A DC-9 wing makes a beautiful desk, and a C-119 landing gear door is surprisingly striking as a coffee table. In 2002, former co-workers Donovan Fell III and Dave Hall made a business out of transforming retired airplane parts into functional art. MotoArt LLC in Torrance, California, is now flying high with $2 million in annual sales and an impressive clientele that includes celebrities and big-name corporations such as Microsoft, Red Bull and even Boeing. Their success largely dates back to 2004, when the business took off with its own reality show.
Pitching the Discovery Channel seemed like a long shot, but the idea for a show about Fell and Hall at work sold immediately, and Wing Nuts was born. The show went into syndication and now airs worldwide, inspiring orders from Kuwait to the North Pole. "It was like a huge, multimillion-dollar commercial for our company," says Hall, 40. "Now we have fans all over the world who follow our work."