Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Old aircraft never die, they just land on desks

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July 8, 2009

The MotoArt DC-6 cowling airplane desk preserves aviation history in a distinctively moder...

The MotoArt DC-6 cowling airplane desk preserves aviation history in a distinctively modern way

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Using recycled materials is nothing new when it comes to making furniture. But rarely are the results – literally – this polished. Using pieces of vintage aircraft ranging from B-25 bombers to DC-9’s and B-747’s, the Los Angeles-based MotoArt liberates the sleek, metal beauty of planes and re-purposes the pieces as distinctively modern tables, beds, couches, chairs and desks.

The company’s founder, Donavon Fell III, grew up in Southern California under the spell of classic aircraft, even queuing for hours in 1959 to get a first look at a DC-8. But it wasn’t until 1998, when he rescued a pile of B-17 propellers from being melted down for scrap, that he realized what great furnishings the parts of aviation history could become.

Each MotoArt piece is handmade, unique and utterly distinctive. There are desks made from the cowlings of DC-6s and DC-8s. Partitions from the fuselage of 707s and 737s. B-52 Ejection chairs. And a “Mile-High” bed assembled from two DC-9 rear stabilizers and a C-130 inner flap. They’re all beautiful, practical ways of preserving the past.

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