The Led Zeppelin Airplane “The Starship”

This legendary 1973 photo by Bob Gruen of Led Zeppelin standing in front of their own “Led Zeppelin Airplane” helped make the band bigger than life.

Led Zeppelin Starship Airplane Bob Gruen

When Led Zeppelin toured North America for their 1973 and 1975 concert tours they chartered (did not buy or own) “The Starship.”  “The Starship” was a former United Airlines Boeing 720B passenger jet, bought by Bobby Sherman and his manager, Ward Sylvester, and leased to touring musical artists in the mid-1970s.  Here’s the layout of “The Starship”…

the_starship_floor_plan_led_zep_airplane

The N Number was N7201U, The Serial Number was 17907, it was the first B720 built and it was delivered to United Airlines on October 1960 and then purchased in 1973 by Contemporary Entertainment.  Sherman and Sylvester invested $200,000 to reduce its seating capacity to forty and to install into the main cabin a bar, seats and tables, revolving arm chairs, a 30-foot-long couch, a television set and a video cassette player, complete with a well-stocked video library.

Led Zeppelin The Starship Photos Inside

An electronic organ was built into the bar. Here’s a photo of John Paul Jones on the organ…

Led Zeppelin Starship Airplane John Paul Jones Organ

At the rear of the craft were two back rooms, one with a low couch and pillows on the floor, and the other, a bedroom, complete with a white fur bedspread and shower room.  Here’s a photo of Zeppelin manager Peter Grant on the fur bedspread…

Starship Led Zeppelin Private Plane Bedroom Inside

Here’s a few shots of Jimmy Page & Robert Plant aboard “The Starship.

jimmy_page_the_starship_led_zeppelin

Flying on “The Starship,” Led Zeppelin were no longer required to change hotels so often. They could base themselves in large cities such as Chicago, New York, Dallas and Los Angeles and travel to and from concerts within flying distance.  After each show, the band members would be transported direct by limousine from the concert venue to the airport, as depicted in the Led Zeppelin concert film “The Song Remains the Same.”  For the 1973 tour The exterior of the plane was re-sprayed with Led Zeppelin emblazoned down the side of the fuselage (as pictured below).

the_starship_Led_zeppelin_airplane_

Throughout Led Zeppelin’s 1975 US concert tour, “The Starship” was painted red-and-blue paint scheme with white stars similar to the United States flag, and with a smaller Led Zeppelin logo on the fuselage.

the_starship_led_zeppelin_stars_stripes_airplane

The Starship” went through many owners from 1977 through 1979 until it went into storage at Luton Airport.  It was dismantled for parts starting in July 1982.

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Comments

  1. leelitifintrapsychic says:

    love those translegerdemain shots

  2. Glo says:

    The red white and blue version of this craft pictured here says Gary Wright on it, not Led Zeppelin. :-) Most information on the 'net says Elton John had it painted in that color scheme.

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