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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby bloke » Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:20 pm

In my experience, "case cortex rigidity" and "protection against bell creasing" are not a "1 for 1".

Rather, "a strategy to prevent the bell rim from coming in contact with anything in particular at a high rate of speed" is what is most effective at preventing bell creases.

Again, a lightweight rigid case is alluring, but I still suspect that a 6/4 body (no bell) in a 6/4 body case would be under 50 lbs...and a bell-and-bell-case would be as well (even packed with clothing). How easy/inexpensive would it be for a manufacturer to make a carbon-fiber (simple rectangular...or simple rounded rectangular) case that would hold (with various velcro-able pads) most any 6/4 body ?

My first cousin owns a company that manufactures high-end fishing boats. Maybe (??) I should open up a dialog with him.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby roweenie » Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:24 pm

I can see how it might be possible to make a 6/4 tuba flight case that will come in a total of 50 lbs. with horn, but I just don't see how it is physically possible to cram a 6/4 tuba into a case that measures less than a total of 63" (L × W × H), even considering the possibility of a detachable bell.

If your case measures over 63" L × W × H, you WILL be charged an oversize fee by the airlines.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby bloke » Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:32 pm

roweenie wrote:If your case measures over 63" L × W × H, you WILL be charged an oversize fee by the airlines.


Are "oversize" and "overweight" fees separate ?

Were my R.M. 5/4 cut, the body would fit in a 62" (L + W + H) rectangular case - allowing inches for padding...

...now, if what you *actually* mean is "length + GIRTH", that measurement would be about 92".
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby roweenie » Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:10 pm

Airlines WILL charge both fees (oversize & overweight) independently and consecutively (ask me how I know!)

If your case dimensions (length, width and height) when added together measure more than 63" (coincidentally the size of a large suitcase), you will be subject to an oversize fee.

Bloke, how much padding are you allowing all around your horn? I built a case for my detachable bell 716 York, and allowing 2" of space all around, the case measures in at a total of 71". I would think a Rudy 5/4 is a little larger than a York?

Even if you took all the padding out of the case pictured below, I can't see a 6/4 tuba body fitting inside; and according to airline definitions, this case is oversize by 8".

I would love to see a 6/4 tuba travel case that will "clock in" within standard airline luggage dimensions; I just don't see how it's physically possible.


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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby Aubrey Foard » Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:22 pm

roweenie wrote:If your case measures over 63" L × W × H, you WILL be charged an oversize fee by the airlines.


All I can tell you is that I've never been charged an oversize fee for an Accord case, regardless of airline flown. I'm not sure what else I can say to satisfy your skepticism?

As for the weight being under 50 lbs, the facts speak for themselves: 18 lbs (Accord flight case) + 28 lbs (6/4 tuba) = 46 lbs
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby bentuba7 » Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:26 pm

I'm late to the party, but I'll weigh in on how awesome these cases are!

I've owned my 6/4 accord case for almost exactly 3 years now, having flown over 100,000 miles with it. After flying all those miles and coming across all of the baggage handlers, my case only has scrapes and chips in the paint in high contact areas. The wheels are still fully functioning, the handles are as good as new, and the latches are are still in great shape! When I bought the case and a match for my F tuba, I opted to have the Fiedler Backpack System installed on both cases. When traveling with two horns and a suitcase, it makes a world of difference to have this system installed. It's a secure system that provides a great amount of lumbar support and a good deal of adjustability. Even though the cases are light, it feels like you're carrying half the weight with the Fiedler system installed. I would even venture to say It's more comfortable than your standard gigbag. As far as the interior of the case goes, you cannot find a better product. The high density foam is as resilient as the day I got the case, and is most assuredly the biggest reason my tubas have come out of every flight unscathed. The cases are lined with a thin yet effective layer of foam, but the modular padding system is what makes it! You can completely customize the coverage area of your horn, making sure there's no wiggle room when the case is closed. Accord even gladly sent me some extra blocks of padding at my request. My 6/4 case weighs in at just over 15 pounds. I've never been over 50 pounds at the check in counter, and I usually pack some clothes in the bell to lighten my carry-on. A couple of months ago, when curious after a trip, I calculated that since investing in the Accord cases, I have saved over $5000 on oversized/overweight bag fees.

I have all those great things to say about my 6/4 case, but I also have a personal "life-saving" story about my accord case for my F tuba. In the summer of 2012, I was flying United from O'hare to Denver. When I picked up my F tuba in Denver, I was surprised to find a very large open ~6 inch crack in the bottom bow end of the case. I frantically opened the case, only to find my F tuba COMPLETELY undamaged. Like you said in your TubeNet post, you would have to drop these cases from a two story building to damage them. After a huge amount of inquiry, I discovered that baggage handlers at DIA literally dropped my tuba and case off of the the conveyor belt while removing it from the plane, which was a distance of 10-15 feet onto the tarmac. This is a true story, and an amazing example of the strength of these cases.

I hope this post gets a lot of people on board. Aubrey and Aaron are totally awesome for spearheading this!

Tl;dr - If you fly with tubas, even just occasionally, Accord cases should be your new best friend!

**EDIT** to perhaps clear up some skepticism on the previous page... I think the biggest cause of bell creases when using flight cases is the fact that typical flight cases in general are of the "one size fits all" variety, with slight modifications for different horns. These cases often still allow for room for the tuba to shift inside, and that is what causes the crease rather than the case flexing and not being rigid enough. While the accord cases are PLENTY rigid (very much so in the bell end) the advantage comes from the more custom fit design that keeps the horn from moving within the case, thus reducing the likelihood of bell creasing.

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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby bloke » Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:50 pm

Foam rubber, usually, is color coded. White is the softest, and charcoal grey is the most dense.
With charcoal grey foam rubber, you could have cut those clearances in half.

UPS and FedEx refer to length + girth. Do airlines go by L + W + H ?

Image

Believing Aubrey's claim, my guess is that an agent will only glance at a manufactured case, whereas a homemade case will draw their attention and bring the word, "regulations" to the front of their brain.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby Jacob Morgan » Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:55 pm

Aubrey Foard wrote:
roweenie wrote:If your case measures over 63" L × W × H, you WILL be charged an oversize fee by the airlines.


All I can tell you is that I've never been charged an oversize fee for an Accord case, regardless of airline flown. I'm not sure what else I can say to satisfy your skepticism?

As for the weight being under 50 lbs, the facts speak for themselves: 18 lbs (Accord flight case) + 28 lbs (6/4 tuba) = 46 lbs


I'm guessing with the miles you fly you are upper status with atleast one, if not multiple airlines? I've traveled quite a bit for work at times and in general airlines are more forgiving with 'elite' status fliers than regular fliers. I have a suitcase I could be charged oversize for and also never had an issue; the reviews of the suitcase showed mixed experiences and the conclusion was frequent fliers didn't have the issue while random non-elit people did.

Just a thought.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby Aubrey Foard » Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:25 pm

Jacob Morgan wrote:
I'm guessing with the miles you fly you are upper status with atleast one, if not multiple airlines? I've traveled quite a bit for work at times and in general airlines are more forgiving with 'elite' status fliers than regular fliers. I have a suitcase I could be charged oversize for and also never had an issue; the reviews of the suitcase showed mixed experiences and the conclusion was frequent fliers didn't have the issue while random non-elit people did.

Just a thought.


I do currently have elite status, but, during the first few years of flying with the Accord cases, I did not. During my non-elite years, I still wasn't charged oversize/overweight (the rules during 2008 - 2011 with US legacy airlines were the same as they are now; the fees have just increased).

Worth noting:
United Airlines does have language in its checked baggage policy which allows for musical instruments up to 90 linear inches (L+W+H) to be checked free of charge. See more here: http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/travel/baggage/fragile.aspx (scroll down to "Musical Instruments")

So, if you're extra-concerned about oversize charges, fly United. But, as I stated above, I've not been charged oversize fees with an Accord case, both as a non-elite and an elite flyer, regardless of airline flown.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby Aubrey Foard » Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:31 pm

bloke wrote:Believing Aubrey's claim, my guess is that an agent will only glance at a manufactured case, whereas a homemade case with draw their attention and bring the word, "regulations" to the front of their brain.


I'd say that's a good possibility!
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby bloke » Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:34 pm

Just adding odd knowledge to this thread, a Walt Johnson 6/4 measures 99" (L+W+H).
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby Aaron Tindall » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:46 pm

I consistently fly with Delta week in and out, and never have any problems with my cases being slightly over the size of a "standard" suitcase/luggage.

This is from their site: Musical instruments or equipment can be checked if the total linear dimension (length + width + height) does not exceed 115 inches (292 cm), and provided the weight, including the case, does not exceed 100 lbs. (45 kg).
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby Deleted dp » Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:25 pm

Aaron Tindall wrote:I consistently fly with Delta week in and out, and never have any problems with my cases being slightly over the size of a "standard" suitcase/luggage. This is from their site: Musical instruments or equipment can be checked if the total linear dimension (length + width + height) does not exceed 115 inches (292 cm), and provided the weight, including the case, does not exceed 100 lbs. (45 kg).


voice of experience.

Planning ahead is helpful as well...
I've been told (by a fellow who travels with "the" 6/4 horn, in a gig bag no less) that sometimes the easiest way to travel is to buy a seat for your horn and sit it next to you. I have no reason to doubt the veracity of his advice.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby joh_tuba » Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:29 pm

Following Bloke's/Baadsvik's line of thoughts..

My initial measurements strongly suggest that if you removed the bell and leadpipe from a PT6 it would fit in a standard Samsonite suitcase like what Baadsvik uses. Side-benefit: greatly reduced odds of damage in transit.

It's my intention to have a local machine shop create a series of screw-bell style ferules so that it can be detached at the bottom bow and telescoped inside itself.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby Tubainsauga » Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:37 pm

If the case can actually replace both a flight case and a gig bag, the economics of the Accord case look a little better. A new Cronkhite bag and a lightweight Unitec case is going to set you back almost $1700. A few avoided overweight fees or a couple of avoided repairs and you could have saved money. Heck, not having to store a separate flight case might be worth it for those of us in small apartments.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby bisontuba » Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:53 pm

Hi-
Has anyone seen or tried the MTS Vault Series Cases for tubas?
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby roweenie » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:46 am

I guess I just must be unlucky.....

Bloke, the airlines do not recognize "girth". Every airline that I spoke to told me the same story - if your length, width and height add up to more than 63", you will be charged an oversize fee.

Image

Image

Anyone who has ever flown on an airplane will know that the folks that work at the counter in the airport can be very unpredictable and arbitrary, and that will correspond with Bloke's theory of a manufactured vs. home-made case. Furthermore, if you are a frequent flyer (which those of you with these travel cases seem to be, such as Ben, and I am definitely NOT) you are very likely to be treated quite a bit better than I am (was). The fact that you all were not charged extra fees prior to becoming an elite flyer does not comfort me; you will not be there at the check in counter to explain that they shouldn't charge me extra. Besides, the airlines have become quite a bit more rapacious in regard to fees since you have achieved elite flyer status.

The big news is that Accord has agreed to produce a flight case that will fit 6/4 tubas. Now, it will be possible to travel around the world, taking auditions and playing in orchestras, without having to pay so much as an extra dime to check your horn!


Are you willing to back up the above statement with a guarantee? If you do, I will seriously consider getting one.

As I said before, I WANT to believe that it is possible to have a 6/4 case that will meet these airline requirements (under 63" total measurement and under 50 lbs. weight). I'm not trying to be a "fly in the ointment", but I have my experiences, and you obviously have yours.

Maybe someone (hint: Ben Darneille) who has one of these 6/4 cases can share a picture and L x W x H measurements here with the rest of us. That would go a long way toward helping me "see the light". Inquiring minds need to know......
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby roweenie » Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:55 am

Bump for pictures and dimensions
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby Aaron Tindall » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:56 pm

I'll post pictures and dimensions after I get mine within the next month or so.
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Re: Accord Flight Case

Postby roweenie » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:23 pm

Thanks Aaron!
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