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A long time ago a Cessna pilot showed me a diaper he wears when he is flying around. It makes sense that a pit stop isn't something you do during flights. Apparently there is a type of gel inside the diaper that allows just releasing number one. The pilot told me that they sell them in special pilot shops.

Was he pulling my leg, or do pilots regularly wear diapers and are they available for general travelers? I see a nice use-case for bus trips or when flying on prop planes without lavatories (e.g. the twin otter)

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During an unrelated Mythbusters test, one of the guys attempted to use a adult diaper to avoid having to leave the chair. Much to his dismay he discovered that the adult diaper he had was for leaks, not full on urination. That's not to say that no such thing exists, but it does say that certainly not all adult diapers will be adequate. –  Mooing Duck May 21 at 19:21
    
@MooingDuck Mythbusters again :) Hardly a reliable source, since it is more about entertainment. Just search for mythbusters island on this forum and you will see why I say so –  andra May 21 at 19:26
    
and I totally understand that. However, watching a grown man pee through an adult diaper does seem like pretty conclusive evidence that not all adult diapers are made as toilet alternatives. –  Mooing Duck May 21 at 19:41
    
@mooingDuck but they do exist I have seen them being sold. I unfortunately lost contact with my pilot friend who is using them on his long flights like long distance ferry flights –  andra May 21 at 20:09
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2 Answers 2

Adult diapers are widely available, if not at the pharmacy then at shops that cater to the elderly and/or infirmed. Many people who are incontinent or confined to wheelchairs use them regularly to prevent embarrassing accidents. They're not perfect, you might have a bit of an odor, but you won't leave a giant puddle. Things might get a bit unpleasant if you are required to enter secondary inspection at a port of entry, but if you're not embarrassed and are not smuggling drugs in your diaper, it's their problem I guess.

The US military has some systems that are compatible with both varieties of factory pilot plumbing, but they're $2,000 each, so not likely to be practical for a typical Greyhound passenger.

There are also accessories on some small planes that can be used by pilots who have their own appropriate matching plumbing factory-installed. They are called "pilot relief tubes" and just conduct the urine to the great outdoors where it can be enjoyed by woodland creatures and whatever else is under your flight path.

Aside from "personal" devices, aircraft supply houses do have some other options, which would probably not be suitable for use in public. They're basically a disposable bag with some gel. Trying to use water bottles and airsickness bags has been done, but the results reportedly can be sub-optimal.

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Are these diapers the same? –  andra May 21 at 14:56
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Factoid of the day: In Japan adult diapers now outsell infant diapers! –  hippietrail May 21 at 15:01
    
I've heard of pilots using the regular adult diapers. I don't know for sure if there are any "special" ones other than the military ones, but I'll edit some additional options into my answer. –  Spehro Pefhany May 21 at 15:01
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I did some googling around and they are called piddle packs. It seems more a solution for pilots then it is for passengers. Dutch source

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