As a child rising up within the ‘80s and ‘90s in the Pacific Northwest, I have a ton of memories of climbing into my grandparents’ Winnebago and setting off for some nameless moss-covered, mosquito-filled hellscape almost each weekend through the summer season. As a end result, I’ve combined emotions about RVs, however I feel if my grandparents had squired me about within the Winnebago Helihome as an alternative of their terrestrial rig, these emotions wouldn’t be combined in any respect.
What’s a Winnebago Helihome, you ask? If you’re picturing a helicopter with brown stripes and a laminate-and-velour-covered inside, you’re proper on the cash, and wouldn’t you understand, it was an actual factor — sort of. If you’ve obtained questions, that’s comprehensible, so let YouTuber Calum clarify it to you in his mild Scottish brogue.
Of course, in case you don’t have 16 minutes and 25 seconds to zone out and find out about leisure helicopters, I’ll break it down for you. Basically, the Winnebago Helihome began as a decommissioned Sikorsky S-55 helicopter (the U.S. navy designation for this was H-19 “Chickasaw”) that was restored and upfitted by an organization in Florida referred to as Orlando Helicopter Airways. It was this firm that originally designed and constructed a helicopter RV referred to as the Heli-Camper, which caught the eye of RV large Winnebago.
Winnebago beloved the thought of a heli-RV a lot, the corporate contracted Orlando Helicopter Airways to construct a Winnebago-branded model referred to as the Helihome. The Helihome featured most of the identical inside options as up to date ground-based leisure autos, like convertible seating, an electrical range and fridge, heating and air con techniques and even a toilet with a chemical bathroom and bathe.
It most likely received’t shock you that, except for the prototype unit commissioned by Winnebago, neither Winnie nor Orlando Helicopter Airways offered very many helicopter RVs. Part of that’s absolutely all the way down to the truth that most on a regular basis of us don’t have a helicopter pilot’s license. Equally vital, the Winnebago model began at round $300,000 in late-Nineteen Seventies cash. That’s roughly $1.34 million in immediately’s cash.
Despite not being a business success — and never kicking off the daybreak of a brand new age of civilian aviation the place each residence had a whirlybird within the storage — the Helihome was an superior concept that has continued to stoke the imaginations of aviation geeks for the higher a part of 50 years.