According to J Baugher's website, this was Consolidated PBY (Catalina) 34045:
(c/n 1599) converted to luxury LANDSEAIRE flying yacht, registered as N69043. Later to Brazil as PP-AXX. Lost in landing crash near Ubatuba, State of Sao Paulo Jul 5, 1953. By that time, it was registered PT-APK.The photos were taken around Feburary 1950 by LIFE photographer Loomis Dean. As we can see here, although there were no structural changes, apart from enabling a shallow dinghy to be carried under the starboard wing...
... the aircraft was very well fitted out, with bunks in the rear fuselage...
... a shower (demonstrated by a lovely young lady in the photos here)...
...radio, for the Tommy Dorsey broadcasts, cocktail cabinet...
...and galley ("How d'you want your eggs?", say the girls).
While one might expect them to be doing the cooking, you might not expect the men to be doing the sewing!
It wasn't all beer and skittles, and sometimes someone had to sew the aeroplane back together.
But then there were cocktails and sherries, and the chance to telephone the pilot to push on the stick to get your girlfriend's drink up her nose! Oh how we laughed.
Until she decided to chill our drinks with the fire extinguisher. Ah, the era of the brand new polka dot Bikini, invented in 1946. Very daring.
Hello Gidget! What's that? You don't want to die of cancer from passive smoking? Mommy's busy cheating at poker, dahling.
... Just have another cocktail! Of course we need a cocktail glass shelf in the viewarama window.
But seriously folks...
Not only is it a fascinating insight to a one-off aeroplane, it's a great little piece of social history, and with the carefully shot large format black and white photos, of great compositional interest as well.
The names and details of the various subjects and the story of their voyage hasn't come down to us via the LIFE photo website, but in a way it's more fun imagining the story to fit the pictures. There's twelve pages of them, starting here.
EDIT: Update here.
(Photos Credited & Copyright LIFE archive.)