Travelling or Shipping Planes - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 10-28-2007, 05:43 PM   #1
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Travelling or Shipping Planes

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I have read a lot of posts about guys wondering how to ship or travel with a model plane, especially a large one.

Well since I am just getting my boxes ready for my trip to Argentina this coming Friday I took a couple of pics so that you can see how its done.

I have used this method for years and never had an issue with planes being damaged (knock on wood!). Its dead nuts simple, cheap and light. If you have an air stapler and a decent table or skill saw, and a hotwire (or bandsaw) then you are set.

Materials are 1/8" plywood (this can be tough to find). 1"x1" nailer board, and foam.

The more you can dismantle your airplane the better. This box is made for my pattern planes which come completely apart. The box is 72" long, 11" wide, 18" high at the back and 14" high at the front. The smaller the better, most airlines and shipping companies have a maximum combined linear dimensions they will carry. This box easily fits within say Air Canada's allowance.

The stab, gear and rudder just get wrapped in bubble wrap and stuffed where convenient. Just make sure nothing can go flying around.

I find that as long as the plane is well supported more foam etc just gives more chance for damage from crushing.
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Old 10-28-2007, 05:46 PM   #2
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two more

Last two, I use a spare kit to actually make the foam cuts. This is the plane that will actually travel in this box.

Anyways thats it, I am sure from the pics its plain to see how its done. Just make sure that the foam goes right to the lid, so that once the lid is screwed on nothing can shift around.

Oh forgot to mention that I do add small cuts of foam to fill the dead space above the fuse so that if the box is flipped it the fuse cant move. I also tape all the foam in place so none of the loose pieces in the dead space can fall out.
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:03 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tip.

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Old 10-28-2007, 07:26 PM   #4
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Very neat looking box Chad. Too bad I hadn't seen your box design before building the crates I needed for shipping a large plane!

What was the total cost on building your design, if you don't mind sharing that info.?

can773 wrote: " Just make sure nothing can go flying around."
Yeah, the last thing you need is a plane that "goes flying around in a plane thats flying around!"
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:27 PM   #5
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Chad, that is neat thanks for sharing with us.

Is there any support in the centre length wise, what if it is laid on the side and something heavy put on top of it, wouldn't that impact the plane as the 1/8 plywood sides are not that tough???

And this gets checked in for a $35 oversized charge????
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Old 10-28-2007, 08:33 PM   #6
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Cost: You need two sheets of wood to make a box this size....maybe I could have squeezed it out of one, but I already had some on hand that was split in half (8'x2') so I couldn't really get the most out of what I had. I bought this wood two years ago, and I think it was $35/sheet. The nailer strips are a few bucks each, I think you need around five or six 8 footers. I pretty much had all the stuff on hand. A sheet of foam like that at HD was $17 and does two of these boxes might be able to get three out of a sheet if you are careful.

So you are probably looking at $100 give or take to do a couple of boxes. There are always some consumables like staples/glue etc. on top of that.

Hi Maqsood,

No support other than the foam and the nailer strips on the perimeter. You cant crush the foam unless you drive on it! Once the lid is screwed on you get a ton of crush support as well. When assembled and on its side I can stand on the open part and it wont fail (I weigh in a whopping 215 ). If I stepped really hard or jumped on it it would probably collapse, but its gotta be light to get on the plane without being overweight so you can only make it so strong before its starts getting very heavy. So far everything has been fine, in France these boxes came out on the regular luggage conveyor system! Also lighter is easier to handle and if its easier to handle its less likely to get tossed around or moved by a forklift

All up the box weighs around 15-20 lbs and the plane is around 8 lbs.

Air Canada just again changed their fees, if you booked before sometime in August its $35 for oversize, but now it would be over $100 again...but it usually depends on how lucky you are at the counter, sometimes they just ignore it sometimes not. The smaller the box is the more likely you will get away with it.
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