Convair Has Had Checkered Past
Ed Guidicelli's dream to convert an airplane into a bed and
breakfast has encountered some rough air. An antique
enthusiast with a knack for restoration and tourism, Guidicelli had
hoped to transform a 42-passenger Convair 240 into a studio-style,
luxury bed and breakfast in Sheffield Township, OH.
Guidicelli believes the project could help his economically
depressed town become a tourist attraction. While he acknowledges
the critics, he still believes in his dream... although for the
moment, the pieced-out, nearly 60-year-old aircraft looks like
neither plane, nor lodge.
Township trustee Timothy Mihalcik said he has received many
complaints from residents pressuring township officials to put an
end to Guidicelli's backyard collection... which includes a vintage
C&O caboose, parked on rails near the plane.
Trustees adopted a zoning ordinance last year
outlawing residents from keeping planes, trains and other eyesores
on their property. Guidicelli's plane and caboose -- protected by a
grandfather clause -- may remain.
Guidicelli said he has given tours of the plane and caboose to
more than 100 visitors, most who have offered encouragement and
"It's a piece of history," Guidicelli told the Akron Beacon.
"And most people are thrilled that I'm saving it. A part of me knew
it would be an uphill battle. But if I don't do it now, I never
According to Tourism News, the plane
has a somewhat checkered history.
The Convair in question, N314H, is believed to have once been
owned by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (shown at right), an Indian cult
leader who relocated to Antelope, OR in the early 1980s.
The guru established his own airline, known as "Air Rajneesh,"
with a fleet of similar planes to shuttle new disciples in to his
After a series of controversies and criminal investigations, the
commune dissolved and Rajneesh was deported. He passed away in
1990, by which time he had asked to be called "Osho."
Through a series of odd events, the plane wound up in the hands
of a gentleman in Oak Harbor, OH who wanted to turn it into a
restaurant -- that is, until the government closed his marina when
it was found to be peppered with unexploded ordnance.
But when Guidicelli spotted it, disassembled and scattered on
some property along the side of a highway, he knew he had to own
it. Ever since he was a child, Guidicelli had wanted an
The restaurant entrepreneur then sold the plane to Guidicelli --
who wanted to turn it into a bed and breakfast -- but Ed he into
such resistance from some neighbors that he then tried to sell it
Before long, the "Air Rajneesh" -- in six pieces, loaded onto
two semis -- landed in Sheffield. Where it may go from there... and
in what form... remains to be seen.