Benchmade’s latest Black Class folding knife is called the 737 Aileron. The blademaker designed in collaboration with former C.I.A. Officer and weapons expert Steve Tarani. They made it specifically for commercial and military pilots.
If you think the design is a tad bit unusual, we can’t blame you. That’s because Benchmade created it at the behest of the Air Line Pilots Association. They wanted a durable, reliable tool that would fit the needs of commercial and military pilots. So we won’t be surprised if you find its ruggedness, plus that strange swathe of pockmarks on the upper blade, a bit obnoxious.
But all of that makes sense when you consider those pockmarks are actually there because Tarani intended for a two-handed operation. In deployment, the user needs to grip the handle with their dominant hand, and the textured blade with their free hand. Like snapping the knife open in a defensive state. That’s an unusual method of opening a knife, to be sure. However, the look and feel will satisfy those already familiar with modern tactical knives.
The handle is made from G-10 scales over stainless steel liners, with scallops, grooves, and chamfering all around. While the recent SOCP Folder hinted at Benchmade finally moving on from the Axis Lock, the mechanism stages a comeback on the 737 Aileron. You can get it now for $235. Alternatively, you can get the 737SBK. This version boasts a drop-point design topped off with a sleek black finish and serrated edge (Tarani’s responsible for this one as well). Expect to shell out a bit more for this variant, though: it costs $250.Benchmade 737 Aileron Knife