Travel with SP140

Has anyone checked the SP140 on a plane?
Planning a trip to Arizona and wondering the best way to get it there. Checked baggage or ship with commercial carrier?



Seems unlikely to be allowed

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I wonder if it might be possible to obtain a waiver, and if so, how? Otherwise, it does seem that commercial shipping would be required. Since it would still be travelling as air freight, the restriction doesn’t make much sense. Would the battery have to travel with little or no charge, awaiting charging at the destination?

It’s exempt from the rule if it’s a medical device. I’m pretty sure paramotors count as they support you emotionally and quite literally physically. They also improve reflexes, hand eye coordination, physical strength, stamina, and overall well being. :joy:


Lithium-ion batteries tend to be risky when fully loaded, and especially when overloaded (and/or heated up). But they should pose no threat when empty. A legal loophole may exist by discharging them to 300WH (7% of 4KWh, or 14% of the 2KWH feather battery) -then it’s both safe and within the 300WH limit listed. They are heavy but seem to be within limits for carry-on (google says 40lbs which is exactly the weight of the 4KWh battery, whereas the smaller one weights 28lbs). May be hard to put in overhead bin. Not allowed in checked-in luggage.

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Wish it were true but there is no way that discharging the battery is a legal loophole. The law talks about battery rating, not what its currently holding:

“For a lithium ion battery, the Watt-hour rating must not exceed 100 Wh. With the approval of the operator, portable electronic devices may contain lithium ion batteries exceeding 100 Wh, but not exceeding 160 Wh” 49 CFR 175.10(a)(18)(ii)

Also I don’t see a way around the limit on grams of lithium:

“For a lithium metal battery, the lithium content must not exceed 2 grams” 49 CFR 175.10(a)(18)(i)


Thanks for the helpful replies. Perhaps a better option is shipping it to the destination, at least the battery.

Recommendations on the best way to do this? Carriers, etc? (Unfortunately I don’t have the original packing material that it was originally shipped in.)

Any new suggestions? For a domestic trip in US @jrsimple used FedEx Ground for the batteries, albeit the smaller bonkas for X4: Traveling on an airplane with OpenPPG - my first trip!
A car or train may be an option.

What about overseas? I’d love to bring my SP140 to Europe this summer, can I order a new battery from OpenPPG @Pdwhite to be shipped there (Poland) instead of shipping mine? I don’t see problems with hauling the motor in checked luggage. When I move back to EU for good I would use a shipping container, like for a car or my lifetime supply of Reese’s.

Each carrier has their own rules, but generally you will be shipping ground, and might need to clearly label the package as containing a battery inside.

Most economical method is ground.

I would highly recommend building a small crate for the battery, discharging the battery to a low percentage, and cutting a few small holes for letting the package breath due to change of temperatures through the shipping process.

Remember, this is a battery that is worth $2k new. So don’t be afraid to build a nice box that you can reuse the next time you need to ship it. A couple hundred $$ is worth the long term investment.

Lastly, while it’s the end of January, I would highly recommend not shipping around holidays, as workers will be overwhelmed with the workload, and a heavy box might be skipped for “the next day”.

The job I work for ships a few packages but they are always worth many thousands of dollars and we invest a lot of time protecting the packages. I don’t know everything but I can’t stress highly enough that your battery is only as good as the box it’s shipped in.

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A quick search on the www gives us this…

When lithium batteries are not shipped properly, there is a high fire risk. This risk increases when batteries are defective or low-quality. Here are vital facts to know when shipping dangerous goods.

Lithium Batteries Are Considered Dangerous Goods

For the reasons described above, the United Nations (UN) classifies lithium batteries as “Dangerous Goods, Class 9.” With that label comes the responsibility of the shipper to ensure the proper and safe handling of lithium batteries.

That requires knowledge of their characteristics and also working with a specialty packaging, crating and [shipping company] like Craters & Freighters that understands the challenges and has experience in the safe handling of dangerous goods. We have industry-leading expertise in packing and shipping hazardous materials according to 49 CFR, IMDG, IATA, and ICAO regulations, and can handle every detail of a lithium battery shipment.