An English design company is turning retired Boeing 747 planes into things like cocktail tables, clocks, and wall art — take a look at Aerotiques

Courtesy of Aerotiques

  • Aerotiques is an English design company that turns retired Boeing 747 planes into household items.

  • The company has a team of four that creates collectibles like clocks, a cocktail bar, and bag tags.

  • Aerotiques’ cofounder Darren Lewington says he loves “hearing people’s stories about their time on the jumbo.”

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the retirement of many beloved commercial aircraft, like the Airbus A380, the Boeing 747, and the Boeing 777.

Final Airbus A380 to Emirates

The final Airbus A380 bound for Emirates.Airbus-Lutz Borck

Even more iconic planes are disappearing from the skies earlier than planned as the coronavirus continues to wreak airline havoc

The Boeing 747, in particular, is an iconic jet that revolutionized air travel by making long-haul flying affordable for the first time.

KLM Boeing 747.

KLM Boeing 747.Angel Di Bilio via Getty Images

Boeing will stop making the 747 after more than 51 years of passenger flight. Here’s the history of how the iconic plane changed the world.

Airlines could cut fares by packing over 300 passengers in the double-decker plane, which had the lowest seat-mile cost in the industry at the time. The world’s first Queen of the Skies flew in 1970 with Pan Am.

First Pan Am 747 in London after its maiden flight.

First Pan Am 747 in London after its maiden flight.–AFP via Getty Images

Source: Insider

However, the pandemic has forced carriers to send the jumbo to the junkyard. Among them: British Airways…

British Airways Boeing 747.

British Airways Boeing 747.Jed Leicester/Shutterstock

The iconic Boeing 747 is disappearing from the British Airways fleet after 49 storied years as the pandemic thrashes the airline industry

… Qantas…

Qantas 747.

Qantas 747.REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

Qantas just retired the iconic Boeing 747 with a commemorative last flight flown by the airline’s first female captain who drew a kangaroo in the sky

… and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Virgin Atlantic Airways 747.

Virgin Atlantic Airways 747.Virgin Atlantic Airways

Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic will cut thousands of jobs, retire its most iconic planes, and close one of its biggest bases as it fights to survive the pandemic

Nevertheless, several companies have found unique ways to keep the plane’s legacy alive.

Delta Flight Museum 747.

Delta Flight Museum 747.Delta Air Lines

Check out these 6 retired Boeing 747 jumbo jets that have been converted into flightless tourist attractions and entertainment venues

In February, Cotswold Airport in England opened its “party plane,” which is a converted British Airways 747 that costs £1,000 ($1310) per hour to rent.

Boeing 747

Boeing 747 “party plane.”Cotswold Airport

The flightless Queen of the Skies has been renovated into an event space, complete with a dance floor, DJ, galley bar, and strobe lights.

Boeing 747

Boeing 747 “party plane.”Cotswold Airport

Several other organizations have also repurposed the mammoth jet, like Dive Bahrain’s sunken 747 for diving tourism…

Boeing 747 sunken off the coast of Bahrain.

Boeing 747 sunken off the coast of Bahrain.Dive Bahrain

Countries around the world have sunk aircraft like the Boeing 747 to boost diving tourism — here are 6 intentionally submerged planes

… and Sweden’s Jumbo Stay hotel that features rooms in the engines and wheelhouse.

Jumbo Stay 747 cockpit room.

Jumbo Stay 747 cockpit room.Edwin Remsberg / VWPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

This Jumbo Jet Was Transformed Into A Beautiful Hotel — And You Can Even Sleep In The Cockpit

While many entities are keeping the planes intact, one company has gone in a different direction.

Aerotiques sculpture in front of a British Airways 747.

Aerotiques sculpture in front of a British Airways 747.Courtesy of Aerotiques

Source: Aerotiques

English design company Aerotiques buys old 747 aircraft sections from British Airways and Virgin Atlantic and turns the metal into collectibles like clocks, tables, and cufflinks.

Aerotiques 747 window panels.

Aerotiques 747 window panels.Courtesy of Aerotiques

Source: Aerotiques

According to cofounder Darren Lewington, the business was started with the propeller from a Beechcraft plane.

Cirrus SR20 propellers (not from the Beechcraft).

Cirrus SR20 propellers (not from the Beechcraft).Courtesy of Aerotiques

Source: Aerotiques

“I was eyeing the old propeller for a while thinking I could polish it up and hang it in the office, but a few months later the spinner was gone,” he explained. “Turns out, one of our maintenance workers, who is also named Darren, had done what I wanted to do for years.”

Aerotiques inventory.

Aerotiques inventory.Courtesy of Aerotiques

Source: Aerotiques

The propeller was the first piece of a now successful small business that ships unique 747 memorabilia to all corners of the globe.


Courtesy of Aerotiques

Source: Aerotiques

The company has a team of four that design and hand-build each piece, Lewington told Insider. The process includes sawing the needed parts, which typically come from the aft fuselage or first class sections, and sculpting them into what the customer wants.

Aerotiques designers.

Aerotiques designers.Courtesy of Aerotiques

Source: Aerotiques

“We sometimes get specific requests,” he explained. “Once, we had a client who asked for the window from row 64K from a 747 they flew to New York.”

Stripping a British Airways 747.

Stripping a British Airways 747.Courtesy of Aerotiques

Source: Aerotiques

The clocks are one of the most popular products made by Aerotiques, which can be mounted on walls…

Aerotiques clocks.

Courtesy of Aerotiques

Source: Aerotiques

… or stood upright.

Aerotiques clock.

Courtesy of Aerotiques

Source: Aerotiques

However, the company creates dozens of other aircraft memorabilia from the 747 and different airplane types, like wine bottle holders…

Wine rack made out of a Piper rudder.

Wine rack made out of a Piper rudder.Courtesy of Aerotiques

Source: Aerotiques

…coffee tables…


Table from a 747.Courtesy of Aerotiques

Source: Aerotiques

…cocktail tables…


Table from a 747.Courtesy of Aerotiques

… window panels…


Window panels from 747s.Courtesy of Aerotiques

Source: Aerotiques

… and a specially made conference table made from a Boeing Stearman plane.

Aerotiques Boeing Stearman table.

Aerotiques Boeing Stearman table.Courtesy of Aerotiques

Source: Aerotiques

Nothing goes to waste, he said, so small pieces are turned into things like bag tags…


Bag tags from 747s.Courtesy of Aerotiques



Cufflinks from 747.Courtesy of Aerotiques



Bracelet from 747.Courtesy of Aerotiques

…and keychains.


Keychain from 747.Courtesy of Aerotiques

Lewington told Insider that he is most proud of the work his company does to create items that tell a story.


Aerotiques shop in England.Courtesy of Aerotiques

“It’s been fascinating hearing people’s stories about their time on the jumbo,” he said. “There have been people who’ve been on the holiday of a lifetime, lots of honeymoon trips, last flights, and first flights.”


Stripping a Virgin Atlantic 747.Courtesy of Aerotiques

For example, a couple who met on a specific British Airways 747 flight now lives in Malta with their children and Lewington’s company created a piece from the exact 747 for their home’s study.


Aerotiques clock (not the couple’s clock).Courtesy of Aerotiques

Since the pandemic, Lewington said the company’s turnover has quadrupled, with customers coming from word-of-mouth.


Stripping a Boeing 747.Courtesy of Aerotiques

“I thought when the pandemic hit that we would have a tough time,” he told Insider. “However, we found that people who had disposable income because they weren’t going out to eat or going on holiday would instead used the money to buy a little piece of history.”


Courtesy of Aerotiques

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