New life for old airliners as funky feature rooms

When commercial airliners finally get too old to fly and go to that giant hangar in the sky, their final resting place is usually a vast aviation graveyard, where they are picked over for parts and gradually stripped. It's an inglorious fate for such majestic machinery.

UK-based plane-spotter David Palmer and his daughter Emily came up with another solution, devising a way to transform unwanted Airbus A320s into funky abodes.

The duo takes a section of the aluminium fuselage complete with windows and original insulation, adds a back wall and double-glazed glass doors, and turns it into what could be described as the ultimate man cave.

The high life

The Palmers formed a company, DappR Aviation, and reckon their pods could be used in a multitude of ways including a home office or gym, pool cabana, or even a home cinema where guests can recline in airline seats while they scoff popcorn.

Another suggestion to harness the authenticity of the surroundings is to create an outdoor kitchen complete with an original airline galley. You could even ask your partner to dress as a flight attendant to bring you dinner on a tray. If you're into that sort of thing.

Priced between £22,000-25,000 ($38,000-$44,000), the standard Aeropod is 2.5 metres deep, although larger sizes can be ordered. The pods come complete with LED lighting and electrical sockets. Plumbing can also be included, as can heated floors.

When it comes to the finish, you can opt to retain the original livery, or have the shell stripped back to the bare aluminium and have it polished to a nice 'Airstream' shine. The interior of the Palmers' 'showroom' Aeropod has been lined with laminate and ash trim and comes with a timber entertaining deck.

Revived flotsam

Furniture designer Emily Palmer has also turned her skill to transforming airline bits and pieces into interesting objet d'art, including desk lamps, clocks, coffee tables, and seating. These can be specified for the Aeropods or purchased for the home. And because everything is built to survive at 30,000 feet and 900km/h, it is more than durable enough for family use.

DappR isn't the first company to upcycle bits of retired aircraft. For example, Turkish company SkyArt turns old service trolleys into strikingly cool drinks cabinets with custom wine or spirits shelves made from aluminium or wood.

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SkyArt can also turn an old wing flap into a handy TV credenza, or an Airbus wing-tip into the base for a glass coffee table. Airbus doors become office desks, while a jet-engine cowling makes an excellent reception counter.

Meanwhile, if you just want to get the airline vibe without taking your feet off the ground, you could always enlist the services of Trolley'd; a local mobile cocktail bar service that uses an upcycled fleet of Ansett Airlines service trolleys to serve customers in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Their company tagline is a winner: "Sh*t's about to get turbulent: Fly Trolley'd."