What do you get when you mix a background in Mechanical Engineering, Motorsports, and Aviation together? You get a passion for problem solving, the background to find solutions, and the ability to implement the vision.
A walk around the Paradox compound is a little bit like walking into a mad scientist's secret lair. This is a place where even the humble lawn mower has been modified to improve efficiency and performance. We are the type that sees inefficiency and needs to re-engineer it to be better, faster, lighter, stronger.
Our deep dive into luggage started early when like most aviators we bought our first cast aluminum frame, black nylon pilot bag because that is what you were supposed to do. My very first impression was why so darn heavy? Soon after came the rest: Rain soaked clothes, handles that would not stay down, scraped up and bent aluminum frames, rusted out wheel bearings, J hooks catching everything but what I wanted caught, packed out pockets making it too big to fit the overheads, and stolen items from the open zippered compartments. So I went to work at fixing it.
I went after the handle that would not stay down first. Gone was the velcro strap, I designed a strap with an industrial snap (hmmm wonder how that got onto their later production bags?). Being cheap and easy to build I started selling them to my friend's and other pilots. I then went after the scraped up aluminum frames from curb dragging. I machined up acetal sliders that mounted to the frame and not only stopped the scrapes but made the bag easier to slide over the curb. I even designed a skeletal support system that mounted inside the bag to stop the frame from bending. I made straps to add accessories. But in the end it was just lipstick on a pig and I stopped. I have a collection of bent up, torn up, twisted, hulks of these bags gathering dust.
I decided the only real solution was a clean sheet redesign. I had two desires, a flight case to sit in the flight deck with all my needed items and a roll aboard for everything else. Both bags needed to be something I could be proud of. This started a nearly two year journey of dozens of prototypes, several dozens of wheels, handles, corners, materials, suppliers, CAD/CAM designs, CNC machining, and lots and lots of real world testing. What came out the other end was most similar to aluminum luggage that costs thousands of dollars and are made in Germany. If they look similar it is because we acknowledge the experience and quality. However we took these basic designs and made them better suited to our professional pilot needs. They are both light and strong and a lot of innovation is in there. Take a look and see what we have done. I hope you find the results as revolutionary as we do!