A home cannot be home without enough home-factor inside. When Wally Byam planned the first in Airstream trailers, similar thoughts must have darted through the imaginative capacity of his psyche. Decades down the line, it is the same spirit that keeps purpose alive in these trailers. While these trailers might appear to be sheer shells of aluminium to many, these are the same designs that saw NASA shuttle astronauts to space, the Air Force transport high-profile officials to safety and a barrage of ardent fans leave town without leaving home.
With volleys of companies offering services in Airstream sale, hire and restoration, the popularity of these trailers is understandable. Here below are some of the lesser talked about facts about these trailers.
Birth of the distinctive design
Arguably the most distinct attribute of the airstream trailers is their quasi-elliptic silver shells. But fact has it that the company is not the pioneer when it comes to designing the streamlined trailer. The credit goes to William Howley Bowlus, an accomplished designer in his own right. Notwithstanding that, the design caught on and still continues to add volumes of character to airstream trailers. A funnier fact is that the first airstream models were actually built from wood and not aluminium. Of course, in due time the silver sheen became a part of the airstream DNA.
How the back-yard plans sold?
The widely-acclaimed founder of airstream trailers, Wally Byam sold his plans in the back of the magazine titled Popular Mechanics. These plans guided people through ways to build trailers in their own backyards. Finding great reception among readers, one of these plans inspired the creation of the oldest airstream trailer that exists today.
Airstream trailer and the cycle
In the 40s, the company pulled off a unique stunt merely to show how light the trailers were. The company financed the publicity of photos that featured a cyclist towing one of the trailers behind his bike. At that time, the move worked wonders for the company and the lightweight trailers gained eccentric popularity in the States.
The conceptual colored airstreams
The colored airstreams were almost there in the mind of Wally Byam but never quite saw light of the day. It has been said that Byam was inspired by the pastel schemes in cars and was planning on creating colored trailers. Experimentation on his own gold trailer however saw him abandon the idea.
The NASA cut
When the first men on the moon harked back to the earth, the first station that received them was an altered airstream trailer. The motor chrome that was used by NASA was a trailer named “the Astrovan”. The astronauts were taken to the launch pad in the trailer. Furthermore, the astronauts in the Apollo 11 were asked to rest in an airstream trailer until the fear of moon germs was cleared.
Airstream and the military
The Air Force has on numerous occasions transported VIPs to far-flung locales on airstream trailers. Within the “Silver Bullet” plan, the Air Force Research Labs transformed several airstream trailers into mobile traversing modules. The trailers are not just loaded with comfortable features, but they also fit themselves into fighter planes. That makes for the flying trailers.