Since Gino Lucci was 12 years old, he dreamed of making a roving airplane camper. In the summer of 2020, the culmination of that dream came true.
Air Force veteran and pilot Gino Lucci owns Round Engine Aero, an airplane salvage and parts company in Nashville, Michigan. During the summer of 2019, Gino’s older son located a couple of damaged DC-3s. Although they’re vintage in age, many are still in use today. The DC-3 was a “built to last and land anywhere” airplane that typically carries cargo. They’re not the fastest, but they are a workhorse of a plane.
What’s it made from?
Gino and his son acquired parts and the main fuselage from a tornado-damaged 1943 WWII-era plane. With the help of both sons and a couple of friends, one year later, the “The Fabulous Flamingo” street-legal Class A RV was ready for its first road trip.
After stripping off the paint, Gino revealed a former Navy emblem and decided to proudly display it on the side. The video below on Lucci’s project takes you back to the days of “Top Gun.” Skip to the 50-second mark to tour the RV.
How’s the DC-3 RV made?
According to Gino, he installed a heavy-duty diesel engine to the chassis from an International box truck. As he put it, “The first road trip was designed to let it settle in,” so they could firmly complete the renovation.
Gino’s love for all things airplanes guided him to keep as many parts and equipment as possible from this vintage aircraft. He rewired and updated the cockpit switches to control heating/air conditioning inside the motorhome. He even installed a double-DIN entertainment system.
Rather than a shower, Gino’s wife requested a bathtub in the bathroom, standard items in the kitchen and salon, and bunk beds for their two sons. When you put Gino behind the wheel, he jokingly teases through their working intercom system: “Place your tray table in its upright and locked position” for the trip. Maintaining the vintage aircraft theme, like the passenger side yoke, despite it being nonworking, is a conversation starter to all newcomers visiting inside for the first time. Similar to the Oscar Mayer hotdog vehicle that travels the U.S., Gino’s motorhome is a head-turner.