Recycling aircraft parts isn’t a new concept in the aviation industry and, for many years, refurbishing parts to fit on other aircraft or repurposing them to produce different products, such as circuit boards, has been the industry standard.
In fact, according to AFRA (Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association), it is estimated that around 80% to 85% of aircraft parts are recycled when an aircraft reaches retirement. However, new and alternative ideas for reusing aircraft parts are becoming more commonplace.
Every day, hundreds of aircraft parts are ordered and sent to be fitted on aircraft. So, what happens when these parts aren’t good enough for reusing or become obsolete? Airbus and Lufthansa are among some of the companies breathing new life into used aircraft parts by creating furniture and homeware collections.
The project called A Piece of Sky, which was supported by Airbus and its Airbus BizLab initiative, was the first to start transforming the manufacturer’s parts into furniture. These include armchairs, coffee tables and lamps created from things such as cabin windows and test flight storage data modules. Of course, fasteners are also used.
In October 2020, Lufthansa launched its Upcycling Collection 2.0 – a range of homeware products made from retired aircraft parts. The collection features furniture and accessories built with parts from a decommissioned A320.
The upcycling ideas do not stop at homeware or furniture. Whether you’re a committed aviation enthusiast or simply fancy something a little bit different, then how about using surplus engine parts and accessories to add an effective and interesting festive flourish to your Christmas tree?
From washers, fasteners and rivets to hinges, grommets and seals, parts can be repurposed quickly and easily by simply adding some ribbon or coloured string.