Flight case projects in the spotlight

This page will regularly feature new flight case projects from us or our customers with photos and a short explanatory text to serve as an example or just to give you some inspiration.

Have you made your own flight case lately with hardware from flightcase-brico.com and are you really proud of the result? Send us an email with photos and some explanation and maybe your project will feature on the website!

Project 9: Flight case for 3D printer

[added on 11/02/2012]

These are the builder’s own words, so who am I to deny them: “Probably the first ever flight case for a 3D printer!”

Technically speaking this is a very difficult case to build. Obviously standard flight case materials are meant for cases with 90° angles, but there are a few 45° ones in this particular project (or call it 135°), which means that this customer needed to bend the case angles, corner braces and other parts to fit. It was clearly not a straightforward job, but definitely a great result!

Project 8: Flight case for locomotive

[added on 17/02/2011]

Another special project. I leave the word to Michel, the builder...

“I had promised a while ago to send you a few pictures of my finished ‘loc flight case’. So please find attached 4 photos. Actually I built the case for an even bigger engine that’s now in a display cabinet and is difficult to handle.”

 
 

Note from us: Building a case like this one (with a lid consisting of 2 pieces that come apart) is not easy. Although it’s nicely done in this project, I would have preferred to have the bottom lid location in one piece. I will shortly write an article on this for the website.

Another note from us: Personally I’d recommend using large corner braces everywhere, also in the places where Michel used small ones in his project. These would nicely cover the spots where the case angles touch the lid locations.

Project 7: Metallica TV cabinet

[added on 01/10/2010]

Steven Van Biesbrouck wanted to make a flight case that would serve as a TV cabinet. “It was easier than I thought at first. The step-by-step instructions were really a great help. I made a few small mistakes due to carelessness, but I was able to amend them. I really got the taste for building flight cases, now I’ve made my own. I’ve even offered to build some for the local youth group where my sister-in-law is head leader...”

“I only had a problem with the colour for the case,” says Steven. “Being a Metallica fan, I wanted a kind of woody beige with a greyish look to it, because that’s typical for the group, but after a few attempts (which were really below par) and asking my wife, I decided to spray it black anyway. If I had known in advance, I’d have bought real flight case wood. That would have saved me a lot of work.”

The Metallica logo couldn’t be absent, of course, so Steven looked up all the fonts on the net, printed them in the size he wanted, cut them out with a utility knife, covered the whole case and then sprayed the letters white. “I could have done a bit better here and there, but perfect isn’t everything, is it?”

Note from us: Agreed, spraying logos and text on a flight case isn’t easy. We have learnt from experience that it’s best to cut letters and logos from quite thick cardboard (instead of standard thin paper), because paper can start ‘blowing up’ due to the pressure (wind) created by the spray can. Result: blurry edges. In any case, I find this a great idea and a result Steven can be genuinely proud of!

Project 6: flight case art

[added on 18/09/2009]

This time we’ve got a very special project. One that consists of several sculptures (monuments, actually), made out of flight case material. Just look and enjoy...

For more photos of this delightful work, go to www.michaelaerts.com.

Project 5: flight case for Eco-Runner H2

[added on 27/07/2008]

On Thursday 3 July 2008 the Eco-Runner Team Delft took part in the UK Shell Eco-Marathon in Rockingham and drove 2,282 km (yes, really!) on the energy equivalent of 1 l petrol. This meant they reached their target and won first prize in the hydrogen category.

This Dutch team consisted mainly of students of the Delft University of Technology studying Aerospace Engineering. Outside courses, they spent a whole year preparing for the Shell Eco-Marathon and designing the Eco-Runner H2, a little car for 1 driver fuelled with hydrogen.

The team chose to build their very own gigantic flight case to protect the Eco-Runner during transport to and from the test courses and the marathon. Complete with wood and hardware from flightcase-brico.com.

 

It all started with the purchase of a ‘bare’ trailer, which they fitted up with a first big case, for the Eco-Runner itself.

 

Then they fitted the other side of the trailer with two more big cases serving as two great big tool boxes and covered everything nicely with a tarpaulin to protect against bad weather.

 
 

The large Eco-Runner case has also got wheels, so it could be used to push the Eco-Runner H2 from the pit box to the workshop or to the start line.

 
 

Flightcase-brico.com congratulates the Eco-Runner team with their exceptional performance. And thanks for letting us use the photos! To learn more about the Eco-Runner project, surf to www.ecorunner.nl.

Project 4: flight case for waterbed

[added on 23/04/2008]

“Why not sleep in a flight case?” That’s what Wouter Moscou (from Houten in the Netherlands) must have thought when the idea popped first into his head. I’ll leave the word to him... “Because my waterbed was in need of a new frame, I thought it would be fun to make a flight case for it.” So Wouter ordered the hardware he needed at flightcase-brico.com and got cracking.

“The bed consists of a 20 cm-high elevating foot of 18 mm MDF, a double-walled frame (outer frame of 32.2 cm high and 12 mm thick screwed on an inner frame made out of 30 cm-wide and 18 mm-thick MDF). The deck with the water mattress on it (15 mm chipboard) sits on top of three interlocking cross connections of MDF, 20 cm high and 18 mm thick. So the mattress isn’t only supported by the cross connections but also by the foot. The double-walled frame is slightly bigger than the foot itself, so the inside of the ‘box’ is about 21 cm deep, exactly the right size for a water mattress.”

 

“I painted all the MDF with a special-purpose primer first (twice for the end-grain sides) and then painted it satin, scratch-resistant oil-based black. Both with a roller. Because of the higher outer frame, I could nicely support the lid location on the inside one. The double-walled construction was necessary, because usually bed frame sides are 18 mm thick. Thinner sides (that still fit a lid location) wouldn’t have offered enough resistance against the pressure of the water mattress. So making the frame double-walled resolved the problem! I fixed all flight case parts (ball corners, butterfly latches, handles, corner braces and extrusions) with rivets. Only the hinges I fixed with bolts to be able to detach the lid...”

“The lid doesn’t have a particular purpose. It was just a matter of looks, so the bed could become a unit in itself.”

The idea wasn’t only very original, it was very well executed too. Congratulations, Wouter, and thanks for the photos!

Project 3: flight case for guitar amplifier (top)

[added on 04/03/2008]

We received these wonderful photos of a self-built flight case for a guitar amplifier from a client of (T.V.D.B.).

 

The case is a good example of one with a very low bottom. It’s just about the lowest you can get: there is only a little strip of the flight case wood still visible on the bottom part. It couldn’t be made much narrower, otherwise the case angles would touch the lid locations.

You can also see that the medium butterfly latch overlaps a little with the case angle, which has been perfectly executed. The rivet in the middle, used to fix the bottom half of the butterfly latch, is also perfectly aligned with the other rivets on the bottom case angle, so that’s really nicely done too.

 

For the rest you can see that T.V.D.B. used 8 large corner braces for this case. Of course in combination with the low bottom, this means the corner braces overlap with the ball corners. That’s no problem, but you do have to be careful that you fix these corner braces with 2 rivets instead of 4 (these are large corner braces, so only put rivets in the lid location, the two other holes will end up under the ball corners, so you don’t need to rivet those), because otherwise it becomes very difficult to fit the ball corners very snugly on the case.

Maybe one small blemish: the rivets in the case angles are sometimes a bit too close to the ball corners, so the ball corners almost end up sitting over the rivets. Maybe next time leave a little bit more space between the ball corners and the rivets in the case angles.

10 to 15 cm is ‘standard’ in terms of distance between rivets in case angles, so there are enough of them here. The previous project below (for the telescope) had a lot fewer rivets in the case angles. Actually a bit too few to be very solid. Though of course everything depends on how you actually ‘handle’ a case and one with fewer rivets looks sleeker obviously. However, I wouldn’t generally recommend only 1 rivet per case angle like on the telescope case below.

Project 2: flight case for telescope

[added on 26/12/2007]

This photo is just too nice to keep to ourselves. It’s a flight case for a small telescope. Built to size by customer S. Vanschoubroek.

I’ll leave the word to him... “I got your web address from a fellow member of my astronomical society. When he showed me his case, I could hardly believe he had made it himself. It looked so professional! But what ‘shocked’ me even more was the realisation of the unlimited number of possibilities if you make such a case yourself. Only the fact that you can make it exactly to size. I’d presumed only specialised companies could do this. I’m quite good with hammer and saw, as my father had a wood/carpentry shop at one point, so that definitely helped. I’m a photographer myself. I made the photo I’m sending you just quickly while I was waiting for a client. The studio was ready anyway...”

This customer particularly opted for drawbolts and dealt with the level difference, created due to the latch being outside the lid location, by putting two pieces of aluminium (cut from a leftover piece of lid location) under the latch.

The close-up photos below show how the drawbolt is mounted on the case and the drawbolt as we sell it in our web shop.

 

 

Project 1: flight case for Fender guitar amplifier

[added on 30/11/2007]

 

The flight case is built so it’s easy for the Fender guitar amplifier to stand on top of it. That’s nice for rehearsals and on stage. I replaced the original metal feet under the amplifier with the rubber ones from the web shop. They’ll make it easy for the amplifier to stand over the strap handle on the case.

 

Also notice the braked swivel castors at the front. These make it easy to fix the amplifier in place when on stage and prevent it from rolling off. For the rest I also used flight case letter stencils and the white paint marker from our web shop.

For the lining, I chose thick hard foam in strips. This’ll make me use less foam and the lid will slide over the amplifier more easily. For the finish: a little ‘group photo’.