Elvis Presley's former 1962 Lockheed 1329 JetStar will never fly again, but the king's legacy will live on as an Airbnb. YouTuber James Webb has documented his journey since buying Presley's JetStar at an auction in January and recently revealed that he plans to "destroy" the jet in order to turn it into an RV Airbnb. James Webb and the Elvis jet
After Webb had the plane inspected for one video and found out that even if the nearly $5.7 million worth of repairs were completed the plane was legally too loud to turn on, he asked viewers for ideas on what to do next. A common suggestion was to rent out the old plane as an Airbnb. With an RV for a functioning power source and mobility, Webb will take the main plane components and composite them onto the RV to create an Elvis Presley RV experience.
Webb assembled a team to help dismantle the aircraft, discovering 40 years of dust, debris, bird nests and broken plane parts along the way. The plane had sat in the desert at Roswell International Air Center (ROW) since it was purchased by a Saudi Arabian company and moved there for storage. The team took the plane apart piece by piece, nose to tail. While it is a sad sight to see this jet taken apart, it will be brought to life again. Webb is also asking viewers what he should do with the pieces that will not fit onto the modified RV, like the wings.
After the plane was dismantled, it began a cross-country journey to Florida, with a stop at the King's former home, Graceland. The trip was not without complications, like blowing a scale at an inspection site in Arkansas. The plane made it to Graceland and Webb said it was the first time that all three of Presley's jets were at the same location at the same time. Security alerted Webb, telling him the plane needed to be removed from the property. Security told the group they had not received permission or requested to bring the jet to the location and were then asked to leave. The group continued the journey to a hangar in Florida for the next phase.
The jet was originally purchased by Elvis Presley on Dec. 22, 1976 for $840,000 ($4.4 million today) and it was sold to Webb for $215,000 on what would have been Presley's 88th birthday. The plane was one of many Presley owned, two of which were the planes already at Graceland. The interior of this plane features deep red velvet upholstery and gold-finish hardware, some of which will hopefully make it into the RV Airbnb. Before Webb discovered that flying would not be an option, he hooked up the plane to power to see what components would turn on. Now, Webb will share the efforts to transform this private jet into an RV while raising money for the project. He told the New York Post he might make the remaining airframe components into mementos for profit.The JetStar arriving and then being kicked out of GracelandGlobalAir.com has been documenting the long journey of the plane, from the announcement it was up for auction to the new owner destroying the aircraft only to eventually build it up again as an Airbnb. From the beginning, fans and online speculators were giving ideas for the aircraft, like ending up in a museum or being used as an Airbnb.
Viewers had mixed reactions to the Airbnb news and dismantling of the jet, some wishing it would be kept intact and not converted into an RV. Webb's last video was of the group being asked to leave Graceland and he has not posted an update since Tuesday. While the plane may never see the sky again, it will have a new life on the ground. As the new king of the road, the Presley RV experience will allow fans to experience the jet in a unique way and the legacy will live on.