twice as useful if you go out for extended stays or hunt with it. The only cargo / fuel pod on the market is the Landes Airglass 18 gallon / cargo pod. I don't like it because it is heavy and only has a small amount of cargo area located in the rear of the pod where you don't want the weight. With the Firman pod you can load all your heavy stuff towards the front of the pod (under the CG) and the lighter stuff toward the rear. It is also much lighter than the Landes fuel / cargo pod. I can get three 5 gallon cans in the Firman pod and have room for some more stuff.

    A guy stopped into Iliamna in a stuffed Cessna 185 (only room for the pilot) and quipped to Terry, friend of mine, that he bet he wished he could get all that "stuff" in his Super Cub and get off the ground. Terry said he could do it, no problem. A $100.00 bet was made and the transfer of freight began. With the help of the Firman belly pod all the stuff was put in Terry's Cub, he made a loop around the pattern and collected the $100.00.

    The best set up is Dakota 24 gallon tanks to get all the fuel up (gravity feed) where it needs to be and a Firman pod for all your camping gear.

    Take care. Crash

  4. #4
    375handh's Avatar
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    Crash:

    Was the Firman pod ever STC'd? Where can you purchase them?

  5. #5

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    Firman negative stc, in progress.

    Crash what is the cargo lbs capacity of the firman.

  6. #6
    Crash's Avatar
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    Pod

    On the door it says 54 lbs of baggage. There have been 19 King Salmon put in one (we don't consider King Salmon to be baggage). I have put a lot of weight in mine, but no baggage. Crash

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    Why dont you guys like the Airglas cargo pod? Its certified for 140 lbs.

  8. #8
    Anne's Avatar
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    Does Firman have a website? What's the URL?

    Anne.
    Baloney is still baloney, no matter how thin you slice it.

  9. #9

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    Firman belly pod

    Thanks for all the info, I agree the airglass tank is heavy but it is easy to install and remove. Does anyone have contact info for the Firman pod? Another option would be to take a 60 gal sorenson belly tank cut the top off then install baffels so you would have gas in front and cargo in the back. I have heard this used to be field approved in Alaska. Anyone have any info???
    Thanks, Dave

  10. #10

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    I have had my Firmin pod for about 11 years. It weighs about 17 lbs. Mine has a door on the right side. Bill was able to make many improvements since mine. Now there is a door on the left side and some have a door in the back. The approximate demensions are 7' long, fuselage width tapering with the fuse and about 12" deep, at the deepest point. For its constructed purpose is is well built. They are rated for 54# but the volumne is where it shines. You can put skiis, snowshoes etc. They are great for fish and smelly stuff because you get out the hose and wash it out. As Crash stated the best combo is Dakota tanks and a Firmin pod. It is connected with stainless straps and adel clamps. Removal is a matter of minutes. I no longer use my dodge baggage because the pod is so convenient.

    As far as I know the stc. is close and there is no current website. My information may not be current.pak

  11. #11
    AkPA/18's Avatar
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    http://thrustline.com/

    Takeoffs are optional--Landings are mandatory

  12. #12
    Jake's Avatar
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    Can the firman be used if on floats?

  13. #13
    kase's Avatar
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    Theres a guy here in town that has a 32 gal Airglas tank for sale. Straps and pump included, no paperwork. Airglas will furnish STC for 200.00. Asking 1200.00+ shipping. Call Mark 406-671-8028 for details.

  14. #14

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    The airglass pure cargo pod is approved for floats. It actually improved the flight characteristics of my cub. It is very durable!

  15. #15
    Crash's Avatar
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    Pod

    Quote Originally Posted by svengarlick
    Why dont you guys like the Airglas cargo pod? Its certified for 140 lbs.
    You can put an Airglass pod inside the Firman pod and still have roon for your camping gear. The Airglass pod is half the size, twice the weight and twice as expensive. It's kind of a value proposition thing. It's your money do as you like. Crash

  16. #16

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    I guess that is the same reasoning that I used for the Atlee tanks, so I shouldn't argue. I never said that the Landis was better. I just reported that it works well and is very durable. Also, legality of the Firmin was questionable when I purchased. How are the legalities and the flight characteristics of the Firmin (approved on floats?). The Landis increased airspeed by about 1 mph (I was shocked!) and the plane started to give a really distinct buffet before a power on stall.

  17. #17

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    So realistically how much weight can you put in a Firman pod. Can you put 130 lbs in it and not have it crack, bust or fall off the plane?

  18. #18
    Crash's Avatar
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    Pod

    Quote Originally Posted by svengarlick
    So realistically how much weight can you put in a Firman pod. Can you put 130 lbs in it and not have it crack, bust or fall off the plane?
    The FAA made them test it with lead weight in it at something like 300 lbs (not sure but I remember it was twice what anyone would ever put in one) and take it up and do spins. I wouldn't hesitate to put 150 lbs in one of the newer ones. Crash

  19. #19

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    It would be nice if someone from Airglas exposed to us why they decides on the size and weight of their pod. How was the Firman pod designed?

  20. #20
    Crash's Avatar
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    Pods

    Quote Originally Posted by ground loop
    It would be nice if someone from Airglas exposed to us why they decides on the size and weight of their pod. How was the Firman pod designed?
    My take on it is the available molds. Airglass used their 35 gallon belly tank mold to make a pure cargo pod as well a 18 gallon /partial cargo pod. The Firman pod, as the story goes, uses the old Sorensen 60 gall belly tank mold. I could be wrong on the last part but that is what I am told and it makes sense. Crash

  21. #21
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Amen.
    Steve Pierce

    "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
    Henry Ford

  22. #22

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    landesskis, Does 19 lbs sound about right for the pure cargo pod? Do you have any news about a new design hydraulic wheel ski?

  23. #23
    Crash's Avatar
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    Re: Belly pod

    Quote Originally Posted by landesskis
    Airglas had to put over 600 lbs in the belly pod (static test) and then we flight tested in both wheels, floats and skis with over 150 spins. This is the reason that the pod is certified on floats, wheels and skis. Please don't badmouth the Airglas product when we meet the FAA regulations. Airglas works hard in making a product that is safe in the air and on the ground. Airglas' stance is if you can produce a product to meet the FAA regulations, then do it!. Airglas stands by its' reputation of being in business for 50 years. General Aviation needs every body to help in the invovation of new ideas.

    Thanks
    Sorry Gary, I guess I should soften my post's more. Landes makes excellent products and your belly pod is no exception. The question I was answering was "why we who have Firman pods like them". As with a lot of things, it comes down to size. In all fairness I should have stated your advantages of being certified for more weight (I am not sure where Firman will end up in the final STC, it could be more then 54 lbs) and certified in all applications. But I will say, it is nice we now have two options, depending on our needs when it comes to "all cargo" pods. Take care. Crash

  24. #24

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    Anyone have information for purchasing the firman pod??

    Thnx, Scott

  25. #25
    Anne's Avatar
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    How would you figure weight & balance with a belly pod?

    Anne.
    Baloney is still baloney, no matter how thin you slice it.

  26. #26
    klm_ak's Avatar
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    Anne,
    It's the same as an extended baggage, you have a new arm/moment to compute.

  27. #27
    Crash's Avatar
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    W & B

    Quote Originally Posted by klm_ak
    Anne,
    It's the same as an extended baggage, you have a new arm/moment to compute.
    Ya, that's it. It depends on how long your arm is for stuffing gear to the rear of it. Crash

  28. #28
    kase's Avatar
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    Does anybody know if the STC will only cover new manufacture pods. Theres two here that was built a few years ago and installed under field approvals. Just wondereing if we put it under a different plane if the new stc would cover it?

  29. #29

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    I doubt it. Probably be just like bushwheels stc.

  30. #30
    S2D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kase
    Does anybody know if the STC will only cover new manufacture pods. Theres two here that was built a few years ago and installed under field approvals. Just wondereing if we put it under a different plane if the new stc would cover it?
    Wouldn't a "follow on" field approval cover that?

  31. #31

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    Are there any pictures posted of this mythical pod? I know they must exist, Crash says he has one. I was hoping to see more weight on the STC, 54 lbs leaves a bit to be desired.

  32. #32
    StewartB
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    If you live in Wasilla, and look at other Cubs you see, I guarantee you've seen these pods. You may not have paid any attention, but they're around. Bill made them for Cessnas, too. There's a Cub parked next to me at LH strip with one. A C-180 on the other side of me also has one. I'm freakin' surrounded by them but I can't get one.

    I asked Plaschem (plastics manufacturer and friends of Bill's) for any information about the pods. I was told Bobby Piatt (STC holder) is out west fishing until late July. As far as I can find out, there is no manufacturing happening yet. Plaschem is unaware of manufacturing plans. I've asked Bill's daughter for the details of the STC, like what aircraft models are eligible, limitations, etc., and have never received a response. In fairness, she probably doesn't know the details. I want a belly pod, and I specifically want the Firmin pod. I've waited a long time for the STC to happen, and I guess I'll wait a while longer. No disrespect to Airglas, I just prefer the Firmin.
    SB

  33. #33
    Crash's Avatar
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    StuartB

    You're back. Now if Diggler will just respond we will be one big happy dysfunctional family again. Welcome to the dysfunctional family reunion. Crash

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    SB

    Nice to see you back on the site.

    Frank

  35. #35
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    SB - What Frank T said
    "You are the Gray Rider who would not make peace with the Blue Coats, you may go in Peace." - Ten Bears

    Gunny

  36. #36
    N5126H's Avatar
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    I love my airglass storage pod. I think that with it I alomst can carry the same bulk as my 14 can hold! Good job Gary, thanks!

  37. #37
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    Firmin Belly Pod

    I have Firmin Pod No. 3, Field Approved in 1994 on my PA-12, which was the second PA-12 after Bill Firmin's own 12, the first pod he built. With due respect to Landes, I don't buy into the fact that something can be produced to be a fine product without a full run of FAA engineering and STC hoopla, but do agree that those unfortunately now are being about the only rules you can do so today. All I can say after 10 years and 1000 hours with that belly pod on wheels (airstreaks then bushwheels) and skis (Landes 2500 and Federal AWB) I would never never be without my Firmin Pod. I have two 8 gallon rubber fuel cells made for inflateable raft, I can put in pod, fuel plane by tossing up on wing, then roll up bladders and have full pod to load. It is perfect in winter for putting in all winter covers, leaving inside baggage for other things. There are pictures of my plane on the long-wing Piper photo journal, under page 17 (I think) or so.

    For those of you who didn't know Bill, he was a fine person, a little guy who lived in the bush, and came up with a good idea and tried to make a go of it. He along with help from others tried to play the game of getting the FAA approval, and he put his heart, soul and most of his money into it. Unfortunately he had terminal cancer, and after a brilliant fight for the last two years, passed away early this year. Sue his wife, a wonderful person in her own right, tries to keep Bill's legacy going. I will try to call her or drop by this week (she still lives in bush west of ANC) and see what she knows about pod approval status.
    =========
    PA-12 fan

  38. #38
    Cal Brown's Avatar
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    Does a metal belly cause any problems with mounting a cargo pod?

  39. #39
    Crash's Avatar
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    Belly

    No. Crash

  40. #40
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    landesskis, is the install of the cargo/fuel pod on the -12's STC'd or field approval?

    Scott.

    P.S. hope your back is feeling better.
    PA-12 Fat Cub

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