Size comparison of a Skywalker 2013 and a Techpod

Some time ago I acquired a Techpod for use as a potential camera ship. However it soon became clear my flying skills at the time were shit and any flight attempts with the rather expensive Techpod would not end well. So I put it aside at about 80% complete and worked on improving my dismal aircraft skills.

This path took me through an EZStar, a couple of Bixlers, a Storm Chaser (wunnerful aircraft!) and a Skywalker 2013. Survivors of this process include one very battle scarred Bixler, an indestructible Storm Chaser and a slightly dinged Skywalker. And it has started occurring to me that I might be ready to actually finish the Techpod.

Or not. When first working on the Techpod I was quite impressed by the volume of the payload area. It seemed huge. Or huge compared to the relatively small payload areas available in the EZStar and Bixler aircraft I was familiar with at the time. But then along came the Skywalker.

The Skywalker’s payload area was friggin’ immense! And on top of that (literally, actually) is a separate payload area just under the wing. This was a great place to put the assorted flight electronics well out of the way. And it flew pretty well, something I eventually found out after smashing it a few times.

With the experience gleaned from constructing the Skywalker and installing my desired electronics in it, I cast a more discerning eye at the Techpod. Frankly, I didn’t like what I now saw. It appears unlikely I can fit my typical flight electronics, a couple of large capacity batteries and a Canon SX230 mapping camera into the Techpod’s smallish, curved payload area. The curved walls make it hard to place components. The clear dome on its nose, good for an FPV camera, is just asking to be scratched up in landings by someone like me.

So…..At this point I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the Techpod. I think the Skywalker 2013 makes a vastly more practical camera or mapping ship. It’s rugged and has copious, easy-to-access payload area. It’s sorta ugly, but I’m not sure if that counts for or against it.

The Techpod is elegantly designed and highly efficient, so it can fly very far on few batteries. I suppose it could be an excellent long distance FPV craft but that’s not something I’m really interested in. And just flying it around like an RC aircraft would be stupefyingly boring for me. So not sure what I’m going to end up using this beast for.

I thought I’d post these comparison pics here, to be found by anyone using Da Google, to help in deciding what airframe to get.

Skywalker 2013 on the left Techpod on the right. Note the Techpod's large elevator and very aerodynamic design. But also note much larger fuselage pod on the Skywalker.

Skywalker 2013 on the left Techpod on the right. Note the Techpod’s large elevator and very aerodynamic design. But also note much larger fuselage pod on the Skywalker.

A closer view of the two fuselage pods, Skywalker 2013 on left, Techpod on right. Visible on the Skywalker is a separate payload area just under the wing, which I call the Loft. This area is easily large enough to carry most, if not all, flight electronics seperate from the payload area.

A closer view of the two fuselage pods, Skywalker 2013 on left, Techpod on right. Visible on the Skywalker is a separate payload area just under the wing, which I call the Loft. This area is easily large enough to carry most, if not all, flight electronics seperate from the payload area.

A closeup of the Skywalker's electronics loft. That's a MinimOSD wrapped in copper on the left, and APM 2.5 flight controller in the center and the GPS receiver at the right end. The black heat-shrinked item to the far right is a remote mounted compass.

A closeup of the Skywalker’s electronics loft. That’s a MinimOSD wrapped in copper on the left, and APM 2.5 flight controller in the center and the GPS receiver at the right end. The black heat-shrinked item to the far right is a remote mounted compass.

Looking down into the two payload pods. Both contain two 3,300 mAh 4S LiPo battery packs for comparison. Both packs are shoved as far rearward as possible to show remaining available payload capacity. Note the much larger capacity of the Skywalker.

Looking down into the two payload pods. Both contain two 3,300 mAh 4S LiPo battery packs for comparison. Both packs are shoved as far rearward as possible to show remaining available payload capacity. Note the much larger capacity of the Skywalker. The external dimension of the Techpod is wider, but its much thicker walls negate that advantage.

A wing comparison. The Skywalker 2013 wing on the left and the Techpod wing on the right.

A wing comparison. The Skywalker 2013 wing on the left and the Techpod wing on the right.