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Old Jul 28, 2007, 06:40 PM
Happy on 72
USA, CA, Santa Clarita
Joined Jul 2005
499 Posts
Have you traveled on an airline with your AP Plane?

I was wondering if anyone has traveled on an airline with their AP setup. I've traveled with a glider and Tx but not with anything that uses LiPo batteries. I don't think they would be safe to travel with on a commercial airline. What have you guys done?

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Last edited by mwhitman; Jul 28, 2007 at 08:33 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old Jul 28, 2007, 06:56 PM
Not THAT Ira
Real Ira's Avatar
Coupeville, Wa
Joined Jan 2006
4,722 Posts
Hey mwhitman,
PM centexflyer.
I know he does all the time.

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Old Jul 28, 2007, 06:59 PM
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andrebandre's Avatar
United States, NM, Clovis
Joined Jul 2006
615 Posts
i imagine they(lipos) are as safe as laptop,camera or cellphone batteries wich are also lithium polymer.

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Old Jul 28, 2007, 07:02 PM
If it flys I can crash it!!!
scatcat1's Avatar
Townsville, Australia.
Joined Jan 2007
616 Posts
lipo air travel

I don't know about you but my batteries were sent to me by air mail. I don't think there would be a problem.
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Old Jul 29, 2007, 12:15 AM
Registered User
Joined Aug 2006
347 Posts
I wouldn't try - to the uninitiated, the Lipo and it's wires is rather like ... yes, you get the picture! As for the radio that is designed to remotely control things ... mmmm...

I did see a brochure on what is not permissable on board - it said "lithium batteries" presumably all flavours. Just not worth having a potential hassle everytime you board a plane. The authorities has reason to be cautious these days unfortunately given world circimstances - and rightly so. I wouldn't like to have my LiPo's confiscated either - way too expensive.

The heli itself - the blades could be deemed "sharp objects" but they could be placed into your main luggage.
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Old Jul 29, 2007, 12:40 AM
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jlballou's Avatar
SF Bay Area
Joined Jan 2003
909 Posts
I've done it once...

This last March, I took my AP rig to the Big Island of Hawaii. It cost me $80 round-trip for the box I packed it in, and I told them that it was a model airplane. The Tx was in my luggage that was checked in, and I didn't have any problems with it.

I visited the Kona R/C Flyers, and did a check-out flight there after re-assembling the plane. They put a page on their website HERE
talking about my visit. I put some pictures in their archive of the flight there. I highly recommend visiting them if you're in the area - very friendly folks there.

Here are a couple of pics that I took during my flight there.

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Old Jul 29, 2007, 03:09 AM
I fly with my little eye
Swanlander's Avatar
Lancashire, England
Joined Jul 2005
1,841 Posts
I flew transatlantic with lipos, ESC and Tx in my main luggage 2 years back. I posted here with similar concerns at the time, no problems there though.

Luggage concerns

Unless the rules have changed since then I think you will be OK.


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Old Jul 29, 2007, 07:53 AM
Registered User
Near Austin
Joined Dec 2001
5,465 Posts
We fly complete rigs all over the place. It does cause quite a stir when I roll up with my double gun case and of course you have to answer 20 questions. So be prepared for that, and be polite. Since it is under 50 lbs it is treated as regular luggage. You do have to go over and talk the nice TSA agent and explain what each component is. Did I say "Be Polite"?

Recommendation : If you have the option of making a case where each piece of flight equipment will fit into its' own pocket, I highly recommend you do so! Our case has to have certain objects in just the right spot or they can get mashed when you close the lid. Some TSA agents get testy when I tell them I'd like to watch so they don't ruin my equipment.

Other than that, I have encountered no problems...... well, unless you count sitting in the very back of the plane and watching my case come off the conveyor from the cargo hold, and watching the baggage handler THROW my case on top and then OVER the cart and onto the tarmac. I'm sure I looked like the "Home Alone" kid with my face pressed up against the glass screaming "NOOOOOooooo".

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Old Jul 29, 2007, 01:44 PM
Happy on 72
USA, CA, Santa Clarita
Joined Jul 2005
499 Posts
Thanks for your replies and the link to the previous discussion (from Swanlander). This has been very helpful. It doesn't look like I'll have any problem travelling with LiPos.

I like your idea of making pockets for each component. I think I'll make a custom insert for a SportTube or smaller case.

On a trip last year, I packed a 30" glider into a triangular cardboard shipping tube from the post office and taped a picture of the glider to the outside of the box. I also packed the Tx in the suitcase surrounded by clothes and had no problems. I did hand carry the Rx (mikrodesigns SPF-5) and requested a hand inspection at each airport since the Rx was supposedly sensitive to XRay machines.

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Old Jul 29, 2007, 08:10 PM
Andy W's Avatar
Marietta, GA
Joined Jun 1999
43,312 Posts
I suggest you ship it ahead of time.
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Old Jul 29, 2007, 08:31 PM
Registered User
North London ENGLAND
Joined Dec 2006
1,697 Posts

Done a fair amount of international flights with AP/small video surveillance gear going to demos etc, including Asian destinations.Purpose build crates,loads of sponge nests,OUTSIDE of cases skinned with sheets of 2" blue foam covered and held on with duct tape, crates hinge open for easy visual inspection, each item very clearly marked, batteries seperately stowed, including TX batteries, NOT in transmitters, they can be sticky about that. I get airline staff to hand carry to aircraft, which they will do when you tell them how much they are insured for.Mostly they will share your concerns about ability of baggage handlers to read labels, or take any notice of them.A few pics help enormously, keep them handy! Never had damaged stuff. Frequently the corners are bashed, but not the cases inside the blue foam! Learnt that trick from an importer of ARTFs from China.
(Hope I'm not tempting fate by saying that! Mac
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Old Jul 30, 2007, 12:22 AM
Got the Fever
ppatron's Avatar
Foster City, California USA
Joined Mar 2006
198 Posts
Just got back from the Philippines

Hi All,

Just got back from the Philippines via Hong Kong and took my AP rig with me. I flew all over different islands without any problem. Even got an interview with the local channels in one of the islands.

On the first week of May, I also took my AP rig to Boston and Maine without any problem. I travel to San Diego regularly with my airplane hand carried in an Aaron Brothers plastic bag several times. TX and batteries in my roll away bag. TSA agent usually takes a peek in the bag after it comes out of the X-ray. Most of the time, they think it is a science experiment.

Here are some photos of the Trip
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Old Jul 30, 2007, 07:25 AM
Flying Kiwi
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Blue Mountains, Australia
Joined Apr 2004
1,271 Posts
I, too, have travelled alot with my planes. I took two through Africa with me (for 5 very long months) and a seperate trip to a very 3rd world The Gambia, I travelled with the easystar on numerous flights to Europe (from the UK), Ireland, the states and Canada. I have flown all round New Zealand and Australia with my Slowstick. I recently took my easystar with me on my honeymoon to Alaska, Canadian rockies and through Hawaii and have never yet had any troubles with any of it. I travel with my planes, lipos, charger, TX and enough spare parts and glue to fix a small country...I have never (touch wood) encountered any damage through checking in the planes. The only slight hiccups were when I almost got arrested as a terrorist in Africa after I flew, by mistake, over the US Embassy residence (big OOPS!!) and the other time was entering into New Zealand (I am a New Zealander!!) when the customs officer gave me the third degree asking why I was bringing a plane with a camera onboard into New Zealand.....DUH....Have you seen the scenery in New Zealand????
So in essence...GO FOR IT. You will be fine as long as you pack safe.
I make sure there is NO way that my lipos can short circuit. I tape over each deans connector seperately before I pack them.
Good luck and happy flying.
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