Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Aerial Recycling

An airliner in the backyard makes sense (almost)

So, someone gives me a Falcon 10. Would I fly it? That would be supercool! It's a speedy little bugger, cruising at well over 500 mph, and I could make it to my daughter's in about 40 minutes, but…and this is a big but…you have to feed it. And house it. And maintain it. So no, flying wouldn't be part of the equation. But, I'd like to have one anyway.

A Falcon 10 would just barely fit in my backyard, and would make a nifty little office. As I had that thought, I almost immediately visualized the front half of a Boeing 727 stretching across the back of my lot between the pool and the citrus trees. Yeah, Marlene would absolutely love that—not! But what a great little office! Or club house!

Oh, wait! The 727 could extend off the back of the garage and we could use it as a guest house. After all, it has self-contained toilets and running water (first class, remember?). I'm positive the neighbors wouldn't notice a humungous crane lifting it over the garage to sit it in the backyard. I wonder what the local zoning ordinances say about truncated airliners as workshops/offices/guest houses/storage units? Gheez! Maybe I'm onto something here!

The more I think about this, the more I like the idea, and that is NOT a good thing, because the concept almost makes sense (in a quirky sort of way), and I could almost (but, fortunately, not quite) afford it. I'm willing to bet that once they've been stripped of all their goodies, airliner fuselages sell for scrap value.

Moving it would be expensive, but you'd then have a spacious, fairly lightweight vessel that could be used for almost anything. One of my favorite recycle-an-airplane fantasies would involve dropping it over a motor-home chassis. You'd have to shop around to find just the right-width fuselage, but I can picture pulling into the RV camping area at Oshkosh driving the first 30 feet of a Gulfstream I fuselage. Or maybe a 580 Convair. So cool!

Or, make it your weekend cabin up in the hills. Mount it on a hull, and build a boat right out of Jimmy Buffet's imagination (the Cosmic Muffin). Oh, man! I'm really loving this! Just think of all the funky uses you can come up with.

As with all things that cross my mind, it took about 30 seconds of Googling to find that others have been there before me. Okay, so I'm not original, but I'm tickled to see that others have carried the concept to fruition. Google "airplane homes" then Google "airplane boat." There's even a 727-200 on eBay.

See? Told you it was a good idea.

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