One more "Im getting on an airplane..." question.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Kingsly, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    When pressure is reduced, do things contract or expand? I am asking because I am taking my guitar along on the flight and am thinking I need to loosen the strings. Thoughts?
  2. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    I'd loosen them for travel just in general. I doubt the pressure changes will change the length of the guitar neck that much though.
  3. scem0 macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2002
    back in NYC!
    yeah, I'd loosen them just because of the tensions of movement during travel. I don't think you'd be risking much because of pressure alone.

  4. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


    Yeah, I have tuned up my guitar before and had no problems... basically you're right. I think the neck can take more pressure than the strings would exert under those conditions.

    The reason I was going to leave them is that the only tuner I will have is GarageBand, and I don't trust it very much.

    All the strings are on the flat side anyways.
  5. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Things expand when the pressure's reduced, but solids won't expand enough to make a difference, esp. with the relatively minor pressure changes on a flight. :)
  6. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


    So In that case, if anything the strings will loosen.

    Out of curiosity, what (relative) altitude do passenger jets pressurize at? 7000'?
  7. pdpfilms macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2004
    I believe it's about 10,000' for commercial, 3,000' for private.
  8. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


    Cool, now I know!
  9. macOSX-tastic macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2005
    At the Airport. UK
    FAA and CAA regulations call for a minimum cabin altitude of 8,000 feet i think. if the pressure is any more, aircraft would have to be built like tanks because of the pressure differential accross the skin :eek:

    of course, there is no sudden change in pressure; it increases at a lower rate of feet per second than the real aircraft altitude.

  10. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    For a bit of fun, bring a bottle of water onto the plane.

    Drink some while on the flight (at peak altitudes). Close the bottle. Watch the bottle compress during descent and landing.
  11. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    No real effect on guitars. Lot of effect on you though. Force yourself to yawn very widely a lot during landing and takeoff.
    Saves trying to clear that pressure differential you suddenly realise you've built up by making like a fish.
    Either that or suck a sweet, swallow often and hard (hopefully not taking the sweet with said swallows). Wonder why they don't hand'em out these days? Choking lawsuits? Wouldn't surprise me.
  12. RedBull17 macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2006
    Santiago, Chile
    Safe altitude for an aircraft to not be pressurized is 10k fts or below, above that, pressurization is required, if not, passengers are required to wear oxigen masks.
  13. imacintel macrumors 68000

    Mar 12, 2006
    The Diamond Aircraft DA40 Star can go 24000 feet, and It is certified to go unpressurised until 8020 feet. It may be the same as some jets.
  14. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    Most commercial jets pressurize to 8,000 feet. Boeing's new 787 DreamLiner pressurizes to 6,000 feet. (Apparently the new carbon fuselages are stronger, and keeping the air thicker inside makes for a more pleasurable flying experience.)
  15. Loge macrumors 68020


    Jun 24, 2004
    Out of interest, (and as one who has not had to fly with one yet) are you guys taking your guitars as carry-on or checking them?
  16. xsedrinam macrumors 601


    Oct 21, 2004
    That would depend on the size plane you're on and, if it's more than one flight and one of the flights is a smaller plane and won't handle overhead carry-ons. Most of the regular sized planes will handle storing it in the overhead.
  17. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    One addendum - most regular sized planes will handle storing it in an otherwise mostly empty overhead bin. Finding a mostly empty overhead bin can be difficult, unless you're lucky enough (or fly enough) to get on early.

    I'm also guessing that some airlines may not allow such a large piece of "luggage" to be carried on - you might want to check with your airline first to make sure.
  18. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    I have a bottle of Swiss airplane air that I've had for 5 or 6 years now.

    I crammed a 3 liter bottle into my carry on, uncapped it when we hit cruising altitude, recapped it and it compressed nicely so I could fit it in my pocket on the way out. :D
  19. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    I wouldn't change the tension of the strings at all. Myself and all of the other violinists and violists in the symphony didn't loosen their strings on the international, 13-hour flight from Houston to Vienna, or from Prague to Houston. The most I'd do is put a humidifier in, if you're going from a humid climate to a more arid one.
    I'm not 100% sure of how guitars are built, but I know that on violins/violas, loosening the strings are more detrimental than leaving them tightened. The glue can come undone, and the sound post fall over, because of the lack of tension.. basically the strings and a little bit of glue hold the whole instrument together. Guitars may be completely different.

    and tuning.. just make an audio track of what your lowest E is (assuming you tune your guitar in the EADGBE) and tune it up like that. (fourth-fourth-fourth-Major Third- Fourth)
    or load this website before you go and tune it that way.
    And FYI, the A garageband gives (440) is an octave above the A string on the guitar.

    also read up on FAA and musical instruments.
    quote source

    Good luck. :)
  20. xsedrinam macrumors 601


    Oct 21, 2004
    I got a good laugh on that one. Thanks. :D
  21. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    You should sell it on e-Bay. :p
  22. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


    I've heard that. Very exciting, looks like the airlines have decided people actually want to be COMFORTABLE during flights!

    Carry on. I never, ever check my instruments (well, I've yet to bring a drum kit with me!) and wouldn't consider it unless I had a very durable (read: expensive) hard case. So far I have been able to stow it in the overhead compartments or give it to the flight attendant to put in the 'broom closet' :D

    PS. In case anyone cares... I am here safely and my AirPort worked and my FW HDD is functioning flawlessly.
  23. ChrisWB macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2004
    My mom brought my guitar on an international flight from Egypt. She put it in the overhead bin. There were no problems.
  24. Loge macrumors 68020


    Jun 24, 2004
    Sounds good, though I'd be more likely to be taking a bass guitar, and it may be harder to get something like that through carry on. It also seems like airlines (in UK at least) are getting stricter with carry on, in order to try and reduce the long lines getting through security.

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