Is there a limit to dreams? I guess not. A world war veteran purchased a world war era transporter and did what some might call absurd but still very much within the confines of practicality. He converted it into an RV.
As a result, the “Fabulous Flamingo” was conceived, a traveling camper that is nothing short of an airplane but roves around like a recreational vehicle.
Aviation enthusiast and Air Force veteran Gino Lucci got his hands on the old Douglas R4D airplane in 2019. Wrecked in a tornado, the plane was no longer flight-worthy. That is precisely why when Lucci got his hands on the machine, it was merely for the price of a used vehicle.
The parts were purchased from the Bontrager’s Surplus in Michigan to convert it from a plane to an RV. Bontrager’s Surplus is an expert in RVs and RV parts. After the purchases were made, a cumbersome year-long journey began at his home in Nashville, Michigan.
Lucci’s RV gives you the essence of the plane as maximum parts were kept intact. He altered the front of the plane into a delivery truck lookalike. The airstairs are the only entry/exit pts of the vehicle. The original coms still work. And he converted the engine hoods into wheel guards (as he explains in the video below).
The airplane, which Lucci named “The Fabulous Flamingo,” spans over 300 square feet and even has a play area for his youngest boy. As Bontrager’s explain it on their Facebook page:
“The seats from the old airplane were used for the driver & front passenger seats in the RV. They added a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom – complete with a stove, sink, fridge, microwave, cabinets, sofa, dinette booth, toilet, and even a tub!”
The epitome of luxury back in the day, California-based Douglas Aircraft Company (now a part of Boeing) built and dispatched the first DC-3 plane—called the Douglas Sleeper Transport—to American Airlines in June 1936. It could house 14 overnight passengers or up to 28 on shorter flights.
Within two years of its launch, the DC 3s and 2s were the household name for air travel and became the first airplanes to profit to the airline without subsidies.
Keeping its durability and strength in view, the Air Force acquired 10,174 DC-3s during the world war procured and produced as C-47 military transport planes—the legendry troops’ carrier that airdropped troops in Normandy. The planes were hassle-free, and their hallmark was easy operation and maintenance and their strength and flexibility. In fact, hundreds of DC-3s are still airborne today.
But without doubt, one is on the roads. The farthest that the Fabulous Flamingo has traveled is from Michigan to Texas and then onto Maine.
He plans to take his family on a cross-country trip into the wilderness of America. “When you get out West, and there is nobody around, it’s just like you’re flying,” Lucci told Insider.