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

Apr 12, 2020

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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.

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!

Featured image by The Points Guy 

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