It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a helicamper! Blake Morris and Maggie Morgan, both helicopter pilots in the U.S. Coast Guard, have been busy. They’ve spent more than 900 hours working to transform a helicopter body into a roadworthy RV.
Not the first…
Blake and Maggie aren’t the first ones to think about converting a helicopter into a camper. In the mid-1970s, Winnebago had a similar idea. They partnered with the Orlando Helicopter Airways company to purchase ex-military copters (specifically the H-19 or Siksorky S-55 transport helicopters). Winnebago acquired a fleet of these flying machines with the plan of retrofitting them into RVs.
Show me the money
Winnebago’s Heli-Homes had all the amenities you could want: full HVAC, a bathroom with a shower, kitchen, and a TV. It also came with its own 3,500-watt generator and could sleep six. Purchasers could choose between an 800-horsepower piston-driven model or a 1,525 turbine-driven Heli-Home. While generating a huge amount of publicity for Winnebago, only six or seven Heli-Homes were actually sold. The price tag? Up to $1.4 million if purchased today.
The Alabama couple first saw the helicopter body for sale on Facebook Marketplace. They weren’t sure what they’d do with it exactly. They just knew they had to have it! Since the couple purchased the unit, they’ve traced its history using the airframe’s serial numbers. Turns out, the helicopter was used by German military police, spent time in Afghanistan with U.S. troops, and finally made its way back to the United States in 2011.
Morris admits, “We’re not roughing it for sure.” Their helicamper includes outdoor speakers and TV hookup, cable hookup, and many other creature comfort amenities. The necessary permits are in place, and this adventurous couple are ready to go camping. You can see pictures of the incredible transformation from helicopter to RV on the couple’s Instagram account: helicamper_RV.