MIAMI— The aviation enthusiast or airline industry lifer looking to bring more flying memorabilia into their lives has never had it so good. The number of companies big and small offering refurbished homeware and souvenir items is larger than it’s ever been — perfect for the #avgeek home or office.
Whether you’re going all out with a sofa made out of an engine cowling, or just a cushion to put on top of your existing couch, you’re covered — by airports, airlines, design houses or small companies, all the way down to individuals selling on eBay or Etsy.
When you’re on the go, why not safely organise your belongings with a designer bag upcycled from an aircraft lifejacket?
If it’s time to kick your feet back, you can do so in your designer-made slippers made of the seat fabric from KLM’s previous business class seats — still in prototype stage now, but firmly in the “too cool not to produce” camp.
While relaxing, pour yourself a beverage from your refurbished airline drinks trolley — they come in Pan Am or Lufthansa editions from Bordbar for around $1,600, which gives you the option of inserts ranging from Nespresso pod holders to LED-lit drinks shelves to iPhone chargers, or if you’re feeling handy you can snag your own “lovingly pre-used” one to customise yourself from eBay for under $400.
Of course, if you happen to be an airline with access to your own fleet of recently decommissioned aircraft, you have even more options. Delta, for example, customised the T-tail of DC-9 ship 9885 into the reception desk at its new LAX premium lounge facility.
“When I designed this piece, I wanted to truly keep the sensation of flight when you first saw it,” said MotoArt Studios’ Dave Hall, who designed the desk. “The vertical and horizontal lines on the DC-9 wing stabilizer make it look as if it’s actually taking off. We couldn’t be happier with the final outcome.”
You don’t have to be an airline to get your hands on a customised piece of furniture, though. MotoArt is perhaps best known for its Jet Beds, made from passenger aircraft engine cowlings, which are so amazingly ridiculous that we kind of want one for our imaginary aviation-themed love nests. Just imagine the “uncontrolled engine failure” jokes.
If you’re more for newly designed retro-inspired products, you could do worse than the baggage-tag style, cushions, tote bags, t-shirts, mobile phone cases, cellphone wallpapers and more produced by Airportag to remind you of the interminable queues in airports like New York JFK, London Heathrow, Frankfurt Rhein-Main, and Paris Charles de Gaulle. (We do note that they don’t have options for the rather more amusingly coded airports — although Sioux City will sell you “Fly SUX” branded t-shirts, mugs and hats.)
None of those take your fancy — or meet your budget? Try Icelandair’s €5 postcard that comes with “a tiny sample of real volcanic ash from Eyjafjalljökull and a great picture of the eruption in 2010”. Perfect for sending to that friend who was stuck on the wrong side of the Atlantic for a week five years ago.