||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Road case. (Discuss) Proposed since February 2012.|
A flightcase is a transportation container used to safely pack and transport anything that needs protection. Heavier versions may be referred to as road cases, and the terms are fairly interchangeable, with road case being the more common term in the United States. Originally, such cases were used by rock and roll touring bands to transport sound equipment, lighting equipment and musical instruments. Today, flightcases are used to transport various types of delicate equipment. In addition to providing protection, the case can allow rack mount equipment to be left largely interconnected and ready for use. Custom foam inserts are often created to cradle particularly expensive gear within the case and protect it from shock or vibration in transit. Accessories such as slide-out drawers, flip-out tables and hanging clothes bars can be incorporated into the design to create portable wardrobes or workstations.
As the name implies, equipment carried in an ATA Spec 300 industry approved flightcase can be shipped as cargo on airplanes and other methods of freight transport. Failure to use such protective cases can lead to damaged equipment and denial of coverage by applicable insurance. Some flightcases are equipped with TSA-approved locks to comply with new air travel security measures.
A flightcase is typically made of plywood sheets riveted to aluminum extrusions which connect them together. Typically, the plywood is protected from wear by a layer of ABS plastic or light aluminum sheet glued on. Composite materials such as Plasti-Clad are sometimes used for strong and light weight cases, at greater expense. Hardware fittings are typically made of galvanized steel. Handles and catches can be surface-mounted or recessed, and are usually robust. Bulky and/or heavy flightcases are often fitted with wheels. Inside walls can be lined with shock-absorbing foams of various densities.
Flightcases are often custom-made to meet specific user requirements. Single unit production is common, just as serial production. Assembly is mostly done manually. Machinery is only used for cutting the profiles and sheets. CNC machinery can be used to cut out holes for handles and catches.