To allow the RAAF and other Western Air Forces the ability to train their pilots in manoeuvring into the correct positions for a missile engagement they use an Airborne Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation Pod (ACMI Pod). These pods are similar in size and weight to the ASRAAM they are used to simulate and are usually fitted to one of the wing tip missile rails of the fighter aircraft (Usually our F/A-18 HORNETS).
CUBIC Defence Australia contacted us about doing some models of aircraft with the pods fitted to show how they look. They were also interested in a larger scale model of the pod itself. CUBIC decided to initially go with models of their P4 and P5 ACMI Pods built in a scale of 1:4 which gave them a length of just under a metre.
The pods would be highly detailed at that scale with all bolts and screw detail and markings. The pods are very similar in look with slightly different nose sections and aerials fitted. The basic body was built from pieces of electrical conduit pipe which was the exact diameter of the quarter scale pods. The nose section and the add on weights were cast in resin. The loop aerials on the P4 pod were made from brass wire whilst the tube like aerials on the P5 were made in Evergreen tube. All the parts were made as modules so they could be painted and then fitted at the end of the construction.
Each of the pods were fitted into display cases. Rather than the usual polished timber bases we decided to fit the models to black acrylic bases. Each base had a clear acrylic cradle structure to sit the pods in to and the centre cradle had a “clip” which could be fitted over the pods central body to hold it in place when transported. These were cut by our ever useful laser cutter. A third model pod (a P5) was built for our shop display.
Several months later another set of pods (A 1:4 scale P4 KITS and a P5) were ordered. The shop model was used to fill this order along with another P4 KITS model which was built. Along with the two 1:4 scale pods a smaller 1:8 scale model was constructed of the P5. This model was half the size of the larger models and was for a presention in the US.
Early in 2016 we were contacted again by CUBIC’s US Office about some more models both in 1:4 and 1:8 scale. This was to be a larger order which originally started out at about 12 models. By the time the order was placed this had grown to 45 models. Twelve 1:4 scale and the rest in 1:8 scale. They were a mixture of P4 KITS and P5 Pods both with and without weights. These were delivered to the US for distribution to Air Forces around the world that use the CUBIC ACMI Pods.