Along with the telephone and the automobile, airplanes are undoubtedly one of humankind's'most significant inventions. And in an era of low-cost airlines, we can see more of the world than previous generations could ever have dreamed of.
However, while the aeronautical ingenuity of these transportation behemoths is certainly a cause for celebration, some people have taken it upon themselves to purchase old aeroplanes and transform them into actual living spaces.
From homes and hotels to cool restaurants and hangout spots, these awe-inspiring aeroplane conversions are the stuff of dreams. Read on below as we list 30 of the best.
1. Plane House, Miziara, Lebanon
Starting things off on this crazy list is a Lebanese couple who took their love of aviation and put it to more domestic use by converting this enormous plane into their dream home in their hometown of Miziara.
While the couple has since relocated to Australia, the Airbus A380 home has 41 portholes on both sides, allowing for a breathtaking view of the mountainous climate. In a land as fabled as the Middle East, this customized piece of automotive ingenuity is certainly a showstopper that holds its own in one of the most wondrous areas of the world.
2. Bruce Campbell's Awesome Home
If you're going to convert an airplane into a house, it helps if you're an engineer like Bruce Campbell. Bruce could never stand old jets not being reused so did something about it and resorted a Boeing 727. He then moved into it when he finished renovating it.
Bruce parted with 100k for the worn-out jet in 1999 and invested a further 120k on renovations which include a series of cool lights and switches. There's also a working toilet, shower, washer, and dryer. Believe it or not, he is currently saving up for another plane. Some people really do have too much time and money on their hands!
3. Howard Hughes's Cosmic Muffin
This sounds totally silly but the “Cosmic Muffin" is far from a novelty act- it's the real deal. The intriguing backstory is equally as compelling. Once owned by visionary automotive genius Howard Hughes the Boeing B – 307 was his pride and joy until it was deemed unsafe to fly in 1969.
But Fort Lauderdale dealer Kenneth W. London gave it a new lease of life and transformed it into an incredible houseboat. Jimmy Buffet even gave the boat a nod when he mentioned it in his song”Desdemona’s Building a Rocket Ship.”
4. Jumbo Hostel
Located in the Swedish capital Stockholm, Hotel Arlanda promises its customers a “Jumbo Stay.” A former Boeing 747, 33 rooms with sufficient legroom are available, each looking just as cozy as the next room.
Better still, Jumbo Stay is conveniently located just 100 feet from Stockholm-Arlanda airport. Not a bad layover if you ever find yourself in Stockholm.
5. A Big Mac Of A Different Kind
Have you ever ate McDonald's on a G4? Well, if you've ever eaten at the restaurant in Taupo, New Zealand, then you can say you have. Well, kind of. While it isn't a g4, it is a cool, renovated DC 3 plane where staff give out wings to first-time diners.
The amazing structure was intially part of the Aero Plane Car Company until McDonald’s purchased the property, despite only being able to serve 20 customers a time.
This cool beast was featured at Knowledgefest in Dallas, Texas. A wonderful concoction of transportation exclusivity, this private jet turned private limo was adorned with the apt name, “Limo-Jet.”
Road legal, the Limo-Jet can sit up to 50 people and has a whole host of colorful lights and gadgets, with a monstrous V-8 engine assuring you a swift ride.
7. Paintball Field, England
It makes sense to have an abandoned they're usually as a prop for a paintball field as it adds authenticity to the battlefield. This amazing paintball site in Bedlam, Yorkshire, England certainly uses its rugged environment for good use.
Paintballing may sound silly to some, but it's great fun, especially if the site has a real, frickin' plane!
8. DC-6 Diner, England
Travel to the modest city of Coventry, England, and you will find a renovated 1950s Douglas DC now serving as a restaurant. Since opening its doors, the unique eatery has proved a hit with locals. Located at Aviation Museum on the grounds of Coventry Airbase, visitors are allowed to visit the cockpit and are encouraged to use the passenger call button.
If that doesn't sound like a great day out with the family, I don't know what does!
9. Burning Man Festival Plane
One of the wackiest festivals in the world is an annual bohemian behemoth of all things unusual and free-spirited, two words which would no doubt be apt adjectives when describing this unusual aeroplane conversion.
When the great fire is lit, you can take in the sight by watching the spectacle in the comfort of the 747 jumbo jet which also serves as a nightclub and art exhibition. However, most festival-goers simply drink themselves into a febrile state of frenzy amidst the cool artwork and LEDs as the 100,000-pound aircraft gets pulled by an aircraft tug car. Pretty crazy, right?
10. Chang Chui Plane Night Market, Thailand
The Thai capital of Bangkok is one of the most vibrant, rip-roaring cities you'll ever set foot in, so it's not that surprising that their famous night markets include the awesome plane.
The neon pink, restored Airbus is found in the refreshing of the market and comes equipped with a massive slide. As well as an array of amenities inside, a host of live music performance take place outside.
11. El Avion Bar
Another cool plane conversion in Costa Rica is located at the National Park. Housing a restored 1954 Fairchild C–123, the former cargo plane now forms part of the El Avion Bar where you have a cool cocktail and imagine a life as a jet-setting pilot.
The Fairchild C-123 also has an intriguing political backstory. It was this plane that infamously crashed in the 1980s. This would be known as the Iran–Contra affair during the presidency of Ronald Reagan.
12. Spirit of Lemons
This airplane-turned car is owned by a Washington DC police officer who took a 1956 Cessna airplane and joined it with a Toyota van. A motorhead in more ways than one, this automotive amalgamation was intended for the famous 24 hours of LeMans race.
Instead, owner Jeff Bloch made a series of further modifications so it would be road legal. In total, Bloch invested $8,000 in the renovation, short change compared to some of the other renovations on our list.
13. Automotive Beauty
So far we've had restaurants, markets, nightclubs, and boats. so it seems only right we turn it up a notch and bring you this bad boy from Scotland. The mastermind of a young, Scottish makeup artist, Amber Scott must have thought the sky was the limit when she converted an Air Atlantique G-Conv plane to an incredible beauty salon.
The plane was given to her by her parents who- as you do- had it in their driveway in Carluke, Lanarkshire. They had intended to restore it as a bed and breakfast but 10 years later, and with no idea how to make this happen, decided to give up their dream and let Amber's become a reality instead!
Some of the spookiest films contain scenes with abandoned aircraft, so it seemed only logical to play on this fear factor and use a former plane with a gruesome mannequin as an advert for a local haunted house in the ironically named town of Happy, Delaware.
Now serving as a head-turning terror filled with zombies and other gory props, this haunted plane is certainly a fine example of innovative advertising.
15. An Airplane... Caravan?!
Imagine driving down a nice scenic road only to come across a car wielding a private plane? You'd be pretty intrigued, right? Well, this unusual sight is the Aero Camper. Owned by aviation enthusiast Phil Collins, Collins spent four years developing it. The structure is comprised of a 1964 Piper Comanche which he purchased for less than $500. He then added a few extras before putting the thing in motion by adding the wheels and axle.
Best of all? The Aero Camper stores an outdoor grill under its nose. Oh, and did we mention the six-wheeled Citroen CX that Phil is also lucky enough to own? Now, this is a man you defintley wouldn't mind having a beer with.
16. Airplane Furniture
Unsure of what to do with heaps of spare airplane parts? Well, you could always do what this lady did and turn them into furniture. From couches and desks to partitions and beds, this creative way of dealing with heaps of metal is pretty clever.
And whether you're after the ultimate bachelor pad, a cool and stylish office space or simply want an excuse to show off your love for all-things planes, doing stuff like this isn't as hard as you think, just pop down to your local metal scrapyard and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the things you find.
17. Airplane Guesthouse
Retired engineer and aerodynamics enthusiast Toshikazu Tsuki took his love for the sky to a whole new level by building an entire house comprised of used airplane parts. The parts come from different planes, ranging from 707, 727, 737 and 747 Boeing crafts.
With commercial jets and military delicious all part of the furniture, Tsuki's interior includes couches spawned from aeroplane seats and glass tables built from old turbine covers.
18. The Cookie Time Cafe
We included the McDonald's aircraft restaurant in New Zealand, and now we're going to introduce you to The Cookie Time Cafe DC-3. The most prominent cookie manufacturers in the country, they also have a unique and awe-inspiring restaurant. This aircraft turned café was previously of the Royal Air Force until it popped its clogs at 4,000 miles.
For those ever in the Mangaweka area of New Zealand, this place is certainly worth a visit, as much for the aircraft as the scrumptious cookies themselves!
19. The Boeing Reef
Did you know that over 12,000 aircraft are retired each year? And that 2,000 to 3,000 planes are abandoned? That's a whole lotta' discussed aircraft, which is what makes the use of this underwater Boeing 737 so great.
Perched at the bottom of the ocean, this former mass means of transportation now serves as an artificial reef. It was even recognized by the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia, with more than 100 different species of sea life calling it home.
20. McDonald's, Budapest, Hungary
McDonald’s clearly have a thing for restored aeroplanes in obscure countries. This restoration in Budapest, Hungary provides a cool party room for birthdays and other seminal events and is a regular hangout spot for mothers and their children.
It's certainly a good concept and many other restaurants should perhaps follow suit considering the number of aircraft that are left to rot every year. These are great feats of engineering so whether you like mass corporations or not, you've certainly got to give credit to McDonald's in that sense. And who wouldn't want a Big Mac in a cockpit?!
21. A Boeing Bed
If you're someone always in the air, you might find comfort in this Boeing 747 bed. The brainchild of Motoart, this stainless steel bed is uber cool with the black leather headboard offering a sleek contrast to the shiny see-through glass.
It's also equipped with LED lights where you can change the brightness, tempo and color at the touch of a button.
22. Plane Motel
This plane motel certainly isn't plain. Restored from a 1950s Bristol fighter into an amazing hotel, you can stay in this cool place if you're willing to spend a couple of hundred dollars per night.
If you're willing to push the boat out, you can pay a little extra and sleep in the glamorous cockpit!
23. Aerolinie Play Park
Most playgrounds have a few swings, a rusty roundabout and a slide splattered with bird poo- and they're normally the good ones. And besides, kids are easily pleased. But if they ever stepped foot in this German museum featuring a ton of aircraft and automobiles, they'd probably think they entered Playground Heaven.
This repurposed aircraft has an excellent slide for starters and looks like some intergalactic spaceship.
24. Abandoned Planes Make Amazing Movie Sets
Movie sets often have old Airbus planes, disused jets and abandoned military transport planes. They're great for the types of scenes and high-octane movies many of us love. From Con- Air to Snakes on a Plane, planes are usually a set designer's dream.
They are also relatively cheap in comparison to hiring a real, modern-day aircraft.
25. Delta Airlines Museum
Okay, so a gift shop for the Delta Airlines Museum may not sound as riveting and compelling as the other great conversion on our list, but it's still a pretty unique way to celebrate your company's aviation history. Intended as a Lockheed L-1011-1 test plane, it never made one commercial flight and was instead moved in three parts to the MGM Disney park in Orlando, Florida when Delta was the official airline for Disney.
It has since been used for a meeting area for flight crew and as a corporate conference room before being renovated as a gift shop for their museum. Not a bad history for a plane that's never left Earth.
26. Airplane Restaurant, Colorado Springs
The Airplane Restaurant has garnered somewhat of a cult legacy among the people of Colorado Springs. A fun experience with premier food, you can opt to eat inside or dine outside in one of the many compartments attached to the aircraft called “The Terminal."
Customers can also roam through the rest of the interior which includes an awesome cockpit that you can lounge in with a few cocktails. The food itself is your typical American cuisine, from zingy burgers to juicy steaks and wholesome pasta dishes.
We've covered pretty much every plane conversion imaginable, but we thought we'd go away from the serious stuff for a moment and take a look at the sleek interior architecture spawned from certain parts of planes just like this amazing clock stand.
If you're a vegan startup in Brooklyn, something like this would no doubt be essential office interior.
28. Douglas-DC 3 Bus
Aeroplanes are awesome, but this Douglas-DC 3 Bus is utterly insane. We can just imagine seeing this wacky vehicle parked outside some sought of Garth Brooks tribute concert.
Not that we have anything against Gath Brooks...
29. Lounge Craft- JFK Airport
While this cool lounge is no longer in use, it was pretty cool while it lasted. It was used as a popup event at JFK International airport and was designed by Air Hollywood who gave customers tequila from the Rolling Stones.
For the cynics, they will probably already know that it was designed to promote the band's touring plane. Still, you can't deny that it's pretty cool.
30. Boeing 727 Treehouse, Costa Rica
Mind-blowing in its ambition, this awesome design was created when the owners of hotel Costa Verde purchased the rusting Boeing from a San Jose airport for a whopping $2m. Costing a further $28,000,00 to renovate and transport, a night's stay in this treehouse will set you back over $700 in peak season.
Though pricey, it's not hard to see why people would part with this kind of cash when the aeroplane/treehouse boasts a Jacuzzi in the cockpit.