Billionaire Howard Hughes became obsessed with aviation during his illustrious career, setting various speed records and becoming one of the first business executives in the world to own his own corporate jet. Following his death, one of his jets was retired and eventually made its way to a plane graveyard.
In 1969, a creative guy purchased the deteriorating plane for $70 and started on a journey to repurpose the plane into a livable luxury boat.
The plane, a Boeing 307 Stratoliner, was one of only 9 that were ever manufactured, making this transformation all the more impressive.
Howard Hughes called the jet his "flying penthouse," but wait until you see what this refurbisher named his floating experiment after it was repurposed!
The Boeing 307 Stratoliner Was A Sight To Behold During Its Heyday
The Boeing 307 Stratoliner was a beautiful work of craftsmanship and engineering when it debuted in 1935. The plane featured a four-engine design based on the popular B-17 heavy bomber.
The Plane Was Severely Damaged During A Hurricane
A hurricane destroyed the plane's wings in 1964, making it inoperable as a jet. The jet was moved to a plane graveyard where it remained until it was purchased for $61.99 in 1969.
The Fuselage Of The Plane Was Rescued For The New Project
The wings on the plane were useless, so they were cut off before the fuselage was moved to a new location where it could be repurposed.
A Full Bar Was Installed In The Luxury Boat
What luxury boat would be complete without a full-service bar? The new owners installed this amenity to ensure a relaxing experience on open waters.
The Plane's Interior Was Gutted To Make Room For A Lounging Area
A couch was installed, and a few of the plane's original seats were used to create an ambiance that still harkened back to the jet's original purpose.
The Jet's Original Controls Are Still Used
When rethinking how to control the boat, it was decided that the original cockpit controls would remain in place with a few tweaks to ensure the luxury ship could be controlled on water.
Two Powerful Motors Were Installed To Power The Boat
The Vintage News
A jet engine powered boat would likely lead to disaster and wouldn't be approved by any type of governing body. Instead, two V-8 inboard motors were installed to power the repurposed airplane. The boat can travel up to 20 miles per hour with help from its powerful new setup.
There's A Cool Sunroof You Can Experience On Your Own
Boat owner David Drimmer purchased the remanufactured plane as a personal houseboat. While it wasn't a public endeavor, he decided to give free tours to interested parties. Check out the sunroof that was installed above the cockpit!
A Boat With A View
Here's another view of the plane's lounge area. Notice the original plane door towards the back of the boat which allows for quick access to the waterway.
The Boat Is A Bit Dated On The Inside, But It Used To Be In Worse Shape
Before the plane could become seaworthy, Drimmer had to completely overhaul its exterior. It took years of work, but was well worth his effort as you'll see in our final photo of the luxury boat.
The Hull Was Redesigned For Water Worthy Adventures
While much of the plane's hull maintains its original shape, parts were redeveloped to make it a more suitable water dwelling craft. A ladder was even added so passengers could climb to the top of the boat for a relaxing day in the sun.
When Docked In A Marina, The Former Plane Really Stands Out
When docked alongside other boats, the sheer size of the plane boat is revealed. It also becomes more apparent that this is an incredibly unique type of watercraft.
The Boat Was Eventually Retired In Early 2000 And Donated To A Museum
Drimmer lived on the boat until 2000 and then donated it to the Aerospace Discovery exhibit at the Florida Air Museum. Moving the boat from water to land was a huge undertaking.
The Boing 307 Stratoliner Was A Luxurious Private Jet Before Its Transformation
Before the jet was turned into a houseboat, it was a billionaire's paradise with plenty of luxury seating fit for the rich and famous. Unfortunately, deterioration of the plane led to a completely new interior.
Meet The Cosmic Muffin
After the plane was repurposed and then sold, it was renamed "Cosmic Muffin," a name that has remained throughout the years. Boats often have weird names, and Drimmer made sure this work of art was no exception.
Howard Hughes helped transform the aviation industry by combining high-tech infrastructure with a desire to support the best aircraft in the world. It's really amazing to see how his vision could be transformed into something completely different that has lived on for decades.
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