Howard Hughes is an American business icon. He was one of the wealthiest self-made businessmen in the world during his peak. He was also just a super interesting and intelligent dude. He formed Hughes Aircraft Company and designed multiple airplanes. Hughes was an aviation innovator whose legacy still has an impact to this day. He used his access to top of the line aviation technology to set multiple air speed records. He was a film maker who had a knack for making some of the more controversial films of the day like Hells Angels (1930) and Scarface (1932). The guy is a business legend and accomplished some pretty spectacular things. He was also one of the first people to have an executive plane, pretty much a flying office. This thing was absolute luxury in the skies. Every modern amenity you could think of at the time was built into the plane, which there were only 9 of in the world. After Howard Hughes death however, the plane was taken to a plane graveyard and was left to rot away with the countless other planes kept there. Until another creative guy got a hold of it in 1969. Wait till you see what the new owner did with this piece of history. This repurposed plane turned into a boat is absolutely crazy!
This is a “Flying Penthouse”, a Boeing 307 Stratoliner that has been modified for private VIP transportation. In fact, this is Howard Hughes personal “Flying Penthouse”.
The cockpits on these planes were state of the art for their time.
In 1964 a hurricane rendered the plane inoperable. It was then moved to a plane graveyard to live out its remaining days amongst the husks and shells of other planes.
In 1969 the plane was bought as scrap for $61.99 by a man named Kenneth W. London, a local realtor and pilot.
Unable to make the plane flyable again, he cut the wings off and transported the fuselage to a local marina.
Kenneth then spent the next four years transforming this giant shell into something amazing.
He turned it into a fully functioning and incredibly unique looking motor yacht!
They decided to name the vessel “The Londonaire”. It officially set sail for the first time in July of 1974.
In 1981 the boat was bought by a man named Dave Drimmer. He renamed the vessel “Cosmic Muffin” after publication of Jimmy Buffett’s novel “Where is Joe Merchant”. The ship was even featured in a Jimmy Buffett Music video.
That is some luxury cruising right there.
The boat had to be extensively rebuilt and remodeled after Dave found out that the original hull was barely holding the boat together.
The original cock pit plane controls are what control the boat.
Two V-8 inboard motors power this incredible piece of restoration through the water.
This thing can hit up to 20 miles an hour in the water!
Dave Drimmer actually bought this boat as a live aboard house boat. I would never leave if I owned this thing.
He does let people come aboard and tour the boat and take pictures for free however.
Dave now has plans for private charters, elementary education, and nonprofit fundraising projects.
This would be a pretty cool sight to see docked up next to the street.
This crazy machine has seen a lot in the time it’s been around.
This is one crazy project. I don’t think I would ever have had a vision of repurposing a plane and turning it into a fully functional water craft. It took over years to accomplish the feat, so it couldn’t have been easy at all. This thing is legendary around the coasts of Florida though, and we can only hope the current owner sticks with his plan of keeping this thing out onto the water.
What are your thoughts?