ADF Pod Pt.1


Underneath Airwolf is the ADF Pod (for All Direction Firing), a 3-barreled rocket launcher capable of firing a number of various missiles, like Mavericks, Bullpups, Copperheads, etc., all interchangeably, with an automated loading mechanism.  You can see the ADF Pod in the photograph below from the TV show.


Ben from Cine-Scale sent me the ADF Pod kit for the Airwolf already assembled!  Amazing work and detail.  Very good finish, very few voids, and everything fits together like a glove.  Ben is truly an artist!


I was fortunate to have pictures of the full scale unit, the museum reproduction, Universal Studios Blueprints, and embellished blueprints courtesy of Jason Maiden of  Special thanks to you, I will be using these exhaustively as I build this. Comparing the Cine-Scale unit to the blueprints, I don't wonder if he has a set as well (hehe).


What the hell good is a rocket pod if it doesn't fire rockets?  In order to get barrel dimensions, and the like, I started by selecting and building a handful of rockets.  I started with the shortest one I could find, based on the 1/2A size engines, which I would then cut down (those tubes are none too long...).


First problem I want to tackle is a removable breech, so the assembly can be reloaded (no automatic re-loader in this version..  sorry).  I used larger aluminum exit tubes, and flared the ends, then bored out the tail pieces to fit.


Using a V-block in a mill was a first for me, I used that to mill "L" shaped channels in the end of the tube, then mounted pins in the breech.  This allows me to insert and rotate the breech for a positive lock.  The rubber "O" ring gives me centering, a nice seal, and prevents the breech from disengaging accidentally.


Barrel assemblies went together easily, I had Bryan bore out the holes in the resin muzzle, as the resulting wall was thin in places, a replacement part is across the ocean, and I still make mistakes with the lathe (Bryan is a master machinist).


Now I have a 3-piece assembly, barrel, tube and breech.  Ready for assembly.


The base of the pod gets a plywood reinforcement with blind nuts epoxied in.  I always epoxy my blind nuts in, after once having one come loose and rattle around in an inaccessible area!  Never again! Always keep positive control of your nuts (or so my parents told me).

The base of the ADF Pod has aluminum plates, one on each side.  First, we paint the base unit (the tubes as well), as parts of this will be difficult later.  Then, we take some K&S .016" aluminum sheet, and mill it to the proper shape.



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