If there was ever a name to inspire controversy, awe and envy, it’s Howard Hughes. He was a brilliant businessman, filmmaker, investor and inventor, but above all, he was an aviator. During the 1930s and late ‘40s, Hughes set precedents and broke records. Size, speed, round-the-world flights – there was no challenge too great for this giant of a man.
Despite battling chronic pain and O.C.D., Hughes built an aviation monopoly, buying and expanding airlines. He dated many famous women, including legendary actress Ava Gardner and Katharine Hepburn. In 1976, Hughes died of kidney failure while a passenger on a flight. It was only fitting that the man who loved aviation more than anything would meet his end while high among the clouds.
However, after his death, many of Hughes’s planes were abandoned and left to rust. One of these was a Boeing 307 Stratoliner, which Hughes had used for personal, V.I.P. transportation.
Just imagine, Hughes at the helm with glittering, Hollywood guests in the back!
It was an incredible plane, but after being damaged by a hurricane, it was deemed inoperable and moved to a plane graveyard.
Three years later, the plane was purchased for $61.99 by a man named Kenneth W. London. He and his wife cleaned it up, and renamed it “The Londonaire.” It couldn’t fly, but …
It made an incredible motor yacht! All in all, the project took four years. The couple enjoyed their unique ride throughout the 1970s, but eventually sold it in 1981 to a man named Dave Drimmer.
In an ode to Jimmy Buffet, Drimmer renamed the plane the “Cosmic Muffin.” But that’s not all he changed …
Drimmer remodeled the plane to be a fully-functioning boat! That’s right folks, Howard Hughes’s old plane now calls the sea its home.
The old cockpit was remodeled to be the bridge of the boat.
And the interior was completely revamped. However, some original details remain, like the tiny passenger windows.
Although there are modern conveniences, such as air conditioning and a microwave, the décor harkens back to Hughes’s own time.
It’s certainly different than other boats on the open water, but it hold its own with a top speed of 20 mph.
Drimmer lives on the boat full time, and it’s no wonder – we would totally do the same! It’s an irreplaceable piece of history, remodeled for a new life, but still echoing the memory of the great Howard Hughes.