Nato flightcases and their locks ….

I admit, I have got a lock fetish. Especially when it concerns government or military locks.
But for readers of this blog it might even be the reason for visiting here ….

nato unclassified suitcase

Well … Yesterday at some sort of flea market in Amsterdam I found some interesting suitcases.

Some with labels and stickers that caught my attention.
Triggers like: Nato unclassified, Nato Awacs, and various other stickers.

But the best was yet to come: some cases had locks on them, with complicated looking keyways!

So getting the cases for 10 euro each was not a problem and I immediately took them to my favorite locksmith. He studied the lock for a minute orso, and then tried a DOM blank (silca DM28)…. It was the correct blank …

flight case locks

On one hand I was happy he had blanks for me, on the other hand I was a little disappointed the locks were not extreme high security and had restricted profiles.

dom locks

Needless to say I went home and tried to make a key for the locks via impressioning. But that was much harder as I thought as the plastic from the side of the case the lock was mounted in absorbed my movements.

So I first had to pick the small five pin locks in order to open the cases, then remove the lock and mount them in a vice.

But after that it went relatively smoothly and a correct key was made in a couple of minutes.

Now I just need to find a purpose for the damn cases …..

* Update: in the comments, Agent X is asking for more images of the cases.
Here they are, enjoy: cases1.jpg, cases2.jpg, cases3.jpg and label.jpg

11 Responses to “Nato flightcases and their locks ….”

  1. Agent X says:

    Hey Barry

    I know some folks that might be interested especially with the NATO sticket etc etc, can you post some photo’s of the cases.

  2. Paul says:

    I would say they are a restricted profile, the blank your locky has supplied is merely passing the profile, not matching it.

  3. Han Fey says:

    Hi Barry,

    If possible I want to buy one suitcase from you, for my collection 😉

    Han Fey

  4. Barry says:

    Agent X: I uploaded some more images for you … I hope you enjoy them 😉

    Paul: I think the profile must be pretty common if my locksmith has a blank for it, but they must have been somewhat restricted in the past indeed….

    Han: No problem, I make you a very special deal …

  5. ParatrooperJJ says:

    They are not for classifed stuff, just your normal everyday items, that is why the locks suck.

  6. Jean-Claude says:

    Barry: Maybe you can keep locks in them?

  7. Jean-Claude says:

    Barry: These look unusually like pilots’ flight cases. The fact that they have AWACS radar stickers is also interesting. Anyways, I got mine at Deutsche Optik, but I can always use another one.

  8. Travis says:

    hmm wonder if that came from Bruxelles or SHAPE, but very interesting

  9. Lockpicker says:

    How much for the one with banana stickers? Have it been used to smuggle bananas?

  10. ACE says:

    They are just flight crew cases for enlisted and commissioned members on transport aircraft’s and AWACS. They always sell these becuase you turn them in when you need a new one. They usually sell them in bulk government auctions like anything else. They are an issued item nothing special or unique except for the stickers. The banana stickers are becuase banana’s have potassium in them and are a very common supplied food on long flights. The AMU and Squadron patches are common becuase they belonged to that air crew. I will give you a whole roll of NATO stickers and flight patches if that is what makes these common bags unique.

  11. whatshappeninman says:

    Those keyways look amazingly like miniature General G190M-family (Ilco catalog) multiplex keyways. General was acquired by Schlage back in the early ’70s. My hometown’s schools used General locks (maybe they still do) – amazingly hard-to-get blanks.