A retired aircraft, similar to those that have been used on Air Chathams' Whanganui-Auckland route, could have a new lease on life as a food truck, Airbnb or tiny home.

Air Chathams listed a 1953 Convair 340/580 aircraft with a reserve price of $20,000 on Trade Me and it sold for $25,000 on Thursday.

The main body of the aircraft, or fuselage, is 24m long and the owner was willing to negotiate with the buyer about whether to leave controls and the pilots' seats in the cockpit. It would likely have its wings cut off so it could be transported from where it has been stored at Auckland Airport.

Selling agent Rudi Gabor said he was satisfied the aircraft had sold. The true value of the purchase would be determined by how much the buyer was willing to reinvest in upgrading the aircraft, he said.


"Someone's going to need to put in a lot of money to renovate it."

The aircraft was retired last year after a history of service in Norway and Canada before coming to New Zealand in 1997.

Air Chathams general manager Duane Emeny said the plane was ideal for smaller services such as Air Chathams because it could take freight and passengers.

He described the Convair model as the "muscle car" of the skies and would liken it to a Mustang Shelby GT.

Emeny said the aircraft would have gone to the wreckers if it had not been sold.