An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

Fifth Wheel Motor Home With a Helicopter Pad and a Portable Swimming Pool

The first look at the motorhome in the lead image with a helicopter pad on the back brings to mind the “Zephyr Land-Yacht” Brooks Stevens designed for William Woods Plankinton, Jr. in the mid-1930s. A second similar rig also comes to mind, the 1938 Reo Tractor that pulled the “Vagabond,” a large-sized and deluxe Curtiss Aerocar constructed by the Standard Carriage Works of Los Angeles for Dr. Hubert Eaton. The two pale in comparison to the 1952 Executive Flagship motorhome in the lead image with a helicopter on the back and the photo of it below setup with a sun deck.

Research has turned up that it is the 1952 Executive Flagship built by the Mid-State Corp. a large manufacturer of house trailers, it was designed by William B. MacDonald the President of the Company. The fifth-wheel unit is 65-feet long, weighs 18 tons and travels on ten-wheels. The behemoth contained all the comforts of home along with a combination rear sun deck and helicopter pad, and a portable swimming pool which could be erected behind it on site. Learn all the details about the Executive Flagship that was offered for sale for $75,000 in a Popular Science article at Vintage Vacations.

Tell us what you find of interest about it and if any others were constructed.

11 responses to “Fifth Wheel Motor Home With a Helicopter Pad and a Portable Swimming Pool

  1. Would be interesting to know how many weeks it took to decide to scrap that …a very comprehensive and special kind of stupid! To start with, fifth-wheelers need to articulate in three dimensions unless they’re going to stay on level road. I can hear the sound of crunching bodywork as I look at this. And that helicopter has a wheeled undercarriage, like a miniature version of a marine aircraft. It should have skids, otherwise it’ll just blow off the pad in any cross-wind, once the main rotor spools down. I’m a truck and bus driver, and a former heli pilot, btw!

  2. You know, we look at this with 21st century eyes, but in the ’50’s, can you imagine? By the 50’s, the helicopter was considered the most elite in personal travel, and to have one that can land on the back, well, pretty high class. I mean, what would you expect for the president of a house trailer company, the BEST darned motorhome you could have. I’d have thought, this would be a hit with TV stations. Like the “Spruce Goose”, great intentions, just not enough practical thought. One thing for sure, with a 6 cylinder Hercules motor,( or whatever) it’s going to be a slow ride. ( not that I’d want to go fast in this)

  3. Wonder how many electric service lines got torn down when they were on a road with too low wires? They must have had to have a lead vehicle with height measuring poles attached to determine if they could drive down that road.

  4. And now we know why you don’t let the President of the company design the vehicles. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an “open air” roadster style helicopter like that before. That looks like it would be a pretty exciting ride. The first photo seems to have been compressed sideways a bit, everything’s a little too vertical.

  5. Quite an imagination! Some of these designs have not gone away! Height is an issue , here, with canopy or helicopter “on board”. Other than those two ‘protrusions’, — it is not much different than some of today’s 5th wheel designs or no 5th wheel designs . Turbo Diesel designs make them less of a problem in high speed mountainous traffic areas. Everything and the kitchen sink! Edwin W.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *