Case Studies

Posted on December 29, 2013

Flight Series Tiles

Garth Britzman, Matan Gill, Sam Lindstrom are quite busy these days.  Launching not one but two companies – Epoch Nebraska and Flight Series Tiles.  The former is focused on helping companies leverage sustainability with go-to-market strategies.  The latter is their own effort to practice what they profess.  Flight Series Tiles recovers aircraft-grade aluminum from aircraft graveyards in Arizona and fabricates exceptional wall covering.  Read on to learn more…

Flight Series Tiles

The Big Plate: What’s on your plate?

Flight Series Tiles: We are currently finalizing the design of our packaging, improving our web presence, and baking Christmas cookies. We’ve had a lot of interest in the tiles, so things are moving quickly. In addition to Flight Series Tiles, the three of us recently started a sustainability consultancy, Epoch. We created Epoch to help businesses and organizations leverage the opportunities that sustainability brings to the changing marketplace. Check it out at www.epochnebraska.com

TBP: Give us a brief overview of how flight series tiles are fabricated

Flight Series Tiles Process

FST: The process is relatively straightforward. We salvage metals from aircraft graveyards in Tucson,  Arizona, the metals are then melted in a facility nearby and poured into forms to solidify. The ingots are then shipped to Omaha where we cut and shape them into our various tile sizes.   The tiles are then shipped to their final destination.

TBP: What is the inspiration to source material from retired aircraft?

FST: Encouraging sustainable lifestyles and designing products to reinforce positive behavior change are our utmost priorities. We love finding new uses for old materials, so repurposing the unused aircraft was a natural fit for us. The airplane graveyards in Arizona are massive sources of unused material waste, and we saw these aircraft as an opportunity to give life to a material that, to most, has already served its purpose.

We think the idea of decorating your house with an old bomber or fighter jet is pretty cool. We simply wanted to make that happen.  It’s beautiful, it’s sustainable, and it’s a conversation starter.

Flight Series Tiles

TBP: Would you say there is more art or science that goes into turning fighter jets into high-end decorative tiles?

FST: Mostly luck. It’s by accident that the tiles turned out the way they are. The holes and imperfections weren’t intended when we first dreamed of the tiles, but we feel that it adds a unique aesthetic. The science was trying to get the same results over and over.

There’s an obvious artistic element to the tiles, but the scientific aspect isn’t quite as pronounced.

It’s the sleek look, and history behind the recycled aircraft that garners the most attention.

TBP: Are there any plans to offer other products?

FST: Absolutely.  Reclaimed aircraft metal can be used in a variety of ways ,and we’re always playing around with new ideas. We are focusing our efforts on the tiles for the time being, but don’t be shocked to see new products as we move forward.

Flight Series Tiles

TBP: Are there other companies that inspire you with regard to this project?

FST: Inspired Composites of Lincoln has been an inspiration for us. They have been successful using recycled glass to create custom countertops, and their passion for providing recycled products to consumers is inspiration for us to do the same. Their creativity and persistence in pushing the limits of conventional building products has been an influence to say the least. We hope to develop eco friendly products that don’t compromise quality and durability, just as they do.

TBP: Startup advice you have received; that you can share.

FST: Don’t undervalue yourself because of age or inexperience. Industry knowledge is important, but if you know and believe in your product, there shouldn’t be any compromises.