DI-FLY project! Couple detail how they converted a retired cargo plane into a two-bedroom Airbnb where stays costs $349 PER NIGHT

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  • Stephanie Blanchard and Jon Kotwicki, from Alaska, went about converting a 1956 Douglas DC-6 cargo plane 
  • The aircraft now rents out for $349 a night on Airbnb with a range of original features still intact 
  • The compact space still boasts its original cockpit with the cargo door opening for oversized luggage 

This home is pretty fly in more ways than one.  

Stephanie Blanchard and Jon Kotwicki, from Alaska, went about converting a retired 1956 Douglas DC-6 cargo plane into a livable space, with the aircraft now renting out for $349 a night on Airbnb.

In a YouTube interview with Tiny House Giant Journey, the couple – who both work as pilots and flight instructors – detail the step-by-step DIY process. 

Jon estimates that the renovation has cost over $500,000 to date, with the plane coming in at around $100,000 and it cost a similar amount to have it taken apart and delivered from Fairbanks to Wasilla on trailers. 

Footage from the short film shows how the plane now stands on sturdy pillars, with one of the wings converted into a balcony space, while a set of stairs and porch extension makes for a more traditional-style of entranceway.  

Stephanie Blanchard and Jon Kotwicki, from Alaska, went about converting a retired 1956 Douglas DC-6 cargo plane into a livable space, with the aircraft now renting out for $349 a night on Airbnb

Stephanie Blanchard and Jon Kotwicki, from Alaska, went about converting a retired 1956 Douglas DC-6 cargo plane into a livable space, with the aircraft now renting out for $349 a night on Airbnb 

In a YouTube interview with Tiny House Giant Journey , the couple - who both work as pilots and flight instructors - detail the step-by-step DIY process

In a YouTube interview with Tiny House Giant Journey , the couple – who both work as pilots and flight instructors – detail the step-by-step DIY process

Footage from the short film shows how the plane now stands on sturdy pillars, with one of the wings converted into a balcony space, while a set of stairs and porch extension makes for a more traditional-style of entranceway

Footage from the short film shows how the plane now stands on sturdy pillars, with one of the wings converted into a balcony space, while a set of stairs and porch extension makes for a more traditional-style of entranceway

Jon estimates that the renovation has cost over $500,000 to date, with the plane coming in at around $100,000 and it cost a similar amount to have it taken apart and delivered from Fairbanks to Wasilla on trailers

Jon estimates that the renovation has cost over $500,000 to date, with the plane coming in at around $100,000 and it cost a similar amount to have it taken apart and delivered from Fairbanks to Wasilla on trailers

While thinking about constructing guest homes for his flight school, Jon said he suddenly thought about buying an aircraft and turning it into a house to 'create the most unique amazing experience for our students and for our guests'

While thinking about constructing guest homes for his flight school, Jon said he suddenly thought about buying an aircraft and turning it into a house to ‘create the most unique amazing experience for our students and for our guests’

Starting from the beginning of how the ambitious project came about, Jon tells viewers: ‘So the idea of getting an aircraft and turning it into a tiny home began sort of by accident. 

‘Stephanie and I were looking at ways to run a flight school here in Alaska [and we were looking at] how we would be able to house students nearby. 

‘We decided on this property, which is a little over 100 acres, to build our own runways, build our own hangers and build small cabins for students to come stay with us and train.’

While thinking about the construction process, Jon said he suddenly thought about buying an aircraft and turning it into a house to ‘create the most unique amazing experience for our students and for our guests.’

After doing months of research, Jon found the retired 104-foot-long, and 117-foot-wide cargo plane and snapped it up. 

Having started as an empty shell, the YouTube shows how Stephanie and Jon have turned the plane into a spectacular two-bedroom home. 

Jon shows how they have kept many of the original features, including the cockpit with all of the controls and the cargo door so guests can load oversized luggage. 

Other aviation-themed objects around the abode include a propeller off a smaller plane and a side table made out of Boeing 727 tire with a sheet of glass on top.  

After doing months of research, Jon found the retired 104-foot-long, and 117-foot-wide cargo plane and snapped it up

After doing months of research, Jon found the retired 104-foot-long, and 117-foot-wide cargo plane and snapped it up

From it being an empty shell, the YouTube shows how Stephanie and Jon have turned the plane into a spectacular two-bedroom home

From it being an empty shell, the YouTube shows how Stephanie and Jon have turned the plane into a spectacular two-bedroom home

All of the rooms feature curved walls, with partition walls installed to divide up the spaces

All of the rooms feature curved walls, with partition walls installed to divide up the spaces

Along with a master bedroom and smaller bedroom, other spaces include a master bathroom with a shower and a dining-cum-kitchen-cum-lounge area

Along with a master bedroom and smaller bedroom, other spaces include a master bathroom with a shower and a dining-cum-kitchen-cum-lounge area

They are many aviation-themed objects around the abode, including a propeller off a smaller plane and a side table made out of Boeing 727 tire with a sheet of glass on top.

They are many aviation-themed objects around the abode, including a propeller off a smaller plane and a side table made out of Boeing 727 tire with a sheet of glass on top. 

The couple's next jobs include landscaping the grounds and they have another plane conversion project in the pipeline

The couple’s next jobs include landscaping the grounds and they have another plane conversion project in the pipeline

All of the rooms feature curved walls, with partitions installed to divide up the layout.

Along with a master bedroom and smaller bedroom, other spaces include a master bathroom with a shower and a dining-cum-kitchen-cum-lounge area.

Overall, the plane sleeps six people as the couch in the living room folds out into a bed.

Moving outside, there is also a balcony space off one of the wings complete with a freestanding tub.

Jon says he is ‘pretty happy’ with how the wing deck came out as it was a ‘massive challenge’ to build a flat deck on a ‘cambered curved angled wing surface.’

When it comes to converting a plane into a home, Jon says some of the biggest concerns include installing proper insulation and trying to control condensation.

He says on the subject: ‘The airplane got spray foamed to ensure that there’s good adequate insulation.

‘[Then], condensation is probably the biggest concern that we have in here, being that you’re inside of an aluminum beer can and you’re going to be in here cooking [and] showering.’

Jon and Stephanie’s plane abode currently has a 4.97 rating out of 5 on Airbnb with many guests raving about the unusual structure.

One previous guest wrote: ‘My family had an absolute blast at this one of a kind location. My son (and I) loved taking imaginary flights in the cockpit. The views from the wing patio were amazing!’

Another former visitor gushed: ‘Sleeping in the DC6 is an experience. Having a beer in the cockpit with that view of the mountains, priceless! The place is super clean and everything you need is there.’

Jon and Stephanie say that they have met pilots who previously flew the plane and they found its new interiors much more comfortable. 

Their next jobs include landscaping the grounds and they have another plane conversion project in the pipeline.