To say that retired electrical engineer Bruce Campbell, 73, owns a unique home, is certainly an understatement!
How many people can say that they actually live in an airplane? In the woods? The world is full of interesting homes, and Campbell’s Boeing 727 must surely rank high among them.
Campbell’s 200-passenger jetliner covers 1,066 square feet and weighs around 70,000 pounds.
He bought the plane for $100,000 in 1999 and spends $370 a month on property taxes and electricity.
If you’re sitting in an airplane, would you ever think of living in one? It might have been an unusual choice, but understandable for someone fascinated with machines and airplanes, like an electrical engineer.
Campbell’s love for aircraft, in particular, can be traced back to his teenage years. As a 15-year-old, he recalled seeing an airplane boneyard, or a field of aircraft that could no longer take to the skies, on TV.
At the time, he thought, “Why just waste a perfectly good airplane body?” It seemed like such a waste to let those out-of-commission aircraft rust and rot away in a field.
Though they might not be fit for the skies anymore, the electrical engineer thought that grounded airplanes could still be put to good use.
And years later, he decided to get his hands on one. It is not exactly easy to find a retired airplane, so Campbell hired a salvage company to find one for him.
He shared, “That was a Whopper class mistake. I’ll never do that again. Salvage companies are wreckers. I highly recommend just buying a jetliner completely intact and completely functional, except maybe the removal of the engines.”
After months of searching, the company found Campbell a Boeing 727 in Greece.
The plane was formerly owned by the Greek-Argentinian shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, who was married to former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
After Campbell bought the plane, it was flown from Greece to Oregon and prepared for ownership.
The whole process, which amounted to $120,000, included removing the engines and other parts to ensure that the plane could never fly again.
When the aircraft was ready, it was towed to the electrical engineer’s land through the streets of downtown Hillsboro.
The airplane is now parked on the 10-acre property he bought in the early 1970s for $25,800.
Of course, you wouldn’t want to change the exterior of the airplane, but inside, Campbell’s residence is a home through and through.
It took two years and approximately $15,000 to transform the airplane. The electrical engineer added a makeshift shower, temporary sink, portable washing machine, refrigerator, and food service cart from another plane that serves as the pantry.
The plane also has a microwave and toaster oven, which are barely sued. Campbell said, “I’m a nerd. I don’t cook, so it’s a minimal kitchen area.”
He also has a futon that is placed next to the kitchen area, which doubles as his bed and workbench.
Outside, clever wooden beams built in a staggered pattern support much of the fuselage.
Campbell is quite happy with his unusual home. He said, “I have no regrets about pursuing this vision.
In my experience with my guests, I believe that humanity will embrace this vision wholeheartedly in enough proportion that we can utilize every jetliner which retires from service.”
He added, “I have no regrets about pursuing this vision. It’s fun. Jetliner homes are really cool.”
Campbell calls the plane his own “nerd cave.” The electrical engineer spends his time on the aircraft working on his hobby, which is restoring electronic devices and fixing different electrical systems on the plane, as well as letting people come over and tour his aircraft.
He splits his time between the US and Japan since his partner lives there and is not keen to live in an airplane.
Campbell is thus motivated to build a similar home in Japan one day so he can be close to the people he loves. But right now, he is enjoying his life, living in his airplane home near the woods.
He declared, “When you live in a structure like this, you feel a little more fulfilled with your life. And if you’re an engineer, scientist, or anyone who appreciates the elegance and beauty of aerospace technology, it’s just a happier place to live.”
Take a look at Campbell’s amazing airplane home in the video below: