Mum spends £10,000 converting helicopter into home cinema

Most parents consider it a success to turn a Fairy washing up liquid bottle into a rocket or master the art of gluing dried peas.
Not Maria Merry.
She has bought an old helicopter and transformed it into a home cinema for her and her son Freddie, 11, to enjoy in her home.
Maria, 46, paid £950 for the decommissioned aircraft and had it airlifted to their home in Chippenham, Wiltshire.
Maria Merry thinks she’s spent in the region of £10,000 converting a helicopter into a home cinema for her and her son Freddie (Picture: Caters)
There’s even a secret minibar hidden in the nose of the helicopter Maria bought for £95 (Picture: Caters)
She spent something in the region of £10,000 on the makeover, giving it a secret minibar, sofa bed, smoke machine, custom sound effects and a sweet dispenser.
Maria said: ‘When I spotted the helicopter after being on the day out I knew straight away that I had to buy it.

‘It was a bargain price and as I’ve always had a creative side, everyone has been so amazed when they’ve seen it.
‘I took one look at it and said yes, if it fits in the garage we’re having it. I love aviation, fast cars, anything like that.
‘The £10,000 spent to transform it was inheritance from my nan, Rose Billard, after she died three years ago and she made me promise I would spend it on something special.
They had to work out how to get it into their garage and relied on a lot of help (Picture: Caters)
There’s a sweet dispenser on the top of the helicopter (Picture: Caters)
The helicopter was in a bit of a sorry state when Maria bought it (Picture: Caters)
‘It’s like a mini personal club. It has a secret minibar, sofa bed, smoke machine, custom sound effects and sweet dispenser, my son Freddie loves it.’
They saw the helicopter on sale at the Helicopter Museum during a day trip to Weston-super-Mare.

Maria said: ‘Freddie spotted a picture of the helicopter for sale and jokingly said “Can we buy it?”.
‘I asked at the counter and they took us around the back, I took one look at it and said yes, we’re having it. My son said he was only joking, I said I’m not.’
The helicopter stayed at the museum while Maria worked out how they were going to fit it into their three-bedroom home.
The helicopter also has a sofa bed, smoke machine and custom sound effects (Picture: Caters)
They saw the helicopter on sale at the Helicopter Museum during a day trip to Weston-super-Mare (Picture: Caters)
With a bit of help from her friends she got underway with the project.
Maria said: ‘I posted on Facebook asking for help with the project and the response was amazing. Over the whole entire thing, including labour and parts I’ve spent about £10,000.

‘I had left the money in the bank for a year until I had something special to buy. It’s fantastic, such a cool play area, for kids and grownups.’
Maria said: ‘Some people saw it in such a state, but to see if transformed has been really nice for me to show everyone.
‘I’ve always had a creative side, I can’t draw but I love design. If you buy something and change your mind you can return it, but if you don’t and it’s gone, you can’t go back.
‘When the garage door opens and you see it, it makes it so worthwhile.’
Maria said: ‘When I spotted the helicopter after being on the day out I knew straight away that I had to buy it’ (Picture: Caters)