Once again, it’s time to find the perfect gift for your favorite young or old aviation fanatic. Here are my favorite picks for the 2014 holiday season!
Giant Wall Murals
What kid (or grown up AvGeek) wouldn’t want a huge aircraft mural? Wall Sticker Outlet has loads of great ideas to spruce up the bedroom or office. Here are two that caught my eye:
F18 Hornet Launch Minute Mural: Measuring 42 x 96 inches, this giant photo taken on a carrier deck comes with everything you need and install in just a few minutes. Price: $299 USD
Disney Planes Mural: This massive 10.5′ x 6′ mural comes in seven pre-pasted panels. Dip each panel in water and smooth it against the wall (brings back bad memories of wallpapering). Price $129 USD
Noise Canceling Headset
If you’re looking for something really useful for that pilot in your life, a noise canceling headset is a super idea that they’ll appreciate for years. Prolonged exposure to airplane noise in the cockpit contributes to fatigue and even hearing damage. A good headset can reduce these risk and greatly enhance safety.
There are a lot of really good noise canceling (often called noise reduction) headsets. The very best units incorporate “ANR” or Active Noise Reduction. Prices for a good headset run between $300 and $1200 USD.
When buying a headset as a gift, you need to talk to the recipient to find out exactly what they need – don’t buy it as a surprise or you’ll get the wrong one. A student pilot will need a different headset than an agricultural pilot or airline pilot.
What’s on my Christmas list this year? I’m asking Santa for a Telex Airman 850.
Aircraft Instrument Wall Clocks
Wouldn’t an office, hanger, or bedroom wall look fabulous with an artificial horizon clock? Available from the AeroSavvy Store (hosted by CafePress). Purchase of these items help support the AeroSavvy website.
Quadcopter’s are all the rage. Kids from 8 to 88 are flying them. You can spend $50 or $1500 on one. Fortunately, there are some models in the $50 range that fly surprisingly well. The high-end quads have stabilized HD video cameras for shooting your own action movies.
The new Sky Viper X-Quad Stunt Quadcopter by Sky Rocket Toys has been getting favorable online reviews. My 10 year old is dying to get his hands on it (we saw it at Target). With a low $49 price tag, there’s a good chance he’ll get one on Christmas morning. The manufacturer claims it can do flips, rolls and corkscrews. FUN! Maybe I need one, too.
Want to try a helicopter? The Syma S107 R/C Helicopter is an amazing indoor machine that is built like a tank and really easy to fly. We have 3 of these, flown by my 10-year-old, 24-year-old, and myself.
For under $20, you get the helicopter, remote, and USB cable. You can’t beat the price, or the fun.
The Boeing Store has some really cool gifts: Airplane parts!
Wrap your hands around an authentic Boeing 727-200 pilot yoke. It’s the real-deal and it’s mounted on a shiny steel stand. Quantities are limited and it ships the next day for $2500 USD.
The next one’s near and dear to my heart: a Boeing 767-300 window frame! Rescued from a decommissioned 767, the window frame is hand-refurbished and would look beautiful on your wall. I’d use it as a picture frame. Boeing has a limited quantity available for the low, low price of $595 USD. (Also available are window frames from the 747, 727 and DC-9)
Listen To The Action: An aviation band radio
If you know someone who’s into aircraft spotting, learning to fly, or just plain hooked on aviation, they’ll probably enjoy an air-band radio. Amazon has a nice selection of receivers that range in price from about $50 to over $200. Check the online reviews to make sure you’re getting a good one. Here are a couple of radios I found on Amazon that have received good reviews (I haven’t tried either of them. This is not an endorsement).
Should I buy a receiver or transceiver?
A receiver allows you to listen to transmissions made by pilots and air traffic controllers. Receivers are affordable and fun!
A transceiver allows the user to receive and transmit on aviation frequencies. Unless you are a licensed pilot, do not buy a transceiver. Transmitting on air-band frequencies without authorization is illegal.
Want to learn more about aviation communication? Read about Stuff Pilots Say!
I’m always looking for more gift ideas. Have a good one? Let me know in the comments!
Happy Holidays from AeroSavvy!
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