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This Is Where Airplanes Go When They're Retired (No, Not Florida)

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Photo: Getty Images.
Game Of Thrones said it best: All men must die. Apparently, so must all planes. But what actually happens to an airplane once it's deemed too old to fly? Per this story in the Huffington Post, once a plane ages out of circulation, it is retired to be disassembled. Once it's been stripped, the plane's disparate parts are recycled and reused. So if you want to be technical about it, you might say that all planes must die and go toward building another plane.

About 95% of newer planes can be recycled. Most parts are sold to plane manufacturers, just to become part of another plane. Other parts, though, receive more glamorous treatment: Air Salvage International, a disassembly specialist, has sold plane parts to be used in films such as World War Z and Star Wars. (Would that we could all retire to the set of Star Wars.) One lucky aircraft even starred in a fashion advert with a ballerina.

Perhaps the best (and most interesting) option for a retired plane part is for personal home use. If you're a big fan of aeronautics, you can purchase a seat from a retired plane for about $185. Hey, it's certainly an original way to tie a room together.

CEO and founder of ASI Mark Gregory wants this company to serve as a hub for planes. He told The Huffington Post, "We’d like to look after them from cradle to grave." He also notes, rather plaintively, that when planes arrive for disassembly, they're usually still safe for travel.

"They’re fully airworthy when they arrive and sometimes look like they’re about to go on another trip with a load of holiday-makers on board," he says. "It can be quite sad."

Oh, cheer up, chap! It's just the circle of life — I mean, flight.
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