Are you a pilot or do you have a pilot in your life? If so, then you’ve probably given some thought to the best gifts for pilots, whether it’s a small token or a major purchase for a special event. You, or your pilot friends, may already have a lot of flight gear but perhaps there are some gaps in the collection.
A great pilot gift needn’t break the bank. From flight simulator games to luxury watches, from aircraft instrument coasters to furniture made from repurposed airplane parts, there are pilot gifts for every budget. So let’s take a quick look at some of the fantastic gift options available for the aviator in your life.
Flight Simulator Games
Whether you have aspirations of becoming a pilot or you just enjoy the challenge of flying a virtual aircraft, flight simulator games can be an enjoyable way to spend your spare time.
The flight sims of today feature realistic graphics and advanced controls that allow you to feel as though you are really in the cockpit or on the flight deck. In addition, many flight simulator games include a variety of aircraft to choose from, as well as detailed scenery that can make the experience even more immersive.
Whether you are looking for a casual game to play on your mobile device or a more complex simulator for your PC that compliments flight training, there is sure to be a flight simulator game that suits your needs. Cast off the cares of the day, strap in, and become a fighter pilot for an hour.
Alternatively, if home flight sims are not the ideal gift then how a flight simulator experience? Imagine the full immersion of a flight deck simulation. Many pilots would relish the realism, and such an experience can the inspiration for more flight training.
Luxury Pilot Watches
A luxury watch is a work of art. It is the product of skilled craftsmanship, precision engineering, and painstaking attention to detail. Luxury watches are designed to last a lifetime, and they often appreciate in value over time.
For many people, a luxury watch is more than just a timepiece; it is a symbol of success and achievement. A luxury watch is an investment that can be passed down from generation to generation. When you buy a luxury watch, you are not just buying a piece of jewelry; you are investing in a legacy.
For the pilot who has everything, a luxury pilot watch is a perfect gift. These watches are designed to meet the unique demands of aviation, with features like chronographs, tachymeters, and altimeters.
They also come in a variety of styles, from sleek and modern to classic and elegant. They are often based on classic airplanes, taking inspiration from their designs. No matter what their taste, a pilot will appreciate the precision and functionality of a luxury pilot watch.
Many people are familiar with the teardrop-shaped sunglasses with polarized lenses worn by pilots. These glasses are designed to provide maximum eye coverage and protection from bright sunlight that can adversely affect vision in the cockpit.
Pilot sunglasses first became popular in the early 20th century, when aviators began to wear them to protect their eyes from the glare of the sun. Today, pilot sunglasses are worn by everyone from celebrities to ordinary people, and they are available in a wide variety of styles and colors.
Whether you’re looking for a classic pair of aviator sunglasses or something more unique, you’re sure to find a pair of pilot sunglasses that suits one of your aviation lovers.
Customized Linen With Airplane Designs
Airplane designs on customized linen can range from the classic Wright brothers’ Wright Flyer to the more modern Boeing 747. The primary colors of red, white, and blue are usually used for these designs with the addition of yellow and green as accent colors.
The designs may also include other elements such as clouds, sunbursts, or even patriotic symbols like the stars and stripes. No matter what design is chosen, it is sure to add a touch of style to any room. Customized linen with airplane designs is the perfect way to show off one’s love of aviation.
There’s something about aviation-themed kitchenware that just screams Clear Prop! Perhaps it’s the design or the vintage feel of some of the pieces. Whatever the reason, these items are often bought by many pilots for the aviation lover in their life.
From tea kettles and toasters to canisters and cookie jars, there are plenty of options to choose from. And for those who want to go all out, there are even entire sets available. Your pilot will love a personalized coffee mug or water bottle. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift for a pilot or aviation enthusiast, or you just want to spruce up your kitchen, aviation-themed kitchenware is a great option.
Airplane Instrument Coasters
While we’re in the kitchen, one of the less expensive among the best gifts for pilots is a set of airplane instrument coasters. These sets include four coasters, each made to look like a different airplane instrument. For example, an artificial horizon, an airspeed indicator, an altimeter, and a direction indicator. They also come in sets of six.
They are large enough to hold a standard drink and have a cork backing to protect furniture. The set makes a great conversation starter and is a fun way to show off a love of flying. Any pilot would be thrilled to receive this gift. They are particularly popular among student pilots who want a place to put that celebratory drink after their first solo (after they’ve opened the beer bottle with an airplane bottle opener of course).
Aviation Art & Home Decor
Aviation art is a unique and stylish way to decorate your home. Whether you’re a pilot or simply enjoy aviation, aviation art is a great way to demonstrate your interest. Aviation art comes in a variety of styles, from traditional paintings to modern sculptures. You can find aviation art to suit any taste, and it’s a great conversation starter for guests.
Black and white photography that captures aircraft and aviators is a popular choice. How about a photo of your favorite pilot’s face on the wall as an inspiration to fly better and more often?
Not only will aviation art add personality to your home, but it can also be a great investment. As the popularity of aviation art grows, so does its value. If you’re looking for a stylish and unique way to decorate your home, consider aviation art.
Airplane Parts Furniture
Just because someone is a pilot doesn’t mean they want their home to look like an airport hangar, but if you know a pilot who loves everything about flying, then you might want to consider getting them some furniture created using old airplane parts.
Examples include desks and tables made from aircraft wing sections. These unique pieces of furniture are handmade from real aircraft parts. Some companies make airplane engine coffee tables. These tables are made from decommissioned aircraft engine parts and make a great conversation piece for any home.
Jewelry For Men & Women
Jewelry is another ideal gift for pilots. There exist pieces of jewelry with an aviation theme for both men and women; earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. And for the men; cufflinks, tie-pins, badges, and rings too.
Pilot Bags & Flight Luggage
Anyone who has ever flown knows that there are a few essential items that every pilot needs and one of those is a flight bag.
Flight bags are ubiquitous in aviation. They are used by everyone from student pilots to seasoned veterans and contain all the items needed for flight planning. A flight bag need to be large enough to hold all of the necessary pilot gear, but not so large that they take up valuable space in the cockpit.
Professional pilots and air travelers may also need a small piece of luggage suitable for storing in the aircraft cabin of an airliner or luggage compartment of a light aircraft.
Fortunately, many companies make pilot bags and flight luggage. Some of the features to look for include plenty of compartments and pockets for organization, reinforced construction for durability, and comfortable straps for easy carrying. Whether you are shopping for a new pilot or looking for a gift for a seasoned pro, a good bag is always a welcome addition to any flight kit.
When it comes to finding the perfect gift for a pilot, one option is to give them apparel with aviation themes. This could be anything from a T-shirt with an airplane design to a bomber jacket with their favorite airline’s logo. Not only would a jacket like this be a practical gift that they can use while flying, but it will also serve as a reminder of their passion for aviation.
T-shirts with aviation quotes and slogans are very popular. Pilots buy them for leisure wear or as an extra layer in flight. And let’s face it, some may wear them to advertise the fact that they are pilots.
Propeller Decor for Home or Office
If you know a pilot who loves to decorate their home with aviation-themed items, then you may be wondering what kind of gifts to get them. One option is to look for propeller decor. Propellers make great wall hangings and can also be used to accessorize other aviation-themed items such as lamps, clocks, and picture frames.
Best of all, propeller decor can be relatively inexpensive and can be found at most aviation gift shops. The more expensive examples of this type will be the original wooden propellers that once belonged to specific aircraft types. So if you’re looking for a unique gift for a pilot in your life, consider propeller decor. You’re sure to find something that they’ll love.
A Bookshelf of Aviation Fiction
Whether it’s seasoned professionals or a beginner just starting at aviation school, aviation fiction can take a person to new heights of imagination. For those who love flying, there is nothing quite like getting lost in a good aviation book. From stories of heroic pilots overcoming adversity to accounts of daring feats of navigation, aviation fiction offers something for everyone.
And with so many great titles to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect one for the pilot in your life. So next time you’re looking for a special gift, be sure to consider giving the gift of aviation fiction. It’s sure to take their love of flying to new heights.
Pilot Keychain Tags
As any aviator knows, flying is a passion. Whether they’re up in the air or on the ground, pilots are always thinking about their next flight. That’s why pilot-themed gifts are always appreciated by those who love to fly. And one of the best gifts for pilots that won’t empty your bank account are pilot keychain tags.
These tags feature iconic images of airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft, making them a unique and stylish way to show off one’s love of flying. A popular choice is the ‘remove before flight‘ keychain tag.
They also come in a range of colors, so they can be matched to any pilot’s uniform or flight bag. Whether you’re looking for a gift for a private pilot or a commercial airline captain, pilot keychain tags make a great choice
Desktop Airplane Models
A desktop airplane model is a perfect way to show your appreciation for their passion and work. Airplane models come in many different styles, sizes, and designs. Some of these diecast airplane models become collectors’ items. They are made to a high specification and will last many years.
You can find an airplane model that matches the make and model of the pilot’s aircraft, or you can choose a historic design that captures the spirit of flight. No matter what style you choose, a desktop airplane model is sure to be a cherished gift.
Plastic Airplane Model Kits
Plastic airplane model kits make great gifts for pilots of all ages. Whether they’re experienced aviators or just getting started, these kits offer a challenging and rewarding way to spend some free time. And what pilot wouldn’t love to receive a beautiful model of their favorite airplane?
There are many different types of plastic airplane model kits available on the market. If you’re of a certain age you may feel a sense of nostalgia when you see Airfix or Revell kits. An entire generation of small boys built small planes during those long hours before we all became distracted by tech gadgets and TV.
For those who prefer a more challenging build, there are plenty of kits available that are sufficiently intricate and detailed. A 1/72 scale model of a B-17 Flying Fortress may be the ideal pilot gift for someone you know.
Books About Aviation History
For the pilot who loves aviation history, a book is another wonderful gift. Given that aviation history now stretches back well over 100 years there are plenty of choices when it comes to books on the subject, from early pioneers like the Wright brothers and Amelia Earhart to modern-day aviators, from the First and Second World War, the Cold War, and the Jet Age.
A book about aviation history is a great way to learn about the fascinating people and events that have shaped the world of flight. It’s also a great way to get inspired to pursue your own dreams of piloting an airplane. Whether your pilot friend is interested in learning about the early days of aviation or wants to read about modern aviation milestones, a book about aviation history is sure to please.
If you’re looking for gift ideas for the aviator in your life then, an aviation headset is a great option. There are many different types of headsets available and unless you’re an aviator yourself you might be bewildered by the options. Find one that fits your budget and check with other aviators for their advice. I’ve put together a post that covers them in more detail.
Portable Power Bank
Whether you’re on a long flight across the country or just out for the day for that $100 hamburger, you need to be prepared for anything. That’s why a portable charger is a great gift for any pilot.
With a power bank, you can charge your electronic devices, such as your phone or tablet, while you’re in the air. No more worrying about running out of battery power in the middle of a flight! A power bank is also small and lightweight, making it easy to take with you wherever you go. A backup battery in the flight bag is another cool gift that most pilots would be glad to unwrap.
So, which of these pilot gifts will it be? The airplane bottle opener or one of the tech gadgets? A custom portrait or photo of your aviator’s favorite pilot or one of the many aviation headsets? There are some great gift ideas out there and the list gets longer every year. Let me know what you chose, and if you have a gift ideas of your own, post a comment below.