Last updated: 09:00 AM ET, Thu December 03 2015

A Holiday Shopping List for the Aviation Buff in Your Life

Features & Advice | Paul Thompson | December 03, 2015

A Holiday Shopping List for the Aviation Buff in Your Life

Photos via the respective suppliers

The holidays are approaching with Concorde speed, and everyone wants to find the perfect and unique gift for the special people in their lives. If one of those special people happens to be an aviation buff, here’s a list of gift ideas that will be sure to have them ready for takeoff.

1) You may remember a Discovery Channel series several years ago about a company called MotoArt, who turns old aircraft parts in to furniture. This year, MotoArt is selling limited edition bag tags, made from the fuselage skin of retired aircraft, including the DC-3, B-25 and the 747. The bag tags include the serial or tail number of the aircraft from which the metal was taken. Prices range from $19.99 to $39.95, depending on the rarity of the aircraft.

2) I have to admit, I have wanted a set of airplane propeller cufflinks for quite a while. There are many styles to choose from, and I found some for as little as $10 on Amazon. If a guy in your life finds himself daydreaming during a board meeting, these will help him imagine soaring in the wild blue yonder.

3) Every frequent traveler has been rendered helpless by a dead cell phone battery at one time or another. So everybody needs a portable battery pack like this one from Anker. They can be bought for super-cheap on Amazon and will charge your phone at least twice if you go with one that is 10,000mAh or higher. I have one of these and it has saved my bacon at many a convention and air show as I take photos or tweet from the events all day.

4) If you or your favorite aviation geek enjoys entertaining guests, an aircraft galley cart might make the perfect portable bar for your next indoor or outdoor party. Delta sold a bunch of surplus carts last December, for only $75 each. The only catch is that they will not ship it to you. If you want something a bit more upscale, the Boeing Store sells a very nice galley cart for $1,600.

5) What’s the toughest part of the security line at the airport? Making sure absolutely everything is out of your pockets, and then put where it belongs after you’re scanned! SCOTTeVEST makes jackets and vests starting at $55, in which you can store almost every portable electronic device you’d have with you.

Ranging from eight to thirty pockets, you can stuff your iPad, phone, chargers, headphones and auxiliary battery packs in these jackets, and it doesn’t look or feel bulky. I own one and recently wore it through the TSA checkpoint at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. All I had to do was toss my jacket in the plastic bin to be scanned, and then I was on my way.

6) Perhaps you’re more visually entertained. Well, 08 Left has your needs covered. 08 Left makes a wide variety of wall art, pillows, coasters, and even clothes featuring real-world airport information. I have couple of their prints on the walls of my own home.

7) If your aviation fan is the geekiest of them all, you can buy him or her a genuine swatch of carpet from the airport in Portland, Oregon. This isn’t just any airport carpet — it’s famous for resembling something out of a 1980s Atari game. It’s so ugly it’s cool. Most, if not all of the carpet at PDX has been replaced, but you can buy your very own piece in the form of a doormat, a luggage tag or even drink coasters.

*NOTE* None of the products mentioned here are meant to be advertisements, and we were not asked by any of these companies to talk about their products, nor are we receiving any form of compensation for their mention here.


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