Jump to content

1973 / 1977 Zep planes


Recommended Posts

  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

Great photos Sam! Thanks.

The Starship was leased from Bobby Sherman and his partner's company created solely for the purpose of leasing planes to rock bands.

This is commonly available information but I wanted to reaffirm this particular bit of information.

This info was gleaned over multiple discussions with one of the flight attendants early in 2009.

Unfortunately the line of communication with her has been broken so there is no additional information to be learned.

I still have her contact information but she has taken on a new business venture and has no time for recounting Zep stories.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Steve for the verification. Always wondered what happened after their use.

The Starship, N7201U (CN: 17907), was the first Boeing 720-022 built. It was delivered to United Airlines on Oct. 05, 1960 and then purchased on Jan. 15, 1973 by Contemporary Entertainment for $750,000. Owner Ward Sylvester, manager of performer Bobby Sherman, spent another $750,000 renovating the interior of The Starship.

Inside, the main cabin contained seats and tables, revolving arm chairs, a 30-foot long couch running along the right hand side of the plane opposite the bar, a television set and video cassette player; an electronic organ was built into the bar. At the rear of the plane were two back rooms, one a den with a low couch and pillows on the floor, the other a bedroom, complete with a white fur bedspread and shower room.

The Starship was even staffed by two stewardesses, Susie, and attractive eighteen-year old blonde, and Bianca, a twenty-two year old with a dark complexion and a sense of humor.

The Starship was again used throughout the entire 1975 U.S. tour (at a cost of $2,500 per hour or $5 per mile - whichever came higher), by which time Bonzo liked to occupy the co-pilot's seat. "He flew us all the way from New York to L.A. once," Peter Grant told a startled fellow traveler on one tour, "He ain't got a license, mind..."

The Starship was used by Alice Cooper, Allman Brothers Band, Deep Purple, Elton John, Olivia Newton-John and Peter Frampton on their tours.

The Starship was leased by McCulloch Int. in Nov. 1975, repossessed by Bank of America on Nov. 10, 1977, purchased by AeroAmerica on June 21, 1978, subleased as a private plane on Sept. 1978 through Mar. 1979 and then stored at Luton Airport.

It was then parted out beginning in July 1982 because it was too corroded for flight.

Caesar's Chariot, N7224U (CN: 18077), the Boeing 720-022 that was subleased on the 1977 tour, rolled out from the assembly line on Dec. 12, 1961 and its first flight on Jan. 16, 1962. It was delivered to United Airlines on Apr. 10, 1962 and was leased to Braniff on May 6, 1972 and was returned to United Airlines on Dec. 31, 1972. It was purchased by Todd Equipment in Mar. 31, 1975 and leased by Desert Palace Inc. and was named Caesars Chariot.

Caesar's Chariot was subleased by McCulloch Int. in Aug. 1975 and returned in Sept. 1976. Led Zeppelin subleased Caesar's Chariot in Apr. 1977.

After Led Zeppelin returned the plane in July 1977, the Bee Gees used Caesar's Chariot on their 1979 tour, then it returned into service until Boeing Military Airplane Company bought the plane in July 1986 and placed it in Davis-Monthan AFB on Oct. 11, 1986 for KC-135 re-engine and spares support program. It was totally parted out by Feb. 1987, but parts may have been rescued by an aircraft maintenance school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Those computer renderings are AWESOME! I haven't seen any pictures of the '77 tour plane either, thanks for posting them Sam!! Thanks, as always, for the extra information SAJ. What a shame that such historical planes were eventually used for parts and basically junked.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...
  • 2 years later...


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...