Livin Large Airing
The planeboat also was featured on the newly syndicated Livin Large TV series hosted by Carmen Electra and Kadeem Hardison. The episode aired the weekend of March 12, 2003.
Travel Channel Airing
The Travel Channel featured the planeboat on World's Best: Top Ten Outrageous Homes on April 3 at 8 p.m. EST. It checked in at No. 4. A film crew taped the Cosmic Muffin for the show at Ft. Lauderdales Riverwalk on November 20.
The show was to be re-aired on May 19 at 11 p.m. and May 25 at 7 p.m.
Photo by Albert W. Starkweather
Travel Channel crew taping the Cosmic Muffin.
Weird Homes to Air PlaneBoat in Canada
The Cosmic Muffin also will be featured on Life Networks Weird Homes. Air dates in Canada are April 12, 2003 at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. PST and April 13 at 4 p.m. PST. Air dates for U.S. affiliates were not announced.
Univision Network Airings
The Cosmic Muffin was aired on the Univision TV Network show Control on May 31. Another Univision crew taped the planeboat in action for Ver para Creer, which aired June 24.
Photos by Albert W. Starkweather
Univision crew aboard the Cosmic Muffin.
Boeing Logo Added
A replica of the original Boeing Stratoliner logo and CAA (now the FAA) registration number was added to the Cosmic Muffin in June, along with the Web site address.
Photos by Albert W. Starkweather
The planeboat was featured in two magazine articles Bound for buoyancy, published on June 12 in Fort Lauderdales Eastsider magazine, and the JulyAugust Airliners magazine No. 82. Author/photographer for the latter Airliner Homes: Living the Dream is Bob Shane, a good friend of Dave Drimmer and official Cosmic Muffin photographer.
Crash Test Dummy?
The planeboat was a participant as a visual aid in the 2003 Fort LauderdaleHollywood International Airport crash test drill on Aug. 26 off Dania Beach. The Cosmic Muffin crashedinto the water at 10 a.m. as Global Air Flight 503 to simulate a Boeing 767400 with 290 passengers on board that takes off from the airport. The planeboat was being used only as a prop and was anchored in place to provide the look of a downed aircraft in the water.
Approximately 3040 victims were rescued from the water by sea craft and helicopters, to be treated at a triage and sent to hospitals, if needed. This exercise was large in scope and rarely done away from the airport. It involved many local agencies including the Airport Authority, Marine Patrol, EMS, police departments, Port Everglades Authority, Emergency Management, Red Cross and support agencies.
Federal participants included the U.S. Coast Guard, FAA, NTSB, FBI, and EPA. This was a media event to show how these entities respond and coordinate their personnel and equipment to save lives. It was video recorded and will be used as a national training aid for other airports around the country.
First Powered Flight
With Orville Wright at the controls and Wilbur Wright mid-stride, right, the 1903 Wright Flyer makes its first flight at Kitty Hawk, NC, on December 17, 1903.
Cosmic Celebration of the Wrights
The Cosmic Muffin will host an open house on Wednesday, December 17, from 5 to 10 p.m. at Las Olas Riverfront in honor of the 100th anniversary of the first powered flight by the Wright brothers. The event is free and open to the public, and is the only Wright anniversary event planned in Fort Lauderdale so far.
Featured will be exhibits from the grand opening of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum (NASM) newest facility the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport. Cosmic Muffin owner David Drimmer will be a special guest of Boeing for the December 11 event.
aboard ... Cosmic Muffin,
December 16 2003
not often you get to board a classic airliner, let alone one that has
been converted into a boat.
This is just going to be a casual recognition and celebration of 100 years of flight, said Dave Drimmer, the plane-boats owner, noting that Dec. 17 is the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers first powered flight.
The Cosmic Muffin, named by Margaritaville crooner Jimmy Buffett, has been a familiar sight around Fort Lauderdale since the early 1980s, when Drimmer bought it. At various times it has been moored off Bayview Drive and on the Middle River near East Sunrise Boulevard. Now it resides in the Las Olas Isles area.
During its days as an airplane, it was one of only 10 Stratoliners built. Boeing had to limit production of commercial airliners at the onset of World War II because of the need for military aircraft.
The Boeing 307 Stratoliner was the first four-engine transport to be pressurized. With 36 seats, it was wider and more comfortable than a 21-seat DC-3, said Eugene Banning, of Boca Raton, a former Pan Am pilot and an aviation historian.
Banning flew a Stratoliner that is going on a display at the new Smithsonian air museum near Washington, DC.
I only flew it once, he said. As I remember, it was pretty heavy on the controls. But it flew very easily and nicely.
While overseeing Trans World Airlines, Hughes pulled a 21-ton Stratoliner out of service for his own use, dubbing it The Flying Penthouse. It had a bar, bedroom and shower-equipped bathroom. After flying it about 500 hours, he sold it to a Texas millionaire.
In 1969, while the plane was abandoned at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, aviation enthusiast Kenneth London gave it new life as a boat, cutting off the wings and tail and fitting a hull around the fuselage.
Today, the 56-foot craft, once capable of cruising at 220 mph, putters along at a top speed of 15 mph. Through Drimmers company, Plane Boats Inc., it is available for dockside charters at $100 per hour.
is driven with the planes original controls, although Drimmer admits
he is not a pilot.
Ken Kaye can be reached at email@example.com or 954-385-7911.