What are Flight Cases?
What are Flight Cases?
Flight cases, carrying cases or equipment cases are sturdy, rigid trunks or enclosures designed for protecting personal goods in transit and storage. They’re typically made from plastic or metal. Many models feature a range of additional options, like heavy-duty foam inserts or additional protective padding.
High-end transit equipment cases are widely used in a range of demanding industries and roles. This includes the avionics, transport, electronic, entertainment, photography and video, test and measurement, medical, security and military sectors, to name just a few.
Flight cases are primarily designed to shield and protect fragile or high-value items during transit. Some are specifically designed to house particular pieces of equipment or instruments. Others are more adaptable and can be used to protect almost any important goods that may otherwise be at risk of damage.
Because they’re chiefly used as a handy solution for long-distance travel, long-term storage or frequent location changes, rack flight case are also commonly known as shipping cases or transportation cases. You will sometimes see them referred to as roadie cases, as they make a popular solution for conveying musical instruments and technical equipment between different locations.Flight cases can be used to store, protect and transport a wide variety of equipment types and tools, depending on which sort of case you choose. As mentioned above, musical instruments are one of the common types of flight case hardware, but you will find all sorts of items being shipped in these robust, heavy-duty enclosures.
Flight Cases for Guitars
Flight cases for guitars are a popular choice among musicians. Many such equipment or roadie cases are specially designed to provide added protection for guitars in transit. Both acoustic and electric guitars require careful handling during shipping or air travel. Their weight, size, and relative fragility mean that they are prone to damage, and this is why protection with a quality flight case during a trip is essential.
Guitar flight cases tend to be built in such a way as to provide additional support and padding around the most vulnerable parts of the instrument. These normally include both the headstock and neck of the guitar, particularly at key joints and where cutaways on the body taper sharply.
You’ll often see flight cases intended specifically for travel with guitars that include a good deal of strong secondary bracing, packing or foam padding at these vital points. They’re usually designed to provide reliable cushioning and support around the bridge and headstock of the instrument. Additional reinforcement is sometimes focused on areas where the main sections of the head, neck and body join together.
Guitar flight cases are often made from fairly lightweight but sturdy materials, such as rigid plastic or aluminium. This generally provides a good level of overall protection, while also being more convenient to carry between locations. Cases designed for shipping multiple guitars together often include built-in racking systems. These typically come with wheels for easier manoeuvring on the ground.
Flight Cases for Guitar Amps
Just as with guitars themselves, flight cases for guitar amps are another important piece of kit for many travelling musicians and road crews.
A guitar amp flight case can come in many sizes and configurations, depending on the type and size of amp or speaker you need to pack up safely ready for shipping. Again, they tend to focus on delivering robust knock and fall protection, with heavy padding on the interior.
Like many such equipment cases, they’re often made from high-grade plastic or metals like cast aluminium. Their bodies may be ribbed for further strength and rigidity, offering an ideal combination of strength and a lighter carry weight for travel.
Additional features can include:
Sturdy comfort grip handles with increased lift capacities
Toggle catches with wire seals and padlock facilities
Rubber seals for better waterproofing
Stacking locators in the lid, to help when you need to pack or store more than one crate together
Flight Cases for Drums
Flight cases for drums are also a popular choice as proper storage and transportation of drumkits is equally important. It’s particularly vital to protect drum kits in transit as their large size and hollow construction can leave them extremely vulnerable to damage if they are not properly protected.
The best drum and cymbal flight case options generally tend to include many similar features to guitar and amp lighting&speaker flight case. Look out for benefits such as watertight, airtight and crushproof certifications. These offer reassurance that the case will guard against damage from knocks or falls, water, humidity, and prolonged exposure to heat.
Additionally, some models may even offer functions such as an automatic pressure purge valve. This helps to ensure the shifting forces acting on delicate instruments during air travel remain balanced within safe limits.
Production Flight Cases
Production flight cases and equipment containers also include a wide range of products suitable for shipping important and valuable tech between locations. Common examples include mixer flight cases or sound desk flight cases.
As with all such items, you’ll usually want to look for a robust plastic or aluminium model. Rugged body reinforcement and a good amount of interior shock proofing provided by thick foam inserts are also important.
When buying flight cases for mixers, it’s vital to look out for designs offering features that directly benefit electronics in transit. Waterproof models are particularly popular for shipping mixers, PAs and other production equipment. Shop for cases with sturdier rubber seals and secure fastening/locking systems, helping to guard delicate electronics from humidity, moisture, dust and debris.
Padlock compatibility is another common feature for production flight cases. This makes the cases more secure and helps to prevent unauthorised access to the contents.
Different Flight Case Types
Flight Case Racks
A flight case rack can be extremely important when shipping multiple items together in the same crate or equipment box. Case racks may be integrated into some designs, often called rackmount flight cases. Alternatively, racks can be purchased as an additional accessory designed to fit inside an existing transit case.
Plastic or metal equipment containers featuring two or more racks are available for both larger and smaller items. These can include various types of electronic equipment, organised spaces for securing different tools, or any other fragile items that need to remain protected and separated during travel.
Quality rackmount flight cases often feature benefits such as panel-mounting capabilities for creating more robust compartments, with shock-mounted rack sleeving and suspension systems for added impact guard.
They make an ideal solution when used as a server flight case, as they’ll often allow for multiple units to be organised and shipped together. This helps you to keep track of exactly which components should be kept together. It also makes reassembly of servers and other computing or electronics arrays much easier when you reach your destination.
Lightweight Flight Cases
Since the items being stored and transported in equipment cases tend to be too large or heavy to carry easily outside of a case, the last thing you want is for the container itself to add a huge amount of bulk to the overall package.
Many of the best lightweight flight case options tend to be made from sturdy plastic or cast aluminium. These materials offer an ideal balance of strength, rigidity and durability while being easy to pick up and move around.
You may also be surprised at the manoeuvrability of some of the larger light flight cases. These also tend to be easily stackable when not in use. Some models even feature stacking locators embedded into their secure-latching lids to make the job even more straightforward.
Hard Carry Cases
Transporting delicate items like laptops or test equipment is an increasingly common necessity. In situations like this, hard carry cases are often chosen for travel with smaller individual pieces of technology or electronics equipment.
Equipment carrying cases are designed to hit the ideal middle ground between portability and protection. This type of hard carrying case tends to be constructed from lighter materials, with prominent easy-grip handles. They also commonly feature a range of additional locking, latching and security measures.
Useful features on cases in this category tend to include IP-rated rubber seals for all-round moisture and dirt protection, and various types of secure latching or locking systems. Whether you opt for a metal or plastic hard carrying case, other handy benefits might include:
Sturdy plug-in lid hinges
Stable and robust case feet
Ergonomic handle designs
High-grade foam inserts for enhanced impact protection Lcd tv flight case with wheels and castors are a popular choice due to their accessibility and ease of movement. Equipment cases with wheels tend to come in several different variants. Firstly, storage boxes with wheels added as an additional convenience tend to have smaller and potentially less sturdy castors and bearings. These are often recessed further into the body of the case, allowing for easier stacking. These models may be less suitable for wheeling over longer distances.
On the other hand, transport cases which feature more prominent wheels often cite full manoeuvrability as a key part of their overall design. This becomes increasingly important with large, heavy or bulky items.
Such models will frequently list features like heavy-duty wheels made from strong materials like polyurethane. Bearings will often be steel or reinforced with other rugged materials and may be self-oiling for smoother free-running action over a wider variety of terrains and surfaces.In addition to protecting against unwanted moisture, waterproof equipment cases also offer a fairly robust level of protection from dust and dirt ingress. When you’re looking for a waterproof hard case, paying attention to the all-important IP rating is key to finding the exact product you need for a particular job or environment. For assistance with this, you can read our comprehensive guide to IP ratings.
Once again, waterproof hard cases can be made from materials such as aluminium and plastic. Certain options are also graded for protection against chemicals, as well as against general environmental hazards such as humidity, rain, spillages and dust.
Regardless of the material you choose, among the most important things to look out for will be thick rubber seals or O-rings around openings, hinges and latches. These will allow you to maintain a watertight (and sometimes completely airtight) interior to your equipment case, even under varying pressures at different altitudes.
Similarly, some models also include automatic one-way pressure release valves. Again, this will help to keep conditions inside the trunk balanced within safe limits at all times.Small flight cases tend to be designed around both portability and protection. This means that they are normally focused on convenience and comfort during journeys, as well as being built sturdily enough to withstand various types of impact, damage or ingress.
Small carrying cases made from aluminium or rigid plastic will also commonly feature some arrangement of foam inserts or padding. This is ideal for protecting less bulky items such as electronics and tools, as well as preventing the contents from moving around too much in transit, and potentially sustaining damage from knocking against the interior of the case.
These smaller cases are less commonly found with wheels attached, as their size usually does not warrant this addition. However, they will often include sturdy feet and a full range of security measures such as latches, locks and wrist straps.Plastic flight cases are a highly popular option. This is due to the impressive combination of ruggedness and low weight offered by modern plastics and polymers. Many of the leading plastic carry cases in the UK and beyond are virtually indestructible under normal transport conditions. Plastic equipment cases offer robust protection against both knocks and impacts, as well as bringing a certain level of water and chemical resistance.
As with all flight case types, plastic equipment boxes can be bought in a wide range of configurations. Advanced IP ratings offer full guarding against moisture, humidity, dust and dirt. Many such products with higher levels of ingress protection will feature thick rubber seals and double-step latching, delivering an extremely reliable performance when closed and secured.Among the most common types of modern metal flight cases are aluminium flight cases with foam inserts. These, alongside other metal flight cases, can be found in widespread use across a huge range of industries and sectors.
Metal Equipment&tool Flight Case are available in both large and small sizes and offer a perfect solution for transporting a huge variety of delicate or high-value goods safely across long distances. Common uses include shipping fragile electronics, instruments and tools.
Lockable metal flight cases with foam padding are highly robust, often featuring reinforced or ribbed cast aluminium side and top panels for added strength. Hinged lids and secure latching mechanisms are frequently coupled with ergonomic comfort grip handles. Wheels or castors tend to be extremely sturdy and smooth-running.
You may notice that many models and types of aluminium flight case are also designed with corners made from toughened, impact-resistant plastic. Not only does this provide extra protection during travel, but it also allows for easier stacking, so you can reduce the amount of storage space needed.
As with all flight cases, metal versions typically include removable PE foam inserts around the walls, base and lid for advanced protection against damage.