Turning retired aircraft into keyrings has become a massive craze in recent years. Now, Aviationtag is turning one of Airbus’ Super Guppy aircraft into little tags to attach to your keys. Based on the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, the aircraft was the predecessor to its unique Beluga family.
Around 94% of a retired aircraft can be recycled. This could mean taking pieces of the cockpit out to be used as spares in another aircraft. However, it could also extend to re-using the metal skin from an aircraft’s fuselage. Earlier this week, we even saw UAE artists upcycling unwanted aircraft pieces destined for landfill.
Own a part of the first Super Guppy
We’ve reported on several of Aviationtag’s previous endeavors. The Cologne-based company creates keyring-sized keepsakes from the ex-fuselage pieces of retired aircraft. Now and again, they manage to secure portions of particularly interesting or historic aircraft. They’ve previously sold parts of the first Airbus A380s to be retired, in addition to an American Airlines MD-80. The company has even partnered with Lufthansa several times.
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However, Aviationtag’s latest creation has to be its most unique to date. The company is taking parts of the fuselage of F-BTGV, the first Super Guppy to be made. According to Planelogger.com, the aircraft took its first flight on August 24th, 1970.
While flying for airbus, the aircraft carried parts of Concorde and Airbus aircraft to Toulouse for final assembly. Just five Super Guppys were made, and there was a joke that “every Airbus aircraft was born on a Boeing“, given the aircraft was modeled on the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. Eventually, this led to Airbus creating a larger jet-powered successor called the Beluga.
F-BTGV last flew on July 1st, 1996. From 2006 until 2020, the aircraft had a home at the Bruntingthorpe museum. However, when the museum closed its doors in March 2020, it was left with nowhere to go, much like a Lufthansa Boeing 707 at Hamburg Airport.
Keeping history going
While in an ideal world, such a historic aircraft would find a new home, this sadly wasn’t the case. The aircraft has already mainly been scrapped, with large parts now missing. Aviationtag has secured portions of the skin in silver, blue, orange, and red. They will cut and punch the fuselage before laser engraving the design on the tags. By creating the tags, the parts will live on as a piece of aviation history in the hands of those interested, as opposed to becoming just a piece of scrap metal.
The company is not expecting to complete the tags’ production until April 2021, and as such, it doesn’t know exactly how many pieces it will have in each color. However, given the popularity of the aircraft, they are now available for preorder. Aviation enthusiasts and others won’t know what color they will get until they open the packet in April. The tags are being presold here.
What do you make of the Super Guppy’s final role? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!