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flying with a folding electric wheelchair

hankhank Posts: 6Member Listener
edited September 2018 in Leisure and disability sports
hi I am looking to buy a folding electric wheelchair to take on holiday, imagine my suprise to find some of the best ones have 2 batteries in which give them a great range , but here comes the snag the Civil Aviation Authority have deceided inthere wisdom that there is a maximum rate for a battery .So that if you buy one of the wheelchairs with 2 batteries and a longer range you can only take one battery on board thus halving the range of the wheelchair. Its time the C.A.A. got their act together and reviewed the battery sizes is this perhaps an issue that SCOPE might help with ?

Replies

  • steve51steve51 Posts: 5,603Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @hank

    It’s great to meet you this evening.

    I’m very very sorry to hear about your current problems.

    Sorry but are they (CAA) on different “rules & regs” than the rest of us???

    Yes I can pass your post onto Scope to see how they feel if that would help?????


  • hankhank Posts: 6Member Listener
    yes that would be great steve thanks
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 1,953Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @hank, hope you are able to find a suitable chair. Which ones have you been looking at?
  • axwy62axwy62 Posts: 127Member Pioneering
    edited August 2018
    I have a 'FoldandGo' folding electric wheelchair imported from USA. It has a range of 25 miles, using 2 lithium batteries contained within the frame.
    I have flown with it twice, and despite the certificate from the USA CAA saying it was safe to be transported in the hold with the batteries left in, I had to remove the batteries and take them into the cabin with me. There was never any suggestion that I could only take one battery on board.
    I flew with Flybe within the EU, so other airlines/destinations may have different rules.
  • hankhank Posts: 6Member Listener
    it all depends onthe wh of the battery if its over 300wh you can only take one battery , i have checked with B.A. and they confirm this , you have to take the batteries in cabin on long haul because of the height you fly at it gets to cold in the hold and destroys lithium batteries. but i will look at the fold and go thanks
  • hankhank Posts: 6Member Listener
    have had a look at Fold and Go wheelchair looks good ,just need to check with B.A. that it confirms with their standards to fly
  • axwy62axwy62 Posts: 127Member Pioneering
    According to my saved PRM form, the batteries are 240 wh.
  • hankhank Posts: 6Member Listener
    thanks that means i should be able to take 2 batteries , how are you finding your chair
  • axwy62axwy62 Posts: 127Member Pioneering
    We were lucky enough to find an almost new one for sale nearby, and I have to say it's basically given me my life back. I've yet to find anything it can't cope with, grass, gravel, cobbles, even the sand that escapes from the riding ring when I go to watch my nieces' lessons, though I wouldn't attempt an actual beach! It very occasionally needs a helping hand from my husband when going up a very steep slope (or a restraining hand going down, but that's my distrust, not the chair) and the front castors have an annoying habit of suddenly jerking out of line if they hit some minor obstacle, but for getting around in general I can't fault it.
    The range is truly excellent - we recently did a short break to the Loire valley and I managed two days sightseeing plus the return ferry plus a trip to the supermarket when we got home and it still had 3 'blobs' out of 6. The only time it has completely failed on me was due to cold during 'the beast from the east'. It recharges relatively quickly, either with the batteries onboard or (I believe one at a time, I've never tried it) with the batteries removed, though taking the batteries out can be a bit fiddly, so if you plan to take one on a plane, have a practise before you go.
    In all honesty, the seat height is a bit low for me and the foot rest isn't adjustable, however I've fixed that with an extra cushion on the seat, which might be advisable anyway for maximum comfort.
    It folds and unfolds really easily, just one catch to undo which I can do with my foot if necessary, though there's nothing to hold it closed when folded so I have a length of double-sided velcro permanently attached to the handle. The levers to put it in free-wheel mode are also easily accessible. 
    It weighs 25kg, and hubby lifts it in and out of the car boot relatively easily, though when my Mum picks me up from the station when I'm visiting, we have to accost a passing stranger for assistance as it's a bit much for her. If absolutely necessary because the boot is full, it also fits in the rear passenger footwell in our car, a Landrover Discovery Sport, though it's a bit of a faff to get it in there.
    The only real criticism I have is that several of the bolts kept coming loose when I first started using it, but hubby has fixed that with some branded adhesive.
    If you do opt to buy one of these, be careful about imitations from the Far East, I've heard some not good reviews about them.
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 201Member Pioneering
    Good  info, thanks.  Does 25 k include batteries?
  • hankhank Posts: 6Member Listener
    thanks they look really good ,and i am impressed that all their staff use wheelchairs , i assume the 25 miles you get is because you have a spare battery ?
  • axwy62axwy62 Posts: 127Member Pioneering
    No, that’s using the batteries as fitted, one for each motor.
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 201Member Pioneering
    Weight matters. With batteries taken off, to lift separately,  how heavy is it please?
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 201Member Pioneering
    And, how easily do batteries clip off?

    And, are there any other bits to come off for lifting, eg wheels, footrest?
  • axwy62axwy62 Posts: 127Member Pioneering
    Not sure about weight without the batteries, I’ve only ever removed them for flying. I have trouble removing them because my grip is. Poor, but hubby finds it easy, squeeze and pull basically, no cables or anything. Nothing else needs to  comes off other than my extra cushion, but we usually remove the joystick (one cable to unclip and a button to twiddle) before putting it in the car - it sticks out so could easily be knocked.
    I expect you could remove bits if you really wanted to, but they’re not designed to be removed.
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 201Member Pioneering
    Thank you very much. , please would you be able to get hubby to weigh the batteries?  Take-apart info is vital for those who don't always have helpers
  • axwy62axwy62 Posts: 127Member Pioneering
    Hubby is away all week, but he says the batteries weigh 1 or 2 kg each at the most, so without batteries the chair still weighs more than 20kg.
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