Hundreds of parts of the world’s largest aircraft, the once-groundbreaking Airbus ‘superjumbo’ the A380, are being sold via an auction in Toulouse, southern France, this week.
There will be 380 lots, with 500 pieces for sale in total, including a business class cabin bar and an emergency cockpit rope, during the auction from October 13, 14, and 15.
The sale is being organised by the auction house Labarbe in Toulouse and will also be available online. Profits will go to the company humanitarian charity the Fondation Airbus and the aeronautical heritage association AIRitage.
Most of the pieces were selected after the dismantling of the former Emirates A380 MSN13 by auction partner and leading end-of-life aircraft management company Tarmac Aerosave.
Join the #A380 auction on Oct. 13th-15th, and get your own piece of this iconic legend ! There is something for everyone, including a unique collection designed in collaboration with amazing artists. — Airbus (@Airbus) September 22, 2022
Don't miss out, register today! https://t.co/EDEH9JGQVI #avgeeks pic.twitter.com/kB6BgMaVCh
From seatbelts to surfboards
The majority of the items come from the aircraft's cabin and include:
- A staircase to the cockpit
- Seats and seatbelts
- An orange suit worn by A380 test pilot Claude Lelaie during the maiden flight
- An emergency hatch
- The emergency rope from the cockpit
- Business class cabin bar
- ‘Do not disturb’ signs
- Drinks trolleys
- A toilet
- Original sketch of the A380 cabin layout
Photo credits: Marc Labarbe Maison de Vente
Next week, you can bid for this bar. Or an engine cowling, fan blade, sets of seats, and even overhead bins. Or hundreds of other items from Airbus A380 MSN 013. See what else is up for auction: https://t.co/zCDMHDJcg4 pic.twitter.com/1sOgy5PsEh— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) October 6, 2022
Some pieces have even had an upgrade, and been painted by local artists on Airbus’ request, adding a creative flourish to what would otherwise be fairly standard pieces of aircraft (such as a metal meal trolley).
Sophie de Lacroix, one of the auction’s organisers, said: “We have chosen to give carte blanche to [the artists] Kellymiti, Méro, Miadana Randriamorasata, Sabha, O’Rabbit, Spot and Xerou, artists with varied profiles, who share certain experiences, themes, and inspirations.
“In particular, Toulouse, travel and freedom, technology, and finally, commitment and human experience. All these elements are perfectly associated with the emblematic A380.”
Some items have even been remade completely, using parts of the original A380 material to create new pieces, such as longboards, skateboards, and surfboards.
On 13, 14 and 15 October, 380 lots from an @Airbus #A380 will be auctioned by Airbus with proceeds going to the Airbus Foundation and the AIRitage association. The auction will be held in Toulouse and online, in cooperation with the auctioneer Marc Labarbe.#A380 #MSN13 pic.twitter.com/YYbwktrarl— Kurt Hofmann (@HofmannAviation) October 3, 2022
A selection of the pieces available can be seen on auction website Interencheres here, along with the precise timing of the auction, numbers to contact for more information, and how to pay should your bid be successful. You can also hit the “sign up for the sale” button on the page to take part.
The auctioneer, himself the son of a pilot, said: “There is very strong interest. There are already more than 200 participants [who have registered interest], including some from England and Australia. There really are A380 fans. The blades and the trolleys are in particular very sought after.”
The double-decker plane was historic in its time, and the world’s largest passenger jet. It was billed as the only competitor to Boeing’s Dreamliner (although that carries fewer passengers). It had its first flight on April 27, 2005 from the Toulouse-Blagnac airport.
The biggest customer was UAE airline Emirates, but Qatar, Qantas, Etihad, British Airways, and Singapore Airlines were also among the airlines to take delivery of the model.
Since entering service, the plane has flown more than 800,000 times and carried more than 300 million passengers.
The final A380 aircraft – Emirates’ 123rd model and the 251st delivered overall – was delivered to the airline in December last year. The plane has now stopped production, but it is expected that the planes will continue to be used until the mid-2030s.