Because of the alloys that make it sturdy and fit for flight, it's also difficult to recycle.
Bio-Luminum, a building material from U.S.-based Coverings ETC, is made from completely recycled aircraft aluminum.
"The energy used in recycling aluminum is 5% of what would be used during the first generation of aluminum production," says Jennifer Ryan, business development director for Coverings ETC.
The best part is that Bio-Luminum is itself recyclable.
"So if you ever desire to change your decor, Bio-Luminum can be removed and used over again," says Ryan. "It is truly a cradle-to-cradle product."
Planeboats, or "flying boats," are rare (the Japanese Imperial Navy developed a fleet during World War II), but a former 1939 Boeing 307 Stratoliner converted into a boat that can reach up to 13 knots occupies a remarkable place in recycled plane lore.
The boat has an unforgettable name -- the Cosmic Muffin -- as well as an equally interesting history.
It belonged to aviation pioneer Howard Hughes in the 1940s. After it was re-christened by pilot Jimmy Buffett, its current owner, Dave Drimmer, purchased it in 1981 to live aboard.
"The original aircraft controls in the cockpit are now used to drive the boat with both the pilot and co-pilot controls," says Drimmer. "This is what makes the planeboat so unique and novel; you sit where Howard Hughes used to fly the plane to drive the boat."
The Cosmic Muffin is open for tours and charters out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Architect David Hertz's design, the Wing House, a Malibu mansion constructed from an entire Boeing 747, manages to be striking and graceful, even without the knowledge that it was built on ecologically sound principles.
Via his website, Hertz compares the process of converting the 747 into a house to the way "the Native American Indians used every part of the buffalo."
The most obviously aerial feature is the curvilinear roof, constructed from the wings of the former plane.
Working with a smaller budget, but no less entrepreneurial, Oregon resident Bruce Campbell's Airplane Home is a structurally untouched Boeing 727-200 that's been gutted on the inside.
Then there is Joe Axline's "Project Freedom," involving two airplanes, an MD-80 and a DC-9-41, that have been converted into a home.