Travelling overseas with an FPV drone and batteries could be an thrilling but difficult, however with a little bit preparation it’s actually simpler than it appears. Drawing from my expertise, I’ll share some ideas and insights on find out how to journey with FPV drones and LiPo batteries on an airplane easily.
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Nation-Particular Drone Restrictions
Some international locations prohibit drones totally (or have a restrict on drone weight). Earlier than touring, test the native necessities for drones to keep away from unwelcome surprises at customs. Don’t assume you’ll be capable to carry your drone with out prior analysis.
Separate Your FPV Drone Associated Stuff
Maintain your FPV stuff separate from different necessities.
Place gadgets more likely to be checked or confiscated, like batteries, in a single bag. This minimizes the danger of dropping essential belongings. Batteries have to be in carry-on baggage, whereas sharp instruments needs to be in checked baggage.
If you happen to’re carrying the drone in carry-on, take away the props to stop injury. I usually journey with the drone in my stick with it, however I’ve additionally been requested particularly to place the drone in my checked baggage earlier than, so ready for that (depart sufficient room within the suitcase for the drone).
Gear with batteries, like radios, must also be in carry-on except the battery is eliminated.
How Many LiPo Are Allowed On Airplane?
Airline and airport laws on LiPo batteries range. Giant and nicely outfitted airports appear to be wonderful often (in all probability as a result of they cope with it all of the instances), however smaller airports could be extra nervous about LiPo’s. Examine each the airline and airport’s web sites or contact them immediately for readability.
For instance, the FAA calculates battery allowance by watt-hours:
Watt hours (Wh) = 3.7V (Nominal Voltage) x Cell Rely x Capability (Amp hours Ah)
FPV drone batteries are usually measured in mAh (milliamp-hours), the place 1000mAh is equal to 1Ah. As an illustration, a 6S 1000mAh battery calculation can be:
3.7V x 6 x 1000mAh/1000 = 22.2 Wh (Watt hours)
In response to FAA guidelines, there’s no restrict on the variety of batteries so long as no single battery exceeds 100Wh, making this 6S 1000mAh LiPo permissible for journey.
Sometimes, FPV drone LiPo batteries are nicely under this watt-hour restrict, so there shouldn’t be a restriction on the amount you’ll be able to carry. Nevertheless, be conscious that safety could grow to be apprehensive when you have an extreme quantity, so train discretion!
Battery Preparation and Safety Earlier than Travelling
Batteries are solely allowed as carry-on baggage.
Personally, I at all times cowl the battery terminals (XT30/XT60 and steadiness connectors) with caps to stop shorting throughout transportation. Though the design of the XT60 connector inherently protects towards short-circuiting, it’s at all times higher to be ready.
Get XT60 caps right here:
Get XT30 caps right here:
Place batteries in as many separate “LiPo protected” luggage as you see essential. Get some LiPo Secure luggage from right here: https://oscarliang.com/fpv-tools/#LiPo-Secure-Luggage
Guarantee all of your batteries are labeled clearly, displaying their nominal voltage, capability, and watt-hours. That is essential, as safety may test the labels to confirm they meet the necessities.
It’s additionally good apply to retailer your LiPo batteries at storage voltage (3.80V – 3.85V per cell). Whereas I’ve by no means had my batteries checked for storage cost, erring on the aspect of warning is advisable.
Print out the airline’s laws relating to LiPo batteries and preserve it along with your batteries. In case of any points, you’ll be able to then current the documentation for clarification.
When you’ve boarded the airplane, you’ll be able to place your FPV drone and batteries within the overhead locker.
Be Clear and Affected person
Take into account this tip a cardinal rule for drone journey: the phrases you employ to explain your FPV drone to journey officers have the facility to destroy your journey.
Personally, I keep away from insider phrases like “5-inch”, “quadcopter”, “multirotor”, “mini quad”, or anything that may sound cool. It’s, at some stage in your journey, a “digicam drone” or a “remote-controlled toy helicopter”. It will save numerous explaining.
If utilizing a LiPo bag, think about eradicating or protecting phrases like “explosion” and “fireplace” to keep away from drawing pointless consideration at checkpoints.
With every thing you do, you need to give the impression that you don’t have anything to cover (in any case, you don’t!). For instance, when you plan to pack your FPV drone as carry-on, proactively take it out and place it within the tray on the Airport safety checkpoint.
The secret’s to convey transparency. As an illustration, when you’re carrying your mini quad in your carry-on, proactively take it out and place it within the tray on the airport safety checkpoint.
Count on some suspicion – it’s a part of safety brokers’ job. Ensure that your quadcopter is well accessible in case brokers want to examine it.
If you end up in a state of affairs the place somebody has the facility to make the decision whether or not or to not confiscate your drone for good, your type phrases and pleasant demeanor may imply the distinction between maintaining or dropping it. Count on and be ready that you’ll seemingly be hassled on the airport for touring with a drone and particularly plenty of LiPo batteries. And do not forget that these hassles serve the aim of maintaining us all safer within the skies.
Coping with Safety Points
Even with all precautions, you may encounter safety personnel who should not conversant in the laws. I had a good friend who as soon as needed to discard all his batteries when coming back from a overseas nation regardless of having the laws printed out. Typically, you may face somebody decided to make your day difficult, and there’s little that may be accomplished in such conditions.
Touring overseas with FPV drones and batteries requires preparation and understanding of each worldwide and country-specific laws. At all times carry documentation relating to battery laws, be ready for safety checks, and analysis drone legal guidelines in your vacation spot nation. Whereas most experiences needs to be hassle-free, at all times be ready for the surprising and stay adaptable. With the following tips, you’ll be able to take pleasure in your FPV drone adventures all over the world with out main setbacks.
Lastly, whereas the following tips have been serving me nicely personally, you must at all times test along with your specific airline and airport to be sure you’re conscious of any particular guidelines they might have.
Edit Historical past
- Jul 2016 – Article created
- Mar 2019 – Article re-written
- Dec 2022 – Shortened URL
- Dec 2023 – Up to date article