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Flying high: Old motorhome chassis gets new life and takes to the skies

August 29, 2012
Melissa Schneider - Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

What started out as a highway road warrior has now taken to the skies, as an old Ford motorhome chassis recently went through a conversion into a land-cruising party plane.

Lighting and sound guys were flown in to meet up with local designers, detailers and fiberglassers to turn the old coachman into something fit for the skies.

Now being deemed the "Altered States of America: Playa One" this "airline" is a top-notch, high-flyin', low-rollin' metal machine that's recently hit the road for the week-long annual Burning Man Project in Black Rock, Nev.

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Local musician Rick Robinson, Carl, and the plane’s metalwork designer, James DiGiorgio. Photo courtesy CARL MANN.

Fort Myers Beach area resident Carl Mann worked on the fiberglass, bondo and painting part of the conversion, alongside the owner of "Mr. Gelcoat," himself, Mike Reda.

"We did all that fiberglass and paint to the nose in 14 days," Carl said. "We were really hauling on that project, and it came out absolutely incredible. The crew that was working on this airplane was the best around. Josh, the sound man, was flown in from Seattle. Lighting was all done by Eric Carosiello. And, James DiGiorgio, DiGiorgio Metal Works, created all of the metalwork design, absolutely fantastic."

Playa One is equipped with the best equipment around, from the glorious display of metalwork, to the turbo jet subwoofers, intense lighting system, cockpit chambers for the drivers, dance floors along the wings and a DJ station on the tail.

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"This is the ultimate party plane," Carl said. "Wait until it comes back to Southwest Florida, when another $100,000 worth of add-ons will be applied."

The plane is currently en-route to Nevada, and will be fully assembled once it reaches its Black Rock destination. Upon its return to Southwest Florida, it will also be available as a stage for huge rock concerts and big-time musical events.

Metalsmith artist James DiGiorgio has been crafting and forging fine pieces for decades. His work can be seen all across Southwest Florida and the rest of the world for that matter.

For more information on his projects, or to see James' amazing metal working for yourself, visit DiGiorgio MetalDesign.



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