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Here's where to buy old airplane parts you can repurpose at home

April 12, 2020
4 min read
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At TPG, most of us consider ourselves avgeeks. Some are more versed than others, but we all share a love of travel and an appreciation for the incredible machines that make it possible.

It's an unfortunate aspect of the aviation industry — eventually, planes are phased out or retired, either because of age, to make room for newer aircraft or because of changing airline needs. A few TPGers have had the chance to fly on a few final revenue flights over the years, and it's always a bittersweet experience.

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But what happens to airplane parts once a specific aircraft is retired?

Oftentimes, aircraft are parked in a storage program, where they are kept operational by a process regulated by the FAA, to be sold and flown again by a new operator. However, some aircraft are chosen to be dismantled to be sold for parts.

Related reading: The retired American Airlines 767s are being turned into cargo planes

While it's definitely a little sad when our favorite planes are taken apart, it does present an interesting opportunity for avgeeks: In some cases, you can actually buy the used parts to repurpose them for your home.

Airplanes, but make it furniture

Some of the companies that dismantle aircraft host auctions where the public can buy different parts. Those parts can then help bring the skies to your home.

In fact, TPG HQ in New York City is actually home to two Concorde airplane seats that we purchased from an auction.

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The Points guy Office
This is a photo from our old office (we had a Concorde-themed conference room), but these two chairs made the move with us to our new HQ in late 2019. (Photo by The Points Guy)

One such company is Aircraft End-of-Life Solutions. You may recognize the name as the company that posted that viral video of someone activating the emergency slide in a driveway a few years back.

The company has been around for almost 15 years, but its only recently started auctioning off wheels, lights, landing gears and even coffee makers to anyone looking to bring a piece of their favorite aircraft home with them. You can even sign up for their mailing list to be notified of upcoming auctions.

Ready-to-order options

Of course, not all of us have the time (or talent) to take a scrap part like an engine fan and turn it into a beautiful (and functional) coffee table.

There are plenty of online retailers (including some amazing artists on Etsy and eBay) that sell refurbished aircraft parts as furniture or other home appliances.

Plane Industries, for example, is a British furniture brand that uses retired aircraft parts to create aviation-themed furniture for home or office.

This beautiful coffee table is made using a Boeing 747 (Screenshot taken from the Plane Industries website)
This beautiful coffee table is made using Boeing 747 wheel alloy. (Screenshot taken from the Plane Industries website)

MotoArt is another company that up-cycles recycled airplane parts as furniture.

Bottom line

Airplane parts, even those salvaged from old aircraft, are not cheap. And if you decide to pay for a professionally designed piece made from salvaged aircraft materials, you'll be paying a pretty penny.

Still, for those who are self-professed avgeeks, having a piece of aviation industry history as part of their home might be worth the price. At TPG HQ, we certainly cherish our Concorde office chairs!

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5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.