I was very nervous about traveling with my hang gliders, but I was relocating, so I had no choice. The process ended up being a lot easier and cheaper than I expected. This is my experience.
The “short pack” process was not hard, just a little tedious. The first step is to remove the leading edge, consult your manual, each glider is a little different.
Remove the outer leading edge and mark “left” and “right”
Protect the aluminum, get 2″ PVC pipe cups from the hardware store
Fold the sail inside. The glider should now be aprox 3.5 to 3.8 meters long. Bubble wrap only the ends, but NOT the entire thing. When the security guys at the airport inspect the glider, they should not have cut through anything.
Bubble wrap all the accessories: outer leading edges, batten tips, etc..
Place the accessories inside the glider, I put all my stuff near the nose inside the sail.
With the velcro straps, tighten the wings together, make it very tight so that nothing moves.
Close the bag, leaving the zipper in the center. Make it easy for the security guys at the airport to inspect the package.
Insert the rest of the bag in itself, at the wing tip end.
Place cardboard at both ends and wrap it with duct take, use the tape to create handles.
Flying with Iberia was easy. On their website it says that gliders are allowed (sports equipment section). The limit is 3.5 meters and 32kg. The price is the same as an extra bag, up to 23kg + $100 up to 32kg. So, it would have been $185 each glider, but there’s a way around it that saved me $100 per glider, read on!
They didn’t check the length nor the width. My T2C was 3.7 meters and 33kg. I saved $100 per glider by not bringing them to the counter, and just leaving them aside!! Haha