A former RAF technician loved the thrill of a jet engine so much he decided he wanted to sleep in one – by transforming a Vickers VC10 turbine into a four-bed caravan.
Steve Jones, who served as a Junior Tech in the Royal Air Force for five years, spent only about £4,000 and roughly 1,000 hours converting an engine nacelle from a Vickers VC10 into 13-foot mobile caravan for himself and his family to use.
He spent years maintaining and repairing the same jet engines, and a variety of other combat aircraft, while serving at Brize Norton, and came up with the idea of the caravan pod after helping friends fix up a decommissioned aircraft after leaving the RAF, saying:
"I'm very lucky that I still have the chance to work and play on the VC10s."
Starting in January 2020, he completed the project on the caravan, which comes complete with a kitchen, in March.
However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, he has not been able to use it to its full extent but has plans for a trip in the near future with wife Charlotte, and young sons Daniel and Benjamin.
Talking to BFBS Radio presenter Alex Gill, Steve explained that the project was six years in the planning.
First he had to be able to buy the engine and then work out how he was going turn his idea into a reality.
The clever use of space means there is enough room for four people to sleep inside, as well as cook on the specially adapted hob and kitchen counters. The caravan pod wieghs 1,300kg.
The extraordinary transformation also made an appearance on Channel 4’s George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, and Steve said:
"It was a great experience, I’ve never done anything on camera before and I thoroughly enjoyed it."
The Vickers VC10 aircraft was a long range British airliner, designed by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd and first flown in 1962.
The last recorded flight of a VC10 was ZA147 which landed on September 25, 2013, ending the VC10's 51 years of service.
Steve plans to get his converted caravan through the necessary regulations and safety tests so that he can start traveling with his family next year.