Fun Friday – Winnebago Heli-Home

We need some entertainment after seeing tons of dropped ceilings and peeling laminate floors, so Old Houses Under Under $50k is introducing Fun Friday. It is a collection of weird old structures, NOT for sale, simply of interest.

Now we have heard of houseboat/RV combos (had one growing up), but a helicopter/RV combo??


When my youngest son, who is a helicopter pilot, found out I was doing a Fun Friday, he suggested doing an article on the Winnebago Heli-Home.

The Winnebago Heli-Home, was a flying RV that was actually marketed and sold by Winnebago in the late 1970s.

In 1975, Winnebago partnered with Orlando Helicopter Airways to buy a fleet of ex-military Siksorky S-55 transport helicopters (also known as the H-19) in order to convert them into homey retreats.


They outfitted the copters with all the amenities of home sweet home including hot and cold water, air conditioning, furnace, a full 3-piece bathroom, TV, a kitchen, a 3,500-watt generator, and much more.





The Heli-Home had optional floats, so you could land practically anywhere. Throw out the anchor, and it was like a houseboat. No property tax.


You could buy these flying mini-homes with the basic 800 horsepower piston-driven model, or the upgraded 1,525 hp turbine-driven variant which burned a lot of fuel and limited its range to around 300 miles.

The real issue with the Heli-Home concept, however, was not gas consumption or range. The price was out of range for most consumers. A base model would run you a whopping $880,000 in today’s dollars, and a top of the line model about $1.4 million when adjusted for inflation.


You could rent a Heli-Home, though, for $10,000 per week, plus the cost of a pilot and fuel.  Still, that was too expensive. Turns out only 8 Heli-Homes were sold, none of which survive today.


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