Aviation fans are eyeing a special auction this week in which parts of an A380 — the world’s largest passenger plane — are going under the hammer.
The double-decker design of Airbus’s gigantic aircraft means it can carry as many as 850 passengers, though most airlines configure it with a mixture of seat types that reduces the count to around half of that.
The A380 took its first commercial flight in 2007, with Airbus selling 254 of the planes to 15 airlines around the world. Two years ago, the aviation giant said it would stop making the aircraft due to dwindling orders as carriers moved toward smaller planes for long-haul flights, and last year it delivered the final one to Dubai-based Emirates.
The auction takes place online and in person in Toulouse, France, across three days from October 13, and offers parts from an A380 that was dismantled in 2021 after 13 years in service. Enthusiasts keen on owning a bit of aviation history can bid on all kinds of stuff, some of which may require a small extension to your home to accommodate. We’ve picked out some of the more interesting lots and shared them below. Enjoy!
1. Overhead bin — estimated price 1,200-2,000 euros (about $1,670-$1,950)
Ever fancied your own overhead bin? Here’s a unique chance to get your hands on one of the actual bins that traveled the world inside an Airbus 380 aircraft.
2. Double trolley unit — est. price 400-600 euros ($390-$585)
That’s right, this is indeed an actual A380 cart used by flight attendants to ensure that countless travelers never went hungry during a long flight. May smell of chicken or beef.
3. Cockpit steps — est. price 2,000-3,000 euros ($1,950-2,920)
Anyone who’s traveled at the front of an A380 will have had a clear view of the entrance to the raised cockpit and the small set of steps that lead up to it. And that’s precisely what this lot is!
4. Toilet seat and bowl — est. price 150-300 euros ($145-$290)
Not surprisingly, this item isn’t expected to fetch much at the auction. The toilet bowl is, after all, possibly the least glamorous part of any passenger plane (though arguably one of the most important).
5. Side panel of fuselage — est. price 400-800 euros ($390-$780)
Fancy a bit of an A380 fuselage and a couple of its windows? Then this, from the interior of the aircraft, fits the bill.
6. Curtain with hanging rail — est. price 100-150 euros ($97-$146)
Here’s an item that you could conceivably incorporate into your own home — if pleated gray-beige designs are your thing, that is. The curtain was used to separate economy-class passengers from those in business, or, to put it another way, to stop any riff-raff from coach passing through.
7. Cabin door — est. price 3,000-5,000 euros ($2,920-$4,870)
Cabin door, anyone? Propped up in the corner of your living room, it could be a conversation starter at parties, though the auction site points out something important that means you may want to glue it to the wall. “Be careful,” it says, “the piece weighs several hundred kilograms.”
8. Row of four coach seats — est. price 1,000-2,000 euros ($975-$1,950)
If A380 economy seating has a special place in your heart, then expect to pay at least 1,000 euros for a set that you can then own and sit in (or lie across) any time you like.
9. Emergency ax — est. price 500-800 euros ($487-$780)
No, it’s not for flight attendants to brandish at unruly passengers. It’s actually for things like breaking down toilet doors in case of suspicious smoke or a fire, or anything else that needs taking apart in an emergency.
10. Cockpit escape rope and cover — est. price 200-400 euros ($195-$390)
This rope allows pilots to escape from the cockpit through the sliding side windows in the event of an extreme situation. And it’s quite an evacuation procedure, too, as the pilot has to climb out head first and then, holding the rope tightly, rotate their body 180 degrees so that they’re then feet down for the descent. If you buy it, don’t try this at home.
11. Water tank — est. price 100-200 euros ($97-$194)
Look, we don’t know why on earth you’d want an A380 water tank, but you might.
12. Bar from business class – est. price 20,000-30,000 euros ($19,480-$29,220)
Surely the fastest bar in the world, as well as the highest, the A380 drinking den “embodies the comfort of air transport in the early 21st century,” according to the auction site. If you’ve been meaning to knock together a home bar but just haven’t had time, then you have it all right here.
Proceeds from the auction will go to charitable initiatives around the world facilitated by the Airbus Foundation, and also to the AIRitage organization, which preserves aerospace heritage.