Man Converts World War II Navy Plane into Class A Motorhome
Gino Lucci purchased a 1943-era plane in 2019 and spent a year converting it into a legal RV.
Gino Lucci, a Michigan-based Air Force veteran converted a 1943-era plane into a Class A motorhome – this according to an article from Business Insider. Lucci purchased the used plane, a 1943 Douglas DC-3 Transport aircraft, in 2019 for the cost of a ‘used car.’
The plane was ideal for conversion because of its size. It’s small enough to fit on the roads as a vehicle, according to Lucci. The plane also had suffered damage from a tornado so it was irreparable for flying.
Lucci and his family spent about a year converting the plane into an RV. They renovated it in their backyard in Michigan.
Despite its unique shape and appearance, Lucci was able to register his RV as a Class A motorhome. This means he’s legally allowed to drive it in all 50 states.
Inside the vehicle, Lucci installed parts from a variety of old airplanes – such as light switches, an intercom system, and a decorative, nonfunctional copilot’s yoke, or steering wheel.
Lucci also revamped the area that was once the plane’s cockpit and is now the vehicle’s dashboard. Many of the original features of the airplane still work, like the pilot’s intercom system. In order for the RV to function, Lucci had to source some parts from an old vehicle. He said that his airplane-salvaging company, Round Engine Aero, had an out-of-service delivery truck, so he used its engine and frame for the RV.
Lucci also revamped the flooring using materials from an aviation warehouse. He installed bathroom and kitchen faucets from other planes, for an “aviation-themed” feel.
Other elements of Lucci’s RV are common, but they have an aviation twist. Lucci kept the plane’s airstairs – a nod to the stairs that passengers and crew members use to enter and exit some planes – and transformed what was once a crew area into a plane-themed bedroom space for Lucci’s youngest son.
Lucci also extended the galley, or the kitchen area, of the plane and added a microwave, cooktop, oven, and fridge. The family named the RV “The Fabulous Flamingo” and filled it with aircraft and flamingo details.
Lucci told Insider that his plane-shaped Class A motorhome is a conversation starter. Children are often amazed at the giant airplane barreling down the road, and veterans are eager to share their memories about flying DC-3s and other military planes, Lucci said.
“I don’t want to get too prideful, but the thing I love most about it is how happy people get when they see it,” he said.Lucci’s other favorite part of his one-of-a-kind RV is driving down an empty road in the plane-car-hybrid.
“When you get out West and there is nobody around, it’s just like you’re flying,” Lucci said.