The King of Rock and Roll’s airplane is being turned into an RV

It wouldn’t be allowed to fly even when restored, so why not make it interesting?
Can Emir
1962 Lockheed 1329 JetStar
1962 Lockheed 1329 JetStar


Elvis Presley’s, the "King of Rock and Roll", 1962 Lockheed 1329 JetStar recently sold at the Mecum Kissimmee Collector Car auction in Florida for $234K, and its new owner is turning the aircraft into an RV.

Elvis Presley's vintage private jet was purchased by YouTuber James Webb with the intention of getting it back in the air. The JetStar was very well preserved, but his idea immediately ran into problems.

In Roswell, New Mexico, the airplane was abandoned in the desert for 35 years. It lost its four engines and other flight-related parts along the road, and the fuselage began to display symptoms of neglect, belying the luxurious life it formerly led as the third plane in the Presley fleet.

Even though the aircraft's original four engines were removed at some time when it was being stored in the desert, Webb made a video demonstrating how the various controls and equipment in the cabin function.

Getting the plane to airworthiness would be a big step even though the inside is in fairly good shape and has the unique interior that Elvis ordered in 1976. But, after consulting with an airplane repair firm, Webb's bill piled up to an absurd amount. The four outdated (and excessively loud) Pratt & Whitney JT12 engines alone cost $2.2 million, proving that no component is inexpensive. Total airworthiness costs are $5.7 million. The plane cost the equivalent of $4.4 million when it was first sold.

Webb still couldn't fly the plane even if he spent $5.7 million on its restoration. Although there are so-called "hush kits" that fix the issue, there are none for the JT12 engines on the JetStar because they considerably exceed contemporary aviation sound and volume rules.

By simply mounting the fuselage, without the wings, to an RV chassis, Webb is converting the old jet into an RV. After all, Elvis ordered a couch, a microwave, and a bathroom installation.

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