Monday, July 10, 2017

Different approach to the pit box - The Pit Cooler!

After a good run with the pit box I started getting cut 2006 it was time for a fresh look. The pit box served several design needs first of which was starting the engine with the lid closed to keep out dirt and sand. Next was a solid home for the necessities like tools fuel bottle syringes lines etc. The box underwent a few revisions and then for a moment was the star of the concourse contests with competitors adding wraps paint even lights and speakers. 

I did not want to change the primary idea but with travel being a major part of flying these days I added smaller and lighter to the design criteria. Allen DeVeuve came up with a much smaller box that really looked sharp. I knew it was time to get to work. 

With the original box 6mm plywood Allen and I had discussed going to 3mm light ply for the smaller box to save weight. Having access to a laser cutter it was a natural flow to design the box in CAD and cut it out and see the final project. Around this time I needed a new airplane bag and the shop asked if I needed any other custom bags for F2D? Hmm wonder if they could make a custom bag for pitting? I could design in all the right pockets and get the size right. All was doable so I sent the specs to the shop. $120 Wow!, didn’t see that coming. 

After a couple of web searches it looked like Wally World had a cooler that was close to the right size. In person it was just right and for $7 even if it only lasted a few contests it was worth it. I adjusted the drawing a little and decided to switch to 6mm corrugated plastic. Since the bag was going to be “flexible” I wanted the liner to be mostly rigid but flex and bend without breaking if it got smashed in transit or squashed in the back of a packed rental car trunk. A little refitting due to the bag shape flexing but it was coming together. The pockets are magic! Knowing that my small shim container was in a pocket locked with a zipper and wasn’t going to fly out during a match is really cool!

I can say that after switching to a soft bag it is tough to carry a hard box. The pockets are very helpful and the smaller overall size travels great! Looks like this will be the new direction I will continue with for the near future.   

1 comment:

  1. Hey Lester, that's a neat idea. My son Andy and I used to fly with you every once in a while at Hobby Field back in 2010 or so. We were always impressed with the pit boxes you guys had back then. You carried only what you needed and nothing else. I noticed lot of fishing tackle boxes have gone from hard plastic shells to nylon bags.