Is it a plane? Is it a boat? No! It’s a plane boat!
This strange but really cool looking boat was actually made out of the fuselage of an old plane, a great piece of aerospace engineering history. The plane that borrowed its body for this unique vessel is The Boeing 307 Stratoliner. A groundbreaking aircraft based on the iconic B-17 bomber. Only 10 of these planes were made in the late 1930’s. The 307 was the first commercial aircraft that featured a pressurized cabin. This allowed it to fly higher and avoid weather and turbulence.
At the time the United States entered World War II in December 1941, flying across oceans was a rare luxury. The war required government and military officials to do so and most four-engined long-range commercial aircraft, including Pan American Airways’ 14 flying boats and TWA’s five Boeing 307s, were pressed into service. Additional fuel tanks were added to give them the extra range required; once converted they were designated C-75 for military use. Before World War II ended their production, ten commercial 307s had been built.
TWA flew domestic routes between New York and Los Angeles for 18 months until the Army purchased their Stratoliners for wartime use as long-range, transatlantic transports for various VIPs or critical cargo. TWA converted their 307s to military service in January 1942, and its Intercontinental Division (ICD) then operated these C-75s under contract to the Army’s Air Transport Command (ATC) until July 1944. These were the only U. S. built commercial aircraft able to cross the Atlantic with a payload until the arrival of the Douglas C-54 Skymaster in November 1942.
Back in 1938, Pressurized cabin was considered a luxury. This caught the attention of wealthy eccentric and aviation pioneer Howard Hughes, who turned his 307 into a flying penthouse and literally named it, the “Flying Penthouse.”
Later, the plane changed its owner, and after it was damaged by a hurricane in 1964, the 307 was grounded and no longer flyable.
Ken London, a private pilot, bought the plane on an auction for just $62. He took the airliner to Ft Lauderdale, where he decided to convert it into a boat.
After removing the wings, Ken turned the airplane into a motor yacht. His work was completed in 1974.
He named it the “Cosmic Muffin.” It was restored with the original VIP-lounge interior.
The restoration was so thorough that even the flight controls were modified to operate the boat.
The present owner of “Cosmic Muffin” is Dave Drimmer. He exhibits the boat free to the public and sells T-shirts to support his endeavor.
Source: aviationhumor, boldride, amusingplanet