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MotoArt Transforms A 747 Cowling Into A Grand Chandelier

March 20, 2019

MotoArt Loves A Challenge

MotoArt was asked by FedEx to build a chandelier for their new location in Memphis, Tennesee. To match the grandness of the building space and the client, the project called for an equally grand fixture. They chose an inlet cowling from a Pratt & Whitney 747 jet engine nacelle and went to work.  To see more airplane parts lighting by MotoArt, keep reading


Building with Airplane Parts


747 Cowling


Like many of the airplane parts MotoArt uses in its aviation decor and art, the cowling was sourced at the Mojave Air and Space Port (MHV) . It was carefully removed from the 747 and transported to the MotoArt Studios in Torrance, CA.


Creating Beautiful Aviation Furnishings


Keeping the project within the timeline was critical to its success. The team, led by owner Dave Hall, met to discuss the design, milestones and the resources required to pull it off by the deadline. With three weeks to restore the cowling to its original luster, fabricate the lighting components, and transform it into a one of a kind chandelier the customer would love for a lifetime, there were challenges to overcome. MotoArt loves a challenge.


Cutting plane pieces


Cowling Restoration


The team pulled together, often working at the same time on different aspects of the restoration.  The piece was precisely cut to fit the dimensions provided by the client. The outer and inner walls were mended in places, sanded, and painted. Precise cuts were made. The whole fixture was then polished to a high gloss, with mirror-like surfaces.


upcycled airplane parts



restoring airplane



An Aviation Chandelier Is Born

Finding lighting components for a 747 cowling chandelier isn’t something that can be bought on the shelf. Part of the planning involved creating the lighting itself. It was important to gather the dimensions and information about the location where the chandelier would be displayed. They were figured into the design for optimal lighting and without shadows cast by the fixture itself. A lightbox was fabricated using High Density LED strips, perforated aluminum and a white plexiglass lens.


chandelier old airplane



Installing the Plane Decor Project


747 cowling light


upcycled plane parts chandelier


The project was completed within the three week deadline. The chandelier was transported to Memphis, TN for installation by MotoArt. It was cut in half for shipping and reassembled on site. The entire unit had to wrap around a steel I-beam with no room for error. The installation was a success, without an inch to spare. The final finish will feature a Fed Ex logo down the side of the chandelier. Our client was delighted to see the finished product. And we are excited to begin our next product.