Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: Flying with a ZX-1 and/or Firefly

Threaded View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    2,218

    Flying with a ZX-1 and/or Firefly

    I originally posted this under the Equiment thread Flying with a ZX-1 post #533, but think this is a better place for it, because it is also about the Firefly. This post is mostly about batteries, but I also may be asking some more questions about packing the ZX-1 and Firefly for travel.

    I’ve been looking into the rules for batteries as they apply to the ZX-1 and Firefly. Below is what I have found, along with some comments and questions. I’ve also commented on Gordy1’s post that was on the other thread.

    This is all rather confusing, because the rules can be different for each airline. We have not yet booked our flights, and depending on the rules, may choose one airline over another. I also want to be ready in case they change the rules, or we get someone who does not understand them, while we are travelling. I’ve had that has happened often enough that I don’t want to be unprepared.

    IATA Battery Rules
    Because all airlines can interpret the rules a bit differently, I wanted to check the International Air Transport Association (IATA) official rules about batteries. It's hard to find these documents because they are normally purchased on the IATA website (expensive).

    This is the IATA overview of What Passengers Can Carry. I found the section in the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations that covers wheelchairs: IATA 2013 DGR Subsection 2 3. I've copyied the sectionis that apply to the ZX-1 and the Firefly. For the Firefly, also helpful is the IATA Lithium Battery Guidance Document - 2013.

    ZX-1 Batteries
    12 volt, 15 ah (2). AGM. 5-hr. capacity = 12.75 ah (from ZX-1 Operators Manual). I think this is the battery shipped with the ZX-1, the MK Battery ES12-12 and the charger is MK Model: LS 24/4.




    Battery-powered wheelchairs or other similar mobility devices with non-spillable wet batteries or with batteries which comply with Special Provision A123, (see 2.3.2.2).
    I the ZX-1 Operators Manual it says:
    use only sealed AGM non-spillable batteries that meet DOT CFR 173.159 (d), IATA Packing Instructions 806, and IATA Provision A67
    I found this Wheelchair Battery Transportation Policy on the MK Battery web site. It states on the back of the battery that it is “non-spillable”, which means that it rated non-spillable by ICAO, IATA and DOT, meaning no special containers are needed.
    2.3.2.2 Wheelchairs/Mobility Aids with Non-spillable Wet Batteries or with Batteries which Comply with Special Provision A123 Battery-powered wheelchairs or other similar mobility aids for use by passengers whose mobility is restricted by either a disability, their health or age, or a temporary mobility problem (e.g. broken leg), with non-spillable wet batteries or with batteries which comply with Special Provision A123:
    (a) non-spillable batteries must comply with Special Provision A67 or the vibration and pressure differential tests of Packing Instruction 872;
    (b) the operator must verify that:
    (1) the battery terminals must be are protected from short circuits, e.g. by being enclosed within a battery container;
    I am assuming that the carbon fiber cover will suffice for this. Will electrical tape need to be placed over the terminals?
    (2) the battery must be is securely attached to the wheelchair or mobility aid. (see 9.3.16.4 and Figure 9.3.H);
    (3) electrical circuits have been Inhibited.
    Does this just mean disconnecting the power module cable?
    (c) Operators must ensure that wheelchairs or other battery-powered mobility aids are carried in such a manner so as to prevent unintentional operation and that the wheelchair/mobility aid must be carried such that it is protected from being damaged by the movement of baggage, mail, stores or cargo;
    (d) where a battery- powered or other similar mobility aid is specifically designed to allow its battery(ies) to be removed by the user (e.g. collapsible):
    I am assuming that this does not apply for the ZX-1, and the batteries can be kept on the equipment.
    (1) the battery(ies) must be removed. The wheelchair / mobility aid may then be carried as checked baggage without restriction;
    (2) the removed battery(ies) must be carried in strong, rigid packagings which must be carried in the cargo compartment;
    (3) the battery(ies) must be protected from short circuit;
    (4) the pilot-in-command must be informed of the location of the packed battery; and
    (e) It is recommended that passengers make advance arrangements with each operator.

    Firefly Batteries

    24V 10Ah Lithium Polymer battery (from Firefly User Manual). In the manual it says "custom hi-power lithium polymer battery", so I am not sure what the brand or model is, but I think it is probably out of Shenzhen in China.



    Battery-powered mobility aids with lithium ion batteries (collapsible) , lithium-ion battery must be removed and carried in the cabin (see 2.3.2.4(d) for details).
    2.3.2.4 Wheelchairs/Mobility Aids with Lithium Batteries Lithium-ion battery powered wheelchairs or other similar mobility aids for use by passengers whose mobility is restricted by either a disability, their health or age, or a temporary mobility problem (e.g. broken leg), subject to the following conditions:
    (a) the batteries must be of a type which meets the requirements of each test in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3;
    (b) the operator must verify that:
    (1) battery terminals are protected from short circuits, e.g. by being enclosed within a battery container,
    (2) the battery must be securely attached to the wheelchair or mobility aid; and
    (3) electrical circuits have been inhibited.
    (c) the mobility aids must be carried in a manner such that they are protected from being damaged by the movement of baggage, mail, or other cargo;
    (d) where a battery powered or other similar mobility aid is specifically designed to allow its battery(ies) to be removed by the user (e.g. collapsible)
    (1) the battery(ies) must be removed. The wheelchair / mobility aid may then be carried as checked baggage without restriction;
    I think I had better plan that they might make us remove the battery. I really don’t want to carry a 5 lb. battery on board, along with all of our other stuff, so I hope the previous rules will apply.
    (2) the battery(ies) must be protected from short circuit by insulating the terminals (e.g. by taping over exposed terminals);
    It looks to me like there are no exposed terminals. I’ll bring electrical tape just to be sure.
    (3) the removed battery(ies) must be protected from damage (e.g.) by placing each battery in a protective pouch. The battery(ies) must be carried in the passenger cabin;
    Do you think wrapping the battery in bubble wrap is sufficient for carrying onboard? I’ve seen that they may put a lithium battery handling label, so I would want something covering it.
    (4) removal of the battery from the device must be performed by following the instructions of the manufacturer or device owner;
    (5) the battery must not exceed 300 Wh;
    From what I can interpret, the watt-hour rating for the Firefly battery is 10Ah x 24V = 240 Wh [Ah x V = Wh].
    (6) a maximum of one spare battery not exceeding 300 Wh or two spares each not exceeding 160 Wh may be carried; and
    Not that we plan to do it, but this would mean that one spare battery could be carried onboard.
    (e) the pilot-in- command must be informed of the location of the mobility aid with an installed battery or the location of the lithium battery when removed and carried in the cabin.
    (f) It is recommended that passengers make advance arrangements with each operator.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gordy1 View Post
    We too are planning to fly with my son's Firefly in the near future. I will be dismantling the Firefly so that it can be packed in a bag, and checked in. I specifically asked the airline about the Lithium battery, and here is their response:

    "Battery-powered wheelchairs or other similar mobility devices with spillable batteries or with lithium batteries. Provided that the wheelchair or mobility aid can be loaded, stowed, secured and unloaded always in an upright position then the battery may remain installed in the wheelchair. The battery terminals must be protected from short circuits, e.g. by being enclosed within a battery container, and the battery must be securely attached to the wheelchair or mobility aid.

    We already put a note on your booking that you will be bringing a lithium battery as a checked baggage."

    So the first part of the response isn't really relevant to us, as the battery will be separate from the Firefly. But I intend to have the battery available to show at check-in, to prove that the terminals can't be short-circuited, then put it back in the bag.
    I was somewhat surprised that they are not considering the battery as what I would think would be “collapsible” for the Firefly, and that they are not making you remove it and carry it on. I would prefer to check the battery also, so I hope they will check it on our flights also.

    Do you just plan to use something like a large duffel bag? If you have the dimensions of the bag you would be using, that would be helpful. I’m not sure we are going to get the Firefly before I need to book the flights and make the arrangements.
    Last edited by elarson; 06-14-2013 at 08:36 AM. Reason: Fixing all the quotes.
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

Similar Threads

  1. Firefly
    By totoL1 in forum Equipment
    Replies: 84
    Last Post: 08-05-2016, 04:52 AM
  2. Replies: 25
    Last Post: 06-20-2013, 09:19 AM
  3. Rio Firefly
    By BlueRing in forum Equipment
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-14-2012, 07:55 AM
  4. Firefly Light Helps Destroy Cancer Cells
    By Max in forum Health & Science News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-16-2003, 03:26 PM
  5. Firefly Glow Can Shed Light on How Well New Drugs Work
    By Max in forum Health & Science News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-18-2002, 06:26 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •