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Thread: Aerocet Cargo Pod install (w/ pics)

  1. #1

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    Aerocet Cargo Pod install (w/ pics)

    From the posting on the BCP website:

    Re: DONE: Aerocet belly pod install on Skywagon

    Ok, we got it on. See pics below.

    About 40 hours with all the wrangling and rigging and fitting, although this was the first Aerocet pod I & the shop had done (MAC @ Portland/PWM).

    At first it doesn't appear to be a direct fit-up, with 1" gaps front and rear. We strapped it on by running wide tie down straps under the bow and through the door openings and under the stern by hooking the strap ends to the float fittings, let it sit for two days and periodically tightened the straps, and it eventually moved into shape. A shop in TN that I had talked to earlier on apparently didn't think this through and had built up fiberglass fairings fore & aft to compensate for these gaps . It's not necessary - just slowly pull into shape.

    Go very slow with this process (48 hrs +), as the Aerocet pod has a roof, unlike the Cessna pod, and it is more rigid. I imagine you could crack the edges if you didn't take your time and let the material slowly move.

    The factory was useless with their customer support. They blew off the shop and me with our questions on poor out-of-the-crate fit. It didn't seem that they have any experience actually installing these pods, and there are reportedly very few shops in the lower 48 that have done them.

    The pod construction is solid, and the exterior gel coat is exemplary. The interior gel coat was obviously done either too fast or at too high a temperature/humidity, as it amounts to little more than a paint job. You can easily scratch it away to reveal the fiberglass honeycomb grid & resin they use in the mold. Shouldn't affect usability, but if you wanted to epoxy d-ring patches for tie down points in there to rig a cargo net in order to prevent load shift during TO/landing, I believe you'd have to abrade the thin gelcoat down to the actual fiberglass to ensure good bonding.

    Flight/tech report. Loss of ~3 knots cruise speed. Weighs 38 lbs., certified for 300 lbs load. Brings the CG rearward about 0.62 when installed. Allows for good distribution of loads in CG sweet spot. Door dimensions are only 8.8" tall x 28.5" wide, so no Honda 1000 genset, etc.
    While smaller than the Cessna or Firmin/Piatt pods, 10 cu ft is a lot of sleeping bags, tents, etc. Plus, it's STC'd for the 180.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by JohnnyR; 05-25-2017 at 11:06 AM.
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  2. #2
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Aerocet!? What's the story on this? Looking at the pics, this is the Skypod, developed by Terry Smith in Anchorage. Did Aerocet buy the rights?

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Aerocet!? What's the story on this? Looking at the pics, this is the Skypod, developed by Terry Smith in Anchorage. Did Aerocet buy the rights?

    Web

    Exactly. Looks like it was back in 2010/early 2011 when Aerocet began manufacturing them. See this thread http://www.supercub.org/forum/showth...laska-Skycraft
    STC is pictured below.



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  4. #4
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Always wondered what happened to that design.

    As to your installation troubles, there are some issues there. I put on a few when they were still 'Skypods' and the fit was very good. The top of the pods always fit well to the belly of the aircraft. This made layout and drilling of the mounting holes an easy process. If you have to strap the pod to the belly just to get it to the right shape, either the design was not followed or the pod was taken out of the mold 'green'. When this happens, the item has not cured enough and it will sag and lose shape.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

  5. #5

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    Re: the comments below - Matt @ Aerocet reported to me in early 2017 that they bought the actual molds from Alaska Skycraft, so unlikely that it's a manufacturing "shape" issue. More likely is that the method of crating & shipping utilized by Aerocet is tweaking the pod, or they are experiencing molding issues. Given Aerocet's experience with composites, I would guess it's an issue of crating & storage and not an issue of molding process.
    Ours sat in its crate for two years. The other one that I mentioned in Tennessee was the twin to ours (both bought together by the same original customer), and the crating was the same.
    J

    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Always wondered what happened to that design.

    As to your installation troubles, there are some issues there. I put on a few when they were still 'Skypods' and the fit was very good. The top of the pods always fit well to the belly of the aircraft. This made layout and drilling of the mounting holes an easy process. If you have to strap the pod to the belly just to get it to the right shape, either the design was not followed or the pod was taken out of the mold 'green'. When this happens, the item has not cured enough and it will sag and lose shape.

    Web
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  6. #6

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    Thanks for posting the pics. The pod looks great. I am looking to buy this same pod. If anyone sees one or has one they are interested in selling please contact me.

    Mark

  7. #7
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    There's one here with a fuel tank in front. Guess Aerocet's still not selling that option according to their webpage: http://aerocet.com/products/cargo-po...185-cargo-pod/

    Gary

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