Sunday, 15 August 2010

Sportube - a cool way to transport your planes

The arrival of cheap air travel has opened up all kinds of opportunities, including the ability to fly in competitions abroad. However this carries its own risks - you don't want to arrive with your model resembling a Walkers crisp under a lorry.

The solution of course is to make a transportation box. However, the design brief is not an easy one, which is why several F3F flyers have chickended out and just bought Sportubes.

Sportubes are made of heavy duty plastic. They were originally designed for transporting skis and snowboards aboard aircraft, but they are ideal for our models as well. They consist of two long boxes, each open at one end. One slides into the other to create a long closed box. The length is adjustable and a locking pin stops the two halves from sliding apart.

My Sportube is a Series 3, the biggest in the range, and this is the one to get for F3X. It's black and looks the business. The handles are comfortable and of good quality.  It's got a pair of wheels at one end, good for smooth surfaces (but probably not up to repeated use on rough ground). It comes with a shoulder strap. You can also get a hand-tow rope, useful for wheeling it around an airport concourse.

When fully collapsed, the box takes surprisingly little room in the workshop, yet when expanded it'll take two F3F models, and any spare space can be packed out with your clothes. For once, I'm actually looking forward to packing!

Addendum 20 Jan 2011: My sportube has passed its first test passed with flying colours, during its inaugural ferry trip to Lundy Island.
Quayside, Ilfracombe.

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