Retired Sea King helicopters being sold off by the Ministry of Defence are being snapped up to make unique outbuildings, garden sheds or “man caves” it is claimed.
A military surplus firm selling the aircraft says it has had “massive amounts of interest” from people wanting to buy up the helicopters.
Witham Special Vehicles, based on a 600-acre disused airfield at Grantham, Lincs, is selling off around 30 Sea King helicopters for the MOD this year as it replaces the ageing aircraft.
Mr Paul Southering, Managing Director of With(Specialist Vehicles) Ltd, Colsterworth, Nr Grantham, Lincolnshire Photo: DANPICS
More than 20 are airworthy and expected to continue flying with commercial firms, private pilots or foreign nations, but six or seven are empty hulks that were stripped of parts.
While working helicopters could fetch £150,000 each, the hulks can be bought for between £10,000 and £20,000 said Paul Southerington, the managing director. All the money goes to the MoD.
He said: “They are being sold for upmarket gardens sheds or ‘man caves’. One guy was going to put a bedroom in and siting room in it.
The Sea King Helicopters which are up for sale Photo: DANPICS
“They are ideal for conversion. The sky's the limit with what you can do with one. They are all made of aluminium so they will never rust or rot.”
He said there had also been interest from theme parks, paintballing ranges and museums.
Inside of a Sea King Helicopter which are up for sale Photo: DANPICS
“In London you are looking at £1m million for a flat that’s half the size of one of these.
“You can imagine putting one of these at the top of a cliff or looking out to sea, it would be amazing.”
Helicopters on sale include “Junglie” Sea Kings used by Royal Marine commandos. The Royal Navy and RAF are retiring their Sea King fleet as search and rescue duties have been privatised.