Steve Jones, a former aircraft technician and currently a stay-at-home-dad, has a pretty neat project underway. Jones is turning a 27-year-old, scrapped 737-500, into a caravan and is sharing his progress in the world of social media.
From short-haul jet to camper trailer
A resident of Lancashire, England, Jones has been sharing his journey on Facebook via his public group “The Boeing 737 Static Caravan Build.” According to AirLive News, the aircraft section was purchased via contacts within the industry.
Although Jones’ desire was to use as much of the aircraft as possible for his static caravan, transportation of the aircraft would be a challenge. In this case, he would have to move it 130 miles from Bruntingthorpe Airfield to Lancashire. In the end, Jones settled for the front section of the 737, from the nose to the section of the fuselage just before the wings. The total length of his ‘static caravan’ is nine meters.
According to posts on Facebook, the process began with finding the aircraft in July 2020-a process that will see the 737-section become a four-berth static caravan. “Most people buy cars or bikes, oh not me!” said Jones on the November 2020 Facebook post.
AirLive News also notes that a specialty company was hired to move the 737 to its new home and involved a wide-load trailer using a crane. The aircraft’s exterior was then pressure washed, followed by some cleaning of the interior.
While the 737 section is the biggest yet, this isn’t Jones’ first attempt at repurposing an old aircraft section. In fact, the first project was transforming a Vickers VC-10 engine into a caravan pod. Installing a glass window at the front of the engine housing, this portable caravan drew a lot of attention.
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The aircraft’s history
According to Airfleets.net, the aircraft began its life as a Boeing 737-500, registered as SE-DNM for SAS Scandinavian Airlines back in 1994. However, data shows that it did not actually fly with SAS but was rather moved over to British Midland Airways and registered in the UK as G-BVKB.
G-BVKB would remain with the airline and its changing brands- going from British Midland Airways to bmi, and then to low-cost subsidiary brand bmibaby.
The 727 down the road
Three hours down the M5 and M6 motorways, just outside Bristol, is another aircraft-repurposing project. There, businessman Johnny Palmer is converting an old Boeing 727 into a work and event space known as PytchAir. In Palmer’s case, the aircraft, minus its wings, will be lifted on to a platform of old shipping containers.
The 727 was due to move from Cotswold Airport this week but ran into issues and is delayed due to the surrounding ground being too soft due to rains, as is explained in the embedded YouTube video above.
What do you think of people repurposing old aircraft into working and living spaces? Is this something you would do if you could? Let us know in the comments!