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Travelling with drone questions

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by jamespb78, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. jamespb78

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    About to go on my first trip away with my P3A. Just a few questions:

    1) if you have travelled interstate (same country thigh), should you do a IMU calibration before flying again?

    2) Do the propellers weaken over time? So far I've done 50+ flights, all with no incidents, but wondering if the plastic in the propellers weakens over time and they should be routinely replaced ?

    3) lastly, I was planning on putting the drone in my checked baggage in a box I've built, as otherwise it would take up all my hand luggage. Do you think it will be ok in this box in checked baggage?

    Thanks for the help.

    [​IMG]


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  2. msinger

    Approved Vendor

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    Since you don't know how roughly your box will be handled, it would be a good idea to do an IMU calibration after your flight.

    The props should last a long time if you do not crash and/or strike them against any obstacles. All should be fine if you visually inspect them prior to each flight -- checking for damaged on the edge of the props, cracks around the outside/inside of the hub, wear on the threads inside the hub, etc.

    I personally would never check my Phantom in such a box. It would be better to buy a case with a proper foam insert.
     
  3. HueJorgan

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    I personally would not check a nice box like that in, demo get a foam padded case

    I read you couldn't check batts in they needed to be in lipo bags and discharged in ur hand luggage
     
  4. jamespb78

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    Sorry, I should have added that wooden box would be going inside my suitcase, which would then be checked in.

    I didn't want to take it on as hand luggage as that would take up my allowance, and then won't have any room for laptops etc.


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  5. Samuaw

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    That box doesn't look very snug for the remote and bird. I can imagine if your luggage is being thrown around a little, the gimbal would suffer some damage from shock and the antennas could snap off if it hits the top of the box. .
    I can also imagine the battery dislodging itself and becoming a battering ram when being knocked around.

    Hand carry is the way forward, with the correct bag- you can still carry a laptop/tablet.
     
  6. flyboy73

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    I recently flew on Delta from Florida to Minnesota and back again with a DJI backpack and a laptop shoulder bag, both as carry-ons. The laptop bag was large enough for the laptop and a few other items. Most airlines will allow you two small carry-on items.
     
  7. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    You cannot check your Phantom batteries. They must be in your carry-on luggage.
    Don't worry about Lipo bags or discharging them though. That's just a forum myth.
     
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  8. Dronason

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    Check with your airline web site and search for "Lipo" "batteries" and "Lithium".
    There is a IATA minimum requirements for batteries but each airline is free to make it more strict.
    As previously said by others, best is to have some fireproof bag for Lipo batteries.
    If you follow the guidelines of your airline you should be ok.
    And print such guideline in case you get questioned.
     
  9. tcope

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    Pack up the Phantom in the box (without the batteries) and throw it 5' to the ground. Do you feel comfortable with that?

    Your main concern should be the gimbal. If you pack it that way I'd certainly have the lock in place and pack some foam around the gimbal itself.

    I bought the $40 case from Banggood and use that when flying. It's _much_ smaller then that large wood case and fits in an overhead bin. You usually then also can take another small bag which goes under the seat in front of you.
     
  10. kenjancef

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    I have the same $40 case from Banggood, and I trust my P3P in there all the time... Sorry, but I'd NEVER think of taking that box on a plane, even if it was a carry-on. It's nice and all, but from the picture everything looks VERY loose. Even in an overhead bin, if you hit some major turbulence that thing could go for a ride...
     
  11. ElGuapo

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    you need something like this...
     

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  12. ElGuapo

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    second image...
     

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  13. jamespb78

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    Thanks for the replies all. You have put me off the idea of checking it in, so I have ordered a Manfrotto d1 backpack.


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  14. Vertigo

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    Stuff like that gets under my skin. There are plenty of forum myths, a few of which even perpetuated by you, but when it comes to lipo safety, that is NO MYTH. Especially when boarding an airplane, you SHOULD worry about them and saying otherwise is just plain irresponsible.

    Go on youtube and see what fully charged 4S 4.5AH lipo can cause. Imagine what that would look like like inside an airplane cabin. I wouldnt be surprised one bit if a lipo fire is what caused Egyptair flight 804 to come down. Its already brought down a UPS 747.

    A discharged lipo is orders of magnitude less likely to autoignite and even when it does, will have just a tiny fraction of the explosive energy. And of course, lipo bags are just common sense. They are no silver bullet, but they cost like $10 and at least have a chance of containing the fire.
     
    #14 Vertigo, Aug 2, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
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  15. Vertigo

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    Some evidence of my claims:
    http://www.prba.org/wp-content/uploads/Exponent_Report_for_NFPA_-_20111.pdf

    Its for 18650 batteries, but they use the same basic chemistry.

    State of Charge
    It has been observed that the vast majority of thermal runaway reactions that occur in the field
    occur during or shortly after cell charging. From an energy perspective, cell thermal runaway is
    unlikely to occur in a cell at a low SOC.
    Exponent’s own testing showed that for many lithiumion
    cells, even severe crushing of cells that are below approximately 50% SOC will not lead to a
    severe reaction.118 Testing of a variety of 18650 cells at ambient temperatures has demonstrated
    that below 50% SOC, cell shorting will cause heating to cell case temperatures up to
    approximately 130°C (266°F) followed by cell cooling.
    ARC testing by Exponent22 of commercial 18650 cells of a variety of chemistries at a variety of
    SOC has shown that self-heating onset temperature and self-heating rate is a function of the
    stored electrical energy stored as chemical potential energy within the cell rather than cell
    chemistry
    (stored electrical energy was held constant across cells of equivalent volume but
    varying chemistry). ARC testing by researchers at Sandia119 showed that self-heating onset
    temperature can be strongly impacted by SOC. In testing one commercial cobalt-oxide cell
    model, the researchers found self-heating onset occurred at 80°C (176°F) for cells at 100% SOC,
    and at 130°C (266°F) for cells at 0% SOC. In testing of multiple cell models, Sandia researchers
    found that thermal runaway onset temperature is reduced for cells at increased SOC.120
    Similarly, direct electrode shorting tests111 have shown that reducing SOC significantly reduces the maximum temperature achieved at the point of shorting. Fire calorimetry121 measurements
    (per ASTM E2058) by Ineris have shown that decreased SOC corresponds with lower peak heatrelease
    rates for pouch cells.
     
    #15 Vertigo, Aug 2, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
  16. Vertigo

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    I did some more digging. Airplanes are required to have portable halon 1211 fire extinguishers on board. But these type of extinguishers will not stop a lithium fire:


    Much worse however, if you pack your lipo's in hand luggage as you are required to, and they should go off in the overhead bins, there is something else overhead your passenger seat that is a major fire concern: chemical oxygen generators (for your oxygen mask). These things are serious fire hazards all by themselves, and will be tripped by heat:
    CSB Finds Unspent Aircraft Oxygen Generators Contributed to Rapid Spread of Fire at EQ Facility in Apex, N.C. in 2006, Safety Advisory and Urgent Recommendation Issued - Investigations - News | the U.S. Chemical Safety Board

    Oxygen generators transported in the cargo bay, by themselves have brought down Valuejet Flight 592 when they went off.

    The combination of these two makes me question the wisdom of carrying large lipo's as carry on luggage at all, or least storing them in the overhead bins, but it should be clear that discharging your lipo's is more than just common sense, regardless if its already a legal requirement today. Its simply criminal not to.
     
    #16 Vertigo, Aug 3, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
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  17. Jasemansky

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    Hi All,

    In preparation of my first trip away with my Phantom I've been doing lots of research and have made this video to try and help others int he same situation!



    Hope it helps!
     
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  18. flyboy73

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    Looks like a nice backpack. How do you spell the company that manufactures it?
     
  19. Jasemansky

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    It's spelled Navitech. If you also look in the YouTube video description there is the full name that will bring it up on Amazon.


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