Airbus is giving aviation enthusiasts the chance to furnish their homes with striking furniture items recycled – or ‘upcycled’ – from end-of-life aircraft parts.
The ‘A Piece in the Sky’ initiative was showcased at Airbus’ Innovation Days, held at the Leadership University Centre in Toulouse last month, attended by Business Traveller.
Airbus employees Anaïs Mazaleyrat and Jérémy Brousseau thought up the innovative idea at an Internal Training program at Airbus’ Leadership University in Toulouse in 2017. It was then picked up by Airbus BizLab, the company’s global network to support start-ups in 2018.
There’s currently a small pre-order collection available online, with delivery scheduled for January 2020 – though regular readers will know that deliveries are frequently delayed from aircraft manufacturers.
There is also a collection featuring products with limited supply. Brousseau revealed to Business Traveller: “we plan to manufacture 2,000 products this year, and then 4,000 the following year if it goes well”. The initiative sees designers from all backgrounds, not just from aviation, with 10-12 designers to be selected for the new season.
Within the collection, customers can purchase items such as a side table crafted from an A320 cabin window frame – see above (€830). This can come with a choice of four different leg styles.
There is also a smart mirror (pictured below), made from an A320 cabin window frame (€1,950). This is also a connected device which will inform you of the weather forecast and outside temperature, though this is unlikely to be -50 degrees centigrade, as in its earlier life.
Those looking for the more exclusive pieces can choose instead to browse the limited collection, though the opportunity to slouch in the nose of an A350 has disappeared, as the Cloud chair conceived by Christelle Doutey has already sold for €7000 (pictured below).
Other limited-edition pieces include the mechanical-looking Spine X chair (pictured below), crafted from rare Elm wood and an aluminium wing rib from the Airbus Flight Test Centre. Conceived by Fabien Puginier and Faustine Milard, the set of 5 chairs, each with a slightly different form, costs €1500.
Set to be delivered this month, the Moon Crater (pictured below) is another eye-catching design by Bertrand Marc.
The dinner table has been constructed from an A380 jet engine used by the Airbus Flight Test centre, and combined with titanium, pale wood and glass.
The initiative also feeds into Airbus’ commitment to sustainability, with an emphasis on reusing materials before recycling them. Airlines have also got on board with the notion of upcycling, with Delta donating old returned uniforms to charitable organisations, and transforming them into backpacks, travel kits and passport covers.
Airbus BizLab was launched in 2015 to support start-ups and entrepreneurs, and has worked with over 1,000 start-ups and accelerated close to 100 internal/external projects since its creation, raising a combined €19.5 million. Airbus Bizlab is also present in Bangalore, Hamburg and Madrid.