1950s Strike Aircraft Cockpit Converted into an Airbnb

By Doug Williams
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Credit: Airbnb
Credit: Airbnb
 
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It is said that home is where the heart is, but that the right hotel, motel or bed and breakfast can make guests feel like they are right at home, and that that is the secret to being a hit with visitors from far and wide.

 

Give them a wonderful room in a great, unique design and folks will line up to book it no matter the season.

If that truly is the secret to a popular rental spot, Dan Hurring, of Somerset in the U.K., has landed on just the right mix of beautiful location and unique quarters, as he turned what was once a nuclear strike aircraft into a cozy room for two at a campsite, and it has certainly become one of England’s most requested listings on Airbnb.

 
Credit: Airbnb
Credit: Airbnb

Hurring found the front end of a nuclear strike plane at a scrapyard in Bristol just two years ago. A light bulb went on in his head, and soon he had the remains of the plane moved to the campsite at Frome, in Somerset. A

fter painting, redecorating and outfitting it according to specs for an Airbnb suite, he listed it with the rental agency as the Sky Cabin, and soon folks were flocking to it, perhaps because it is such an unusual place to spend a night or two.

The double bed is tucked within the cockpit. Lying there late at night, guests can open the window and gaze up at the stars above them.

Credit: Airbnb
Credit: Airbnb

There is a small table and chairs outside, where guests sit, have a glass of wine in the evening, and watch the day come to a close. “It’s perfectly positioned for watching the sunset,” Hurring recently told us. And, of course, because the plane (um, room,) is in a campground, it is quiet, with little more noise than that of the birds chirping at sunrise.

The holiday rental now has a double bed in the cockpit, with guests able to ‘gaze up at the night sky’ through the cockpit window.
The holiday rental now has a double bed in the cockpit, with guests able to ‘gaze up at the night sky’ through the cockpit window.

The suite has been a hit with newlyweds, Hurring said. “It’s perfect for a romantic getaway,” he noted. The campsite hosts plenty of weddings and receptions at this time of year, and the bride and groom often choose the Space Cabin as the place to spend their first night together as husband and wife. The incredibly close quarters may have something to do with that decision.

Throughout most of the 1950s, the Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other aircraft in the world. In 1957, a Canberra established a world altitude record of 70,310 feet (21,430 m).
Throughout most of the 1950s, the Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other aircraft in the world. In 1957, a Canberra established a world altitude record of 70,310 feet (21,430 m).

It is not unreasonably expensive, in spite of its uniqueness. Rates begin at just 105 pounds per night, but of course that varies, depending on the time of year, demand, and other factors.

Credit: Airbnb
Credit: Airbnb

The plane, an English Electric Canberra, was first used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1951. Hurring doesn’t know precisely how his wound up at the scrap yard, but he is very glad it did; it has proved wildly popular with travellers just looking for a different kind of place to rent. And different indeed it is.

Not everyone is sold on the converted plane at first glance, Hurring acknowledged. “Some people are unsure about staying in it,” at first glance, he said. “But once they do, they love it.”

The Royal Air Force is legendary because of the skill and valour with which its pilots conquered enemies like Germany during the Battle of Britain, in the Second World War.

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Offering guests a charming location at which to spend the night, gaze at the stars, and enjoy a night in the country. Only an imaginative — if a little eccentric —  Englishman could dream up such a unique way for tourists and residents alike to see the U.K.

 
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