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The Cosmic Muffin: A Boat Recycled From Howard Hughes' Plane
At Inhabitat we’ve brought you some terrific examples of recycled aircraft here, here, here and here. But Dave Drimmer’s Cosmic Muffin, the iconic ‘plane-boat’ made from Howard Hughes’ prized Boeing B-307, has to be the quintessential example. Deemed un-flyable in 1969, Hughes’ former ‘flying office’ was rescued from the landfill by Fort Lauderdale Realtor and pilot Kenneth W. London who then spent the next four years transforming it into an exotic houseboat that has been featured everywhere from CNN to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! to Jimmy Buffet’s 1996 song “Desdemona’s Building A Rocketship”!
Based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, the Cosmic Muffin is truly one-of-a-kind. According the website, “No other watercraft, before or since, has ever been constructed from a land-based airplane…” Today the Cosmic Muffin has a completely rebuilt hull, updated interior, new motors and a restored cockpit, and the owners have ambitious plans for everything from private charters to elementary education and nonprofit fundraising projects.
Aesthetically the Cosmic Muffin can’t claim to be the prettiest boat in the harbor, but the underlying principle guiding the design is sound – we are surrounded by objects manufactured under obsolete guidelines established during the Industrial Revolution. These objects were designed to be thrown away but they must now be revisited with an eye toward reuse, recycling or recombination. The benefits of this are two-fold: less consumption of natural resources during the manufacturing of something new, and less garbage in our landfills.
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