Forest Find! 1948 Convair 240 Airplane

Some of you I’m sure have seen those links pop up to websites that raise big questions like, How did this plane end up in the middle of a rain forest? and other such tales of “mysterious” circumstances involving machinery. They usually show a plane or train slumbering somewhere otherwise impossible to access, much like this vintage 1948 Convair 240 listed here on Facebook Marketplace for $5,000 in Ohio and seemingly stuck in the middle of the woods…

Shockingly, the seller offers no details on the plane or how it got there. While it looks like it’s in a remote location, Loraine, Ohio is actually a fairly populous region, noted for being the 10th largest city in Ohio. The plane itself is a fairly iconic model, with a history that includes the distinction of being the first private aircraft used in a presidential campaign, ferrying none other than John F. Kennedy. As you can see here, this example has been partially disassembled.

The interior has been completely gutted, with nary a seat left inside. This is seemingly how many old aircraft that land in private hands for uses other than air travel tend to end up. A number of vintage planes have been converted to private homes or gigantic tree houses for adults, seemingly part fantasy come to life and part art installation. Many planes are stripped of their useful bits before being decommissioned entirely, but the seller doesn’t let on about the story here.

The plane is definitely far from complete, and aside from going to a die-hard aviation enthusiast, I’m not sure I see how this one is usable as a project unless the next owner has much the same vision as the seller: park it somewhere on an expansive piece of property, and let it become a conversation piece or a place for your kids to run around when their tree fort loses its appeal. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Jim C. for the find.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Clearly posted for shock value. That’s exactly how it got back there, in pieces. Someones half baked idea of a club house that didn’t take off. IDK, it looks like it was a fairly modern plane, for 1948, I don’t think even the military had jets. I’ve seen, on the innernet[sic] fields full of scrap airplanes, I’m sure they got it cheap. Time to cut ‘er up.

    Like 12
    • Garry

      The military had jets in 1948. Boeing B47, North American Sabre, Gloucester Meteor, Messerschmitt 262, Saab 21R, plus others

      Like 6
    • schooner

      ” a club house that didn’t take off” Howard, you’re being sent to the pun-itentiary for pun-ishment.

      Like 3
    • Michael Walter

      I see a lamp post in the first picture. Public park?

  2. nycbjr Member

    It’s not a jet, those would have had radials still, without the props they do look jet like. This might have had a turbo prop conversion at some point.

    Like 11
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I agree. That definitely would’ve been powered by ‘corn cobs.’ My former BIL flew a 640 that had been converted to PT-6s. Or maybe it was 120s? That was a long time ago and my memory is getting to be like a rabbit’s tail: short and fussy. The plane had once been owned by Japan Air Lines and there were more than 36K hours on the airframe. He claimed that when the light was right you could still see the ‘Rising Sun’ through the paint on the wings. He told me some wild stories about his experience.

      Like 14
      • Peter M de Guzman

        Actually the 240 and 440 had R 2800 on them , a great radial engine. when they put turbines ( RR Dart ) on the the 240 it became the 600 and 440 which was just a little bit bigger was called the 640 . Of the many Aircraft I flew J3 cub to 747 this has always been my favorite.

        Like 3
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Now that you mention it, I remember the ‘DART’ terminology. It was a long time ago and my memory is sometimes like a rabbit’s tail: short and fuzzy…

        Like 1
  3. Rex Kahrs Member

    “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll be ditching in Lorain shortly”

    Like 27
    • Howard A Member

      Ha! “And that’s how we settled in Ohio”,,,

      Like 16
      • Dave

        Lorain is an industrial suburb west of Cleveland. I used to do work at the Lorain Works steel mill, Edgewater Power Station, and the Ford plant. Back in the 80s Ford used to drive test mules between there and Detroit. I’d get to see cars and trucks about a year before they went on sale.
        I’ve seen lots of yard planes, boats, and cabooses on the back roads of Ohio. I always thought that a caboose would be the ideal ham shack/man cave. The Pittsburgh area doesn’t lend itself to yard art like this…tight spaces and zoning laws preclude it.

        Like 8
  4. Kevin McCourt

    It would take oodles of $ to make it airworthy. Maybe a museum somewhere may want it. I would just buy the land it is on and make an oddball home out of it. The 2X4 holding up the tail would certainly need an upgrade.

    Like 7
  5. Cncbny

    How much is aluminum per pound at the scrap yard?

    Like 6
    • Frank Sumatra

      0.47/lb. Dropped off 4 wheels from my 2007 Edge on Monday. They weighed 97 pounds.

      Like 3
  6. Air Boss
    • Jim

      Looks like you should be doing write-ups!

      Like 10
  7. Will Fox

    Well, if there WERE any valuable, useful bits left of this, they’re long gone now. I don’t see $5K of anything I’d want to be honest. Just to move it you’d need to cut down numerous trees, or at the very least, take the wings off. More work than it’s worth….

    Like 3
  8. Phil

    It was going to be a bed & breakfast, but I guess those crazy plans fell through! it was brought to that location disassembled via several semis according to this:
    https://www.dispatch.com/article/20070415/NEWS/304159976

    Like 6
  9. Little_Cars

    Curiously, this plane pulled up when I did a search three years ago for real estate in KY/Ohio under a certain price range, X amount of acreage, and so many rooms + parking/storage for cars on the property. The only plane to show up on ReatTracs and Zillow I’m sure! The land must be more valuable without the plane for them to stop offering it as a bonus because it COULD offer the next person so many bedrooms, etc. Deep pockets if it stays or if it goes…..

    Like 4
  10. Dusty Stalz

    This is the same make and model plane that Lynyrd Skynyrd went down in.

    Like 13
      • stillrunners stillrunners Member

        Jim….that was a cool read – thanks for posting the linc and information.

        Like 2
    • Matt in L.A. Member

      Oh THAT is a weird tidbit of information!! That happened the same year Carly Simon came out with her “Boys in the Trees” album. Bad timing!

      Like 9
      • Dave

        “Boys In The Trees”, if you read the lyrics, is a commentary on the societal placement and expectations of boys and girls of the time. “Sentenced first to burn and then to freeze”.
        I don’t know what Miss Simon wanted to be in life, but I’d say that it turned out pretty well for her. Being as successful as she is gave her more than enough money to be whatever she wanted.

        Like 2
      • Ike Onick

        Carly Simon was also part of the Simon and Schuster publishing family. Money was the least of her worries.

        Like 8
    • Mike

      You beat me to posting that info, Dusty…And seeing that the anniversary of the crash was just 2 days ago on Oct 20, makes this posting a little more eerie

      Like 7
    • Mark Johnston

      was waiting for someone to mention that

      Like 1
  11. Bultaco

    Pretty amazing that it was airworthy as recently as 2006.

    Like 12
  12. Kenneth Carney

    What a wild hot rod it would make! I seem to recall a guy in California did it
    to a DC-3 in the ’70s. Think I saw it on
    an episode of CHiPs but not sure. ‘Cause like Geomechs, my memory’s
    getting short and fuzzy to.

    Like 6
  13. That Guy

    I’d say the owner has big cojones, asking someone to pay five grand for the privilege of taking it away. It seems more likely they will have to pay someone at least that amount to remove it from the property.

    Like 7
  14. Jay E. Member

    So this is where the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s Convair went. My friend was the pilot and one of the many odd requirements was that the pilots had to fly naked.

    Like 7
    • Ike Onick

      How did they know who was the Captain?

      Like 6
    • John

      That is sick.

      Like 2
    • djjerme

      https://99percentinvisible.org/app/uploads/2015/09/rajneesh-jet.jpg

      sitting on the field out there at the ranch. Though I think he had two, there was one with tail number: N31MC

      Like 1
      • JoeBob396

        Amazing! N314H in better days. I wonder why it went from airworthy in 2006 to junk in 20007?

        Like 1
      • Little_Cars

        @JoeBob396. No wings attached?

    • Richard James Reau Member

      The Bhagwan required the pilots flew naked?? So I guess any “Joystick” comment will be removed immediately.

  15. Lance

    5 grand and there isn’t even an OBO? Maybe a chainsaw comes with it.

  16. Michael Abate

    Surely, you can’t be serious. I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.

    Like 9
  17. Tony Townsend

    Provenance says it was owned in 1982 by juvenile guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in Oregon. This thing has been around!

    Like 3
  18. P Digwig

    There is this plane turned into a “camper”/ house about 20 miles from Portland.

    Seems to be an “interesting” owner.

    https://youtu.be/oquV0vvhjh0

    • chrlsful Member

      ‘interesting”/ naw – stranger danger ! Just like Bagwan…

  19. EBZ06

    These comments are the genesis of a great comedy show script! 😂

    Like 1
  20. David Frank David Frank Member

    Many old aircraft have found new uses as accommodations all over the world.
    There’s at least one old airplane that is a great B&B, a 747 in Stockholm.
    https://www.jumbostay.com/
    There are several airplanes and even helicopters used as B&Bs, including these listed on airbnb: https://news.airbnb.com/take-a-flight-to-nowhere-in-these-grounded-airplane-airbnbs/

    There’s even a McDonalds in Taupo, New Zealand that has a DC 3 as a dining room.

    Like 4
    • Stan Marks

      Pound per pound, the DC3 was the best built & reliable plane, ever to fly.

      Back in the mid-60’s, I worked at the Mcdonnell Douglas nose assembly plant, in Santa Monica,Ca. we built the DC 8, 9 & the new DC10, before they were transported, for final assembly, to Long Beach, Ca, We also worked on the Saturn rocket for the Apollo 4. I had a top secret clearance for that. That was a fun place to work. After the plant shut down, the entire property was all blacktop, like it never existed. It was the entire length of the Santa Monica Airport. Today, it’s another industrial park.

      Like 6
  21. Clem Clement

    I hold 1000 pilot hours in the T-29; VC-131,440 versions. Loved flying her. That was the last aircraft type I flew for the USAF.
    Clem

    Like 2
  22. sourpwr Member

    Log books?

    Like 1
  23. Bob

    Well folks today’s word is : “Aluminum”, get out your tin snips and go to work! There is $$ in cutting that airframe up and selling bite size pieces by the pound. Currently major beverage companies are suffering a shortage of aluminum cans. Hence the market will probably be growing for more scrap to feed industry.

    Like 2
  24. Rick

    There used to be an airplane museum of sorts in Newbury, Ohio. I wonder if this plane has anything to do with it.

  25. Gary Dutery

    As this Fort Myers News-Press photo from the late 1970’s shows, the Treetop Flyers would buy these old maxed-out Convairs for next to nothing, load ’em up, stay below the radar, land on a lonely stretch of Florida highway and then simply walk away. The square grouper cargo was worth more than the airplane. Want a free 240? The Everglades are loaded with ’em.

    Like 5
    • John

      If I remember the story correctly one of these landed and was abandon on Florida governor Bob Grahams personal landing strip and blocked him from landing his own plane. That was 1975(?).

      It pissed him off so bad that he put up a radar iron curtain around the S.Florida seas and busted everything that tried to get thru.

      Consequently the connoisseurs of fine leafy exotica’s were left to choke down the lowest grade rag such as Gainesville Green..Those were hard times indeed.

      Like 4
    • Ron L.

      Hey I live in Cape Coral! Not too many “remote parts” left these days.

      Like 1
  26. John

    We are definitely improving here in the Barnfinds Peanut Gallery. 39 comments and not one single soul has yet to recommend the installation of a small block Chevy or an LS crate motor in this beauty. Congrats Peanut Gallery dwellers.

    Like 12
  27. Kenn

    Thanks so much John. My thoughts exactly. Also no mention of patina. “Original” mileage. And a surprising number of folks who didn’t seem to realize that the plane had to have been disassembled to arrive at it’s current spot. Which may have been for a playroom for kids. I saw a caboose in central Michigan repurposed for that. Looked great on the guys rural property.

    Like 2
  28. Ike Onick

    Needs a luggage rack and check the birdcage for rust.

    Like 2
  29. Mike

    I think it would make a fun hunting cabin.

  30. chrlsful Member

    Y stifel the guy for tryin a B’nB plane or caboose? Just jelious I guess? sour grapes? ~
    hard to say BUT everybody wuz correct right up to and including Air Boss. HA! Fantastic (cuz I thought it wuz a ina crap) – nope, Chad…fooled again !

    Ohio, the lusty Bagwhan, McDonneld (Douglas), Tree houses – we covered alota territory. In fact its a story that connects to everything there is (my Aunt wrked at McD in Hagerstown, MD. Wuz in quality control – inspection. That’s Y she said “I’ll never fly – I C what those guys make”).

  31. Russell L Farris

    The right hand air-stair door indicates an American Airlines Convair 240
    delivered between 1948-1951. Only AA had this option; without a tail number I don’t have a clue to the actual identify.. AA had 75 CV-240s from 1948 to 1964.

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