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Old May 19, 2015, 01:39 PM
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Question
Sport tube

Guys, if I were to purchase a sport tube for my F3B/F gliders, what size or model #should I consider? I was thinking enough room for two sailplanes.

Iam asking the best way to ship my gliders when flying somewhere.

I have no experience with this and any ideas are welcome, including checking transmitter as baggage etc.

Thanks,

Jim
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Old May 19, 2015, 03:43 PM
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IMHO, nowdays, skip the sportstube. Build a very sturdy box. Package the planes well, no free motion, nothing touching sides top or bottom or ends. Ship by some carrier to a friend or your destination hotel. Don't check through the airlines!

0.02c

Gerald
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Old May 19, 2015, 04:15 PM
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Obviously, it depends on the size of the aeroplane but I've used a long 'Peli' case on many occasions to transport aeroplanes (as checked, over-size baggage). Be wary of excess baggage charges as many airlines don't recognise aeroplanes as 'sporting equipment'...

I've had my TX in my carry-on quite happily (they will want to see it powered up and may want the back off) and also had it (well padded) in with the aeroplanes.

The beauty of Peli cases is that you could drive a truck over them and KNOW the contents are OK

Best of luck!
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Old May 19, 2015, 04:35 PM
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For the sport tube you want the sport tube III.

Build a coroplast box that slides inside the tube. This does three things. First, it keeps the tube from being over compressed. Second, it adds extra bending stiffness which the sport tube is lacking if you have it extended to its limits. Third, it makes it less likely the TSA will damage anything when closing the sport tube.

I also use a pad lock to keep the sport tube closed. The pin that comes with the tube is the first thing they seem to forget or misplace. Nothing worse than seeing a half opened sport tube coming off the luggage conveyor.

The sport tube is nice in that the airlines recognize it as luggage for skis and generally will not charge you for it.

In recent years, I've been using a ski bag over a coroplast box which so far has served me well.

I've checked TX's and carried on. Never had an issue either way. With the new baggage limits, it seems to work out that I carry my TX case on as my second "small" carry on.

FWIW
Tom
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Old May 19, 2015, 05:18 PM
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I appreciate the input so far, all good knowledge.

JIM
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Old May 20, 2015, 03:01 AM
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Shed, what model Pelican case are you running?
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Old May 20, 2015, 04:20 AM
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I use a Peli 1770 (http://images.peliproducts.co.uk/3dcases/1770/1770.html). Not quite big enough for F3x types but for what I've transported - ideal.

A major drawback that I should've mentioned is that they are heavy when empty and even more so laden. I seem to remember tipping the scales at 33kg. Not an issue for me but the airlines weren't too happy...

We also use 1730s for more 'square' things. Peli cases may not be cheap but they do give 'peace of mind'.
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Last edited by Shedofdread; May 20, 2015 at 04:26 AM. Reason: forgot something
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Old May 20, 2015, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiesling View Post
The sport tube is nice in that the airlines recognize it as luggage for skis and generally will not charge you for it.

Tom
A couple years ago 3 of us were flying from California to Phoenix for the F3J event on Southwest - when we checked in at San Jose, the counter lady asked us about the sport tubes - what was in them? Snow skis we replied. She gave us a funny look then mumbled, "Snow skis to Phoenix?" and put the tubes on the conveyor.

TSA will absolutely open the sport tubes. You need to pack so they can get in and out easily without damage. We watched TSA go through them on the way back from Phoenix and learned to pack better the next time.

Bruce
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Old May 20, 2015, 03:53 PM
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+1 on just avoiding checking your stuff with the airlines. The main advantage is that it can be packed commensurate with the expected handling, without worrying that someone will rifle through it and damage it anyway. The main disadvantage is that the overall package handling is not that different (i.e., a wild gorilla would be gentler), and must be sent in advance.

Tom
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Old May 21, 2015, 12:18 PM
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I always check in my sportube and have been lucky with no problems so far on both domestic and international flights. Yes, TSA opens it every single time.

As Kiesling I built an inner corroplast box and everything has it's own place. Have managed to pack 4 F3B planes once but 3 planes fit a little better. Call me crazy but I carry the ballast in the box too, lot's of hassle to go through security if you carry on the ballast. The TX along chargers are fine as carry on.

As long as the sportube is under 50 lbs, the airlines don't worry too much as long as you explain it is a ski equipment bag if they have never seen one.

Glauco
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Old May 22, 2015, 12:09 PM
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Shipping really isn't an option when you travel internationally, so having a secure way to transport your models is important.
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Old May 22, 2015, 01:32 PM
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I can't think of their name but there's another company that makes similar transport cases that go quite a bit bigger than Peli's products. They provide the transport / assembly cases that Boeing / Insitu use for the ScanEagle.
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Old May 22, 2015, 04:10 PM
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I was talking about flying within the US and the easiest way to get my gliders where I am going.

Guys I appreciate every bit of input. Looks like others will benefit as well.

Jim
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Old May 22, 2015, 05:21 PM
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I have an older series 3 sport tube (14.5" wide) and regularly ship planes to and from different destinations (whether buying, selling, fixing or building). I usually put my planes in a standard quiver bag and put that in the sport tube. Works out well for people that are reluctant to ship a plane, I just send them the tube, quiver and a couple of zip ties along with a prepaid FedEx slip, all they have to do is throw it in the quiver, then in the tube, zip tie it shut and take it to a FedEx drop off. It doesn't cost any more to ship than a box even though it weighs quite a bit more. When I send it to them empty (or they send it back empty) I just fold the quiver bag in half and make the tube as short as possible because it obviously cost less to ship that way. You can also cut a piece of PVC pipe to put in along side the bag so the tube can't crush the bag under any circumstances. It works well with most planes especially V-tail planes where you can take the V-tails off, planes with large vertical fins can be a problem but usually not. No problems with breakage so far.

Creg
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