The aviation industry has a lot of affiliate opportunities in a variety of niches. Some of the more intriguing areas are in aeronautics, which includes Personal Flight Devices, (better known as Jetpacks), the drone and RC plane and helicopter niche, as well as all the training and equipment pilots need to train, certify and fly.
In 2019, there were 664,565 pilots inclusive of students learning to fly and remote pilots, Those who want to become a pilot will need access to Checkride exam prep, which include study materials on the type of aircraft they’ll be tested on.
Aviation enthusiasts who perhaps don’t have the budget to become a certified pilot often take up the more affordable aviation hobby of either RC flying, build model aircrafts, or enjoy flight simulators, which are also used by student pilots as part of their study.
Some will certify for flying helicopters, others may be interested in becoming a licensed hot air balloon pilot so they can start a business in the tourist industry, perhaps providing a hot air balloon ride to honeymooners.
Regardless of which area of the aviation sector you target, they all have a few things in common. Primarily, every pilot needs training, certification, and avionic supplies, which can include professional headsets, flight apparel, such as non-polarized sunglasses to prevent glare, and the safety kits like fuel testers for pre-flighting an aircraft.
Aviation Website Ideas
- Partner with exam prep services to sell courses and study material
- Focus on pilot equipment by building a store for suitable sunglasses, flight wear, such as pilot flight suits, aviation headsets and the avionic supplies private pilots need such as fuel testing kits and other flight bag essentials.
- Build an aviation hobbyist website covering the different types of diecast scale model aircraft, or the more advanced RC planes and helicopters.
- For those flying RC planes and choppers, that can be narrowed down more to promote action cameras small and lightweight enough to be mounted onto an RC aircraft, or even replacement or more powerful batteries.
- Flight simulators can also be a niche in itself and you can profit from promoting DIY Flight Sim plans and the lumber, foam, and PVC pipe supplies needed to build a flight sim.
12 Aviation Affiliate Programs
- The Pilot Institute
- Rod Machado Aviation Learning Center
- AFE (Airplan Flight Equipment) Online (Europe)
- Rodger Dodger
- Pilots HQ
- Dauntless Aviation
- Drone Pilot Ground School
- Cirrus Aircraft
- Diecast Airplane
1. The Pilot Institute
The Pilot Institute has training courses for drones and private pilot training. They are headquartered in Arizona but as the training is all digital, they’re able to serve an international audience.
The courses available are suited to those who want a private pilot license or a commercial drone license.
To date, The Pilot Institute has trained over 35,000 students in 98 countries, boasting a 99% success rate.
The affiliate program is privately run and pays 20% commission. No details are provided about cookie-tracking.
2. Rod Machado Aviation Learning Center
Rod Machado is a Certified Flight Instructor. The online store has textbooks, audiobooks, ebooks, and complete downloadable training packages for students interested in becoming a pilot.
As private pilots need to continually train with a CFI every two years to be able to fly as a “Pilot-in-Charge”, flight reviews “FR” are something that they need to continually study.
Some of the exam prep courses are suited to rusty pilots too so the affiliate program could be used to target those looking to learn to fly and/or those who have taken an extended break and need to re-train to be able to fly solo.
The Rod Machado affiliate program is managed by Affiliatly and pays a 25% commission. No details are provided about the cookie-tracking.
3. AFE (Airplan Flight Equipment) Online
AFE is located in the UK near to Manchester Airport. They are the longest-run aviation supplier in Europe, supplying flight training products and pilot supplies internationally to…
- Flying schools
- Gliding clubs
- Commercial airline companies
- Airplane maintenance businesses
- And the Armed Forces
In addition to pilot supplies, there’s also a gift section on the store that would be beneficial for friends and family looking to purchase a new flight bag, or stocking fillers, birthday gifts for pilots, etc.
The AFE Online affiliate program is privately managed but there are no details published about what they provide or pay. They describe the affiliate program as a “powerful e-commerce system”, but it sounds like they give you datafeed to promote their products on your own store.
4. Rodger Dodger
The RodgerDodger.net website is an online resource for those who want to build their own flight simulators at home. Some of these projects could be beneficial for pilots in training.
It’s also a project that families can do together, such as a parent/kid DIY project to learn about the science of flying, reading instruments, and build a cockpit complete with triple screen displays to plug in flight simulator software for an immersive flying experience.
The materials used for building DIY flight simulators include PVC pipe, lumber and foam, standard PC components including a keyboard and mouse, and flight components from aviation supply stores.
These types of plans could be popular for tutorial videos showing a flight simulator being built, making adaptations to the plans, and recommending suppliers for materials needed, tools to use, and aviation parts that are being used.
The affiliate program is privately managed and pays a 40% commission on the digital courses.
Word of Caution on premium flight sim software: The main flight sim software used by gaming enthusiasts is Flightgear.org, which is open-source (free). VirtualPilot3D, Flight Simulator Plus, FlightProSim, and ProFlightSimulator are repackaged versions of the OLD freeware sold on affiliate networks. They were on Clickbank but are now moved to Click2sell.eu.
5. Pilots HQ
Pilots HQ started out in 2009 as an eBay store that speciliazed in pilot supplies. Demand in their first year was so fast that by 2010, they moved into their own 6,000 Square Foot warehouse in Michigan where they trade from today, a decade later.
The store has everything a pilot could want and need:
- Aircraft Parts,
- Aviation Books
- Pilot Training Material
- Flight Safety Equipment
- Flight Apparel
The Pilots HQ affiliate program is managed by GoAffPro.com and pays a 3% commission. No details are provided on how long the tracking cookies last.
6. Dauntless Aviation
Dauntless Aviation (dauntless-soft.com) is a software provider selling aviation test prep for the following:
- FAA Written-test prep
- Checkride Oral exam
- EASE theory
- China ATPL
- UK PPL/IMC Theory
- Transport Canada Theory
The company is based in the US and caters to the US, Canadian and European software for pilots and flight training schools.
The affiliate program uses a 1-day tracking cookie, pays a 15% commission on digital sales, and between 5% and 10% on tangible sales.
Fly8Ma is one of the newer online ground training schools for pilots. It was founded in 2017 by CFI Jon Kotwicki off the back of the popular free videos on YouTube.com.
The aim of the Fly8ma online ground training school is to blend new technologies like quizzes throughout the courses to show students where they need to focus on learning more and provide bite-sized tuition videos.
Students can enroll in single courses, or upgrade their subscriptions to get one-on-one online tuition from a CFI.
The courses are geared to all types of aviation enthusiasts including sports pilots, private pilots, instrument rating (IR) training, and commercial pilot test prep.
The affiliate program is privately managed and pays 10% commission for your first 10 referrals who buy a paid subscription, then it increases to 20% commission.
Avi-8 is a watch affiliate program that specializes in designing and manufacturing aviation-themed timepieces. These would make for ideal retirement gifts for military personnel or as retirement gifts for pilots.
Avi-8 is part of Dartmouth Brands, which is the company behind Spinnaker-Watches.com and Ballast1903.com.
Each of their brands have an affiliate program listed on the Shareasale.com network.
The Avi-8.com affiliate program uses a 30-day cookie and pays 4% commission.
Sign up here (store ID: 83693)
Banggood.com is a B2C supplier that sources products from across China, inspects the goods for quality assurance, then use their supply chain to get deliveries to over 100 countries and as fast as possible.
Delivery times vary from 10-days to 40-days and are guaranteed to be delivered within 60-days.
Depending on the savings available, some aviation enthusiasts may be happy with the compromise. In particular, in the RC aviation niches for parts as a number of “specialty” (modern-day marketing lingo for niche stores) are actually dropshipping anyway. You can usually tell a dropshipping store as they have long delivery times and (supposedly) discounted pricing.
As an affiliate of Banggood.com, you can give your customers the option of buying either direct from the manufacturer, or at least from a seller with a lower profit margin. Either way, it’s cheaper parts on the same brands.
The affiliate program pays up to 12% commission, depending on the product category.
10. Drone Pilot Ground School
Flying drones is a pastime for some, for others, it’s a commercial business. Commercial uses for drones can be in the engineering and construction trades or used to provide aerial surveillance of large agricultural land.
Another use for commercial drones that does require a license in the US is aerial footage used for real estate listings. As an example, if you were to be providing video and photography services to a real estate firm, with a Remote Pilot Airman’s Certificate, it would be possible to shoot aerial footage of the property, acres of land, and use that as part of the property listing.
The Drone Pilot Ground School is specifically for drone operators to obtain their Remote Pilot Airman’s Certificate, after which they can start to make money from flying drones commercially.
The affiliate program is managed privately and pays a 20% commission.
11. Cirrus Aircraft
Cirrus Aircraft is the trading name of Cirrus Design Corporation that was founded in 1984 specializing in the design and manufacturing of lightweight aircrafts.
Cirrus is one of the very few aerospace manufacturers to offer a referral program. They are open to partnering with flight instructors, aviation specialists and customers.
The referral program is a partnership and does not provide you with standard affiliate links, mainly because people will not click a link to buy a plane. They’ll express interest, explore their options, speak to a rep, then place an order directly with the company.
As a Cirrus partner, compensation starts at $4,000 per successful referral and higher for aviation specialists such as flight schools recommending a Cirrus Aircraft to pilots.
12. Diecast Airplane
Diecast Airplane is an online store for aviation enthusiasts who prefer to keep their feet on the ground. This is for collectors and with price points for those starting a collection and for serious collectors.
There are a number of diecast aircraft stores worldwide and thousands of enthusiasts who collect them, whether it’s for an entire collection or an exact replica of a special flight – perhaps a sentimental anniversary gift.
All diecast model stores are stockists only and there are only a few top-tier brands collectors are interested in. Those are mainly:
- Gemini Jets
- Phoenix Models
- Inflight 200
- JC Wings
And a few others but the above are the main brands you’d want to be promoting on a diecast plane niche store. The only difference between stockists is the price point and customer care.
It’s worth pointing out that the DiecastAirplane.com store is a US-based 3rd generation family-run business with strong historical connections to the aviation industry dating back to WW1. In addition to diecast aircrafts, the family also runs the Pilotwear.com gift store for pilots.
When you’re looking at suppliers for what’s essentially commodities, it’s these small details to look at that make the business stand out.