Saga of the Silver Bullet

by Donya Carlson
March 2, 2015
Filed under Trailer News, Trailers


The first Airstream trailer was built in 1929, a tent contraption that Wally Byam made on a Model T chassis. The tent was replaced with a teardrop-shaped shelter, and a stove and ice chest were added. The first factory-produced Airstream, nicknamed the Silver Bullet because of its airplane-fuselage-inspired design, rolled out in 1931, making the company the oldest U.S. manufacturer of RVs. Today, the retro design is still in style, and Airstream’s trailer production is at its highest level since the 1970s. In fact, the company can’t roll them out fast enough to meet demand, and ground has been broken for a major factory expansion that eventually will increase production capacity by 50 percent.

Over the years the polished trailers have cameoed in Hollywood movies and served as a NASA Mobile Quarantine Facility for astronauts returning from lunar missions, including Apollo 11’s Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins when they came back from  the moon.
Airstream builds 50 trailers every week at the plant in Jackson Center, Ohio — all riveted by hand. The aerodynamic styling translates into better fuel economy and easier towability. Airstreams are popular with baby boomers as well as the younger set, fascinated with the trailers’ classic lines, riveted aluminum construction and nostalgic history.

Airstream | 877-596-6111 |


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