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Email:   Mobi@3d-flightcases.co.uk

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Our Flight Case History

The directors of 3D Cases started production in the UK and shipping flight cases worldwide in 1975. As the audio operations manager at Gearhouse Cape Town (SA) wrote about one of the directors "Steve is a true visionary in his field - most modern flight cases are based on ideas he dreamed up way back when".

In late 2018 BCS Manufacturing has taken on the construction of 3D Flight Cases using the same constrution and hardware as the original 3D Flight cases.

Early Flight Cases

Early flight cases were predominately used by the music industry, and werevery basic but did their job in protecting the contents during the early years of world touring. They also had one other advantage over standard cases the containers the military etc. used, they could be custom built, a 'one off' was not a problem.

Flight Case Construction They did have however many faults, they were generally built from nailing ½" (or as we know it today, 12mm) ply, the outer laminate was either compressed fibre board (paper) that expanded badly and de-laminated when it got wet or aluminium, where the whole sheet would expand and bubble up when it got hot. Back then the plastic we see today had not been invented or was way too expensive to use and HPL (Formica type sheets) were far to brittle and cracked as soon as you looked at it. Hardware was not ideal either, usually a stock aluminium 'L' section complete with sharp edges and the closing strip was bent tin, lethal after it got damaged, which it always did.

Flight Case Innovations

Flight Case ExtrusionsHavng toured with major artist we had seen how to build a bad case so it was time for some ‘Flight Case Innovation’.

The first innovation was to change and combine the construction method, out with nailing and the aluminium 'L' edges and to produce custom extruded aluminium sections. These allowed the wood panels to be slotted in to a double-sided edge section. With the new extrusions panels were riveted in to the slotted section to form a far more rigid case construction and no more broken glue joints!
While we were at it we changed the closing strip to a male/female section made again of hardened aircraft grade aluminium, no more lethal sharp edges!

Yellow Drums Flight CaseNext up, the laminate, GRP (fibre glass to you and me ) was used, which is stable under all conditions, as tough as you like, added rigidly to the ply would as it ‘soaked into’ the ply when manufactured under pressure and for the first time coloured flight cases were available, ideal when in Japan with no interpreter, yellow drums, centre stage, orange flight cases, keyboards stage right etc.

With these two innovations alone the guys could build a much stronger and more rigid flight case than anyone else with a far longer life expectancy. A bonus due to not having to nail the edges of the plywood was they could in many instances also reduce the ply thickness to save weight
Later they went on working with their supplies to re-work and re-design much of the other hardware on the case, each being thoroughly tested before being declared fit for a life on the road

New Generation Flight Cases

With this new generation of flight case design and construction the guys went on to have an order book that read like a who’s who of the rock and roll industry along with leading orchestras from around the world. The F1 teams also moved over to using their cases with every teams equipment on the grid and pits arriving in team coloured flight cases.
Within a couple of years’ our flight cases found their way in to just about every other industry and service supplier.

The rest is, as they say - History

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About This Website

Our mini website is designed for viewing on mobile phones etc. with a screen width of less than 700px and as such has limited information about our flight cases. Full information and hundreds of flight case images are available when viewed on a larger screen such as a laptop, pad or pc.
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