When you purchase a new car the salesman takes great pride, pomp and ceremony in handing you the keys to your new set of wheels. Did you know the same applies when you pick your shiny new Boeing jetliner from the Boeing factory in Seattle?
We’re not sure how long this tradition dates back, but we’ve finally been able to get our hands on one of these coveted Boeing airline delivery keys, and as you can see from the photos below, this is the real deal.
The type model of your Boeing airliner purchase is indicated on a Sterling silver square pendant that measures 22mm X 22mm X 1.5mm thickness, which hangs from the supplied keychain that attaches to the actual key. Funny thing is, the current melt value of the Sterling silver pendant is about $5. A far cry from the $50 – $150 million purchase price of your new set of wings. Perhaps 18K gold would be more suitable. But, it is the thought that counts.
The actual key to the plane appears to be made of nickel and is also struck to a highly buffed proof-like surface. On one side is the word “Boeing” and the other side has the key’s unique Boeing part number, which happens to be 10-60370-1 for the example we were able to attain.
Our secret source tells us that all keys for all Boeing planes have the same part number, but we have not visually verified this as fact. If this tradition dates back decades then there must surely be tens of thousands of these special Boeing jetliner keys in existence. Which makes it quite remarkable that the secret of the Boeing jetliner key isn’t more widely known.
Only one key is presented to the purchaser of each aircraft, and it is presented in it’s own custom black velvet case. Which has a little sticker on the bottom that reads “BOX MADE IN CHINA”. It seems it is not only major components that Boeing seems to be out-sourcing these days. Let’s hope the key and pendant are not made in China.
In all seriousness, the key to the Boeing is a decorative piece only, and is in no way tied to the actual operation of any aircraft. The sixty four thousand dollar question really applies to the big airlines and leasing companies with fleets of hundreds of Boeing jetliners: who’s got all these keys? Are they all sitting in someone’s desk? And why have they been such a secret!
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