Flight machines are designed specifically for high volume operations like large institutions and casinos. They differ from other types both in the throughput they can handle and the way they are loaded: rather than using racks, soiled items are placed directly onto pegs built into a conveyor that moves continuously through the machine. As a general rule, flight machines become an option when an operation uses china or other permanent ware for at least 500 meals in a meal period, especially at peak times (such as a catering event).
Flight machine construction is modular and units are sized and optimized for a given operation. There are three key choices to keep in mind:
The length of the load-in side of the conveyor. In especially high volume operations, length can facilitate loading by more than one person.
The length of the offload side. A longer exit track can improve drying time, especially if you use a lot of plastic trays and similar items which air-dry more slowly. If a lot of plasticware is used, another option is a blower-dryer on the exit. The trade off is that these increase the first cost and operating costs of the machine, so if you mostly use china, a dryer may not be worth the expense.
The number and size of the tanks in the pre-wash, wash and rinse stages of the machine. These are sized by the amount of soil you expect on dishware. In general, a pre-wash stage will tend to save money over time by reducing the amount of detergent needed in the wash stage. Also, depending on the speed at which the machine will operate, the length of the final rinse section will vary.