We hate to bring you crashing back down to reality (pun intended), but if you chance across this “wreck” in Hillsboro, Oregon then it’s probably Bruce Campbell’s housing project! The retired electrical engineer, now 68, has always had an inventive side. With the theoretical background of an engineer and a love for tinkering, Campbell overhauls planes that would have been sold for parts into spectacular upcycled works of art.
As with any artist, they see the final product that others have difficulty in visualizing. It is this vision that spurs him on to lovingly restore these unloved treasures. As the old adage goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Campbell believes that an airplane’s use extends well beyond flight. With his vivid imagination and a large piece of land, he has managed to transform an out-of-service plane into a residence which is, well, out-of-this-world! We’re intrigued, let’s take a look inside this unusual home!
Sky’s The Limit
They say that you should hold fast to your dreams, and this is exactly what Mr. Bruce Campbell has done! Now retired, Campbell has had a long career as an electrical engineer; which has certainly equipped him with the skills and knowledge to live his dream. In his early 20s, a young Campbell bit the bullet and purchased 10-acres in the forest of Hillsboro, Oregon for a humble $23,000. His stage was set, his vision was clear, and he was to create something that the world had never seen before.
From a young age, Campbell loved to play with old objects and materials, designing and building objects with new or different uses. A true inventor even as a kid! It’s clear this is something that has remained with him, and when he finally decided to find himself a permanent home, it was fitting that he would build it himself. With his 10-acres, Campbell planned to construct a home out of a number of freight trucks. Keen on this idea, he went ahead and drew up plans to see his dream home come together. That was until he heard about a home that someone else had built, in Mississippi. Back to the drawing board, it seemed.
Change Of Heart, Or A Twist Of Fate?
20 years later, Campbell, when the building of his house became imminent, heard about a hairdresser from Mississippi named Joanne Ussery. Her idea for a home was the most unusual idea he’d come across. Of course, Campbell had to find out and build one of his own! The suspense is killing you, isn’t it? Well… it’s a bird…it’s a PLANE! Ussery bought a Boeing 727 airplane and created her own private space. Given her previous home had burned down, she decided to uproot and also change her style of residence, building a functional airplane home next to a lake. Idyllic really!
Whilst Campbell had already begun making tracks with his freight home idea, the thought of an airplane as a home really appealed to the inventor. Innovative, unique and most importantly: cool! For a natural tinkerer at heart, there’s nothing like constantly tweaking something like an airplane! With a strong belief in recycling and not wanting to waste resources, Campbell was decided on turning “scrap metal” into his own personal treasure. The land wasn’t a problem, with 10-acres at his disposal. However, the lingering problem was perhaps the most important one, and broken into three; how was he going to raise funds, find an old plane to buy, and transport it to Oregon!
It’s All Greek To Me!
They say if you wish hard enough, dreams do come true. In 1999 Campbell purchased a Boeing 727 from the Greek national airline, Olympic Airways, direct from Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos. For $100,000, the Boeing was a steal. Brand new, the unit cost is upwards of $5 million! Clearly, his time as an engineer had paid some dividends, so he decided to secure the deal. There still remained one problem; how on Earth was he going to transport the aircraft to the woods in Oregon?
This proved to be not only the most expensive but the most daunting part of the process. But it was definitely going to be worth it in the end! At least that’s what Campbell hoped…The staging and planning of the giant move, atop of taxes and other costs set back Campbell a further $120,000, bringing in the dream of buying and shipping his home-to-be at a cost of $220,000. But can you really put a price on a dream!? Not for Campbell! Let’s be real here – how many people do you know that have an airplane for a home? Exactly. A pretty penny, but a penny well spent we think!
If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It!
The big move. Finally, the time came to transport the Boeing 727 from Athens to Oregon. Daunting? Yes. Expensive? Absolutely. Owning a house-plane? Priceless. Resembling the process of building IKEA furniture, Campbell had to take apart the plane first in order to move it into the woods where his land parcel lies. Several men aided the resourceful and determined Campbell to remove the wings and transport the shell to its final destination. He definitely likes his privacy! Maybe not quite as simple as building IKEA furniture (though can we just say that’s a feat in itself...or is that just us…?), but Campbell quite easily managed to re-attach the wings once the craft was exactly where he wanted it. Whilst he was optimistic that he’d one day live inside the aircraft, Campbell saw it as more of a “work in progress.” But just wait and see what his dedication, long hours and a tinkering habit morphed into. We can guarantee you’ll be just as impressed as we were!
Whilst he was optimistic that he’d one day live inside the aircraft, Campbell saw it as more of a “work in progress.” But just wait and see what his dedication, long hours and a tinkering habit morphed into. We can guarantee you’ll be just as impressed as we were!
Between A Rock And A Hard Place
What started out as a hobby for Bruce Campbell became well… an obsession. Initially, it was intended to be a ‘just-for-fun’ exercise, something to work on whilst he resided in his freight vans. He knew he wanted to overhaul the plane, and transform it into something valuable, but never imagined one day he would call it ‘home.’ Campbell was motivated by the idea that he could create treasure from an airline’s ‘trash’, transforming the jetliner into an incredible housing solution instead of being treated as scrap metal. Doing his bit for the environment; we love it!
Spending his days on the aircraft, by night he would sleep in the nearby freight vans. Living in the forest was no easy task, especially becoming accustomed to a new way of living without the comforts that city-slickers wouldn’t survive a day without. But Campbell’s determination was steadfast; he wasn’t going to let the opportunity of a lifetime pass him! After years working on his pièce de résistance, his housing solution within the vans ultimately became a problem; it became infested with mice. Forced to move into the aircraft, (without a building permit mind you), this was the first time that Campbell could really consider practically living inside the plane. Where before he was an outsider looking in and making improvements; now he had to make it work, as it was the only space he had left to live!
The Mind Of A Scientist, The Heart Of An Artist
Media outlets were intrigued by the news of a man deep in the Oregon woods making his home in an aircraft, which kept Campbell’s phone busy! In an interview with The Mirror, Campbell detailed his vision, declaring that “shredding a beautiful and scintillating jetliner is a tragedy in waste and a profound failure of human imagination.” A bold statement, no? Campbell appreciated the natural curiosity that would come from the eccentric lifestyle choice. Enjoying his privacy in the woods, it was still well, his home. He seems to be quite the aircraft enthusiast, remarking that they hold an “engineering grace unmatched by any other structures people can live within.” A novel idea? Sure. Are we rushing to the nearest airport to bargain for an out-of-service plane? Not just yet.
By now you’ve realized that Campbell probably never imagined he’d be moving in so soon; as such, he never drew up any plans for how he’d work on the interior to accommodate living inside. Once he was pushed to move into the Boeing 727 however, the penny dropped, and his vision was totally and utterly complete. He encourages us next time we’re in a plane to “close your eyes for a moment and remove all the seats, all the other people from your mind,” as he is quoted by Business Insider when explaining the inner workings of his mind. Alright, are you visualizing? Ok next step, “then open your eyes with that vision and consider the expanse of the living room. It’s a good environment; it really is.” Yes…we can see a nice chaise lounge placed against the window of rows 34 through 39, maybe a floor light in front of 19B…are you with us?
Ready to greet the world, and the awaiting cameras…well, almost. First thing’s first; it was bath time for the 727. Using a high-pressure hose, Campbell washed the exterior of the aircraft. Sounds easy right? Think again. Campbell told Daily Mail that what seems a simple task takes around four days; remember, you’re talking about a craft that can carry almost 200 people! Luckily, it only needs a good clean every two years. But this exercise is not for the faint-hearted!
Before Bruce Campbell was ready to show off his masterpiece aircraft home to the world, he washed the exterior of the fuselage with a high-pressure water spray. He told Daily Mail that it sounds rather easy, but pressure washing takes about four days. A precarious job, ladders must be carefully propped up against the aircraft to access the engines and the roof of the plane. Just one small mistake could cause him to slip and result in a fatality; Campbell certainly is a daredevil! Whilst even he has his reservations, he is adamant that the end result is well worth the risk. Just wait until you see how the Boeing scrubs up!
Not Your Typical Home
“Aerospace class castle.” What exactly does Campbell mean by this? Well, according to the retired-engineer, he believes that airplanes are bound to become a home that is perfectly acceptable (if not more than acceptable) to live and retire in! They can even be modeled in such ways that they are the epitome of luxury! During his interview with Daily Mail, Campbell likens his airliner to owning a high-performance vehicle; “if a conventional home is a legacy age family Chevy or Ford, an airliner is a fresh new Tesla or Porsche Carrera.” Well… whatever floats your boat… or flies your plane…(badum-tss).
For a tad more stability, Campbell has created his very own stairway to heaven by propping up his commercial airliner on concrete pillars. It even has a driveway! Looking up at the structure, anyone would not only be extremely impressed but would appreciate the detail and meticulous care taken in the work. It definitely looks like it didn’t just crash-land there; it was put there with a purpose.
Should It Stay, Or Should It Go?
Whilst Campbell had to gut the interior, for the most part, he did manage to keep some fixtures; such as the controls and dials in the cockpit. What a cool touch! Ever resourceful, Campbell managed to repurpose parts of the plane, restoring and modifying these interior fixtures to ensure it was fit to live in and provided the necessary functions for everyday life.
Campbell sees his new place of residence as a work in progress; always tinkering, always modifying things to ensure his own comfort and enjoyment. Building his own shower, he also restored original features such as the flight stairs, airplane-style amenities, LED lighting and some of the original passenger seating! I mean… if you’ve got the travel bug maybe this is just the cure! Now, who wants to see the finished product of this one-of-a-kind home?!
Step Into The Aerospace Castle
Picture this: you find yourself wandering through the trees, Bruce greets you at the foot of his “aerospace castle” and invites you to enter. How? You ask. Well, you’d need to use the original aircraft’s fold-down stairwell, just as though you were on the tarmac of a bustling airport! Pretty neat!
He’s a details man, through and through, Mr. Campbell, with every little nook and cranny hosting a considered function. Take the shoe rack at the front of the plane for example. Filled with pairs of slippers for curious visitors, Campbell is basically on standby to greet them. It is the host’s preference for each guest to wear socks and slippers inside the Boeing to keep it clean, and for good reason; it wouldn’t be a simple, labor less task to keep such a large residence spick and span!
Laying Down The Law
The first rule of flight club… (fight club…flight club…. same-same), is to be wearing socks and slippers at all times. The glass floor of the Boeing can dirty very quickly due to the surrounding forest and wildlife. By policing this rule 24/7, Campbell ensures that his home is always in pristine condition. And who wouldn’t? It is, after all, his home! Whilst he lives alone, he isn’t a 20-year-old guy with a diet consisting of pizza and beer and going to sleep at 3 am. He’s got his routine and takes great pride in his home. After all, he has spent many years on its construction and maintenance.
When he’s enjoying the space, Campbell is no exception to the rule he’s laid down, wearing socks and slippers as he goes about his day-to-day duties inside the incredible Boeing 727-turned-home. The installation of Plexiglass flooring adds a design element to the home, revealing the inner workings of the plane. If you get nauseous about flying, definitely don’t look down. We’re not sure it will inspire confidence! For Campbell, it also provides for a space where he can ponder further tweaks and improvements.
Sit Down…Be Humble!
The aircraft has almost endless space, particularly for someone living on their own. You’d think he’d be a high-flyer…(get it?) but Campbell lives relatively modestly. A futon bed, with the majority of his food being out of a packet or a can, Campbell’s living a simple life. We don’t know if we could give up a homecooked meal on a stovetop...but hey, if that keeps him happy, then that’s up to him!
And doesn’t Bruce look relaxed, reclining on his futon mattress, surrounded by his well-loved belongings? But now that his home is complete (or is it?) it’s not all cruisy living. With his tinkering habit, Campbell is always improving, tweaking, and working on renovating areas of the aircraft, like his bathroom, which is his next DIY project!
Splish-Splash, I Was Taking A…Shower?
Campbell’s Boeing 727 has maintained some of its original features, such as the two working lavatories. But the most striking part is the shower! The 68-year-old constructed his own shower close to the tail of the plane. You’re probably wondering how he reconnected all the services to ensure total functionality. Well, to ensure the plane had running water and electricity to heat up the water for his showers, he personally dug out a trench, rerouting the power line.
But how exactly did he do it? Fusing an old meter base with the old plane’s power cable, he mounted a new circuit breaker cabinet inside the airplane with a telecom cable, tubing, and a backup water pipe. Et voila! Campbell can brush his teeth and shave with a clean water source. A tinkerer, a handyman… he’s certainly got a knack for putting things together!
Boys And Their Toys
A great fan of the various bits and bobs of the flying machine, Campbell made sure to keep the original instruments within the cockpit. However, after adding a few homey touches, he has since converted it into his reading and recreational area. Due to all the fun features and gadgets, Campbell’s vision for this area is for it to evolve into something different each time he improves and renovates it.
“It’s a great toy. Trick doors, trick floors. Hatches here, hatches there. Star Trek movies in a Star-Trek-like setting,” he told Business Insider. For a tech nerd at heart, it is something of a hidden oasis (literally) within Oregon. For Campbell, living inside a decommissioned airplane is one big adventure; it is clear he has a vivid imagination, and residing within one would certainly make him feel as though he were aboard The Enterprise. “Having lots of little toys enclosed in a very big toy is nirvana.”
Mixing Business with Pleasure
Usually, we’re advised against mixing business with pleasure, however not for Campbell! He spends his retirement working on his computer at the workstation he built for himself. Can you guess what he may be working on? His home of course! A perfectionist, Campbell is always tweaking his original designs; we’re sure that the first designs he implemented have long been replaced. He’s probably up to v.56 by now! His enthusiasm for planning his next renovation job is very clear: “I think most people are nerds in their hearts in some measure. The point is to have fun,” he told Daily Mail.
Whilst some would say he is literally married to his “job”…which happens to be his home, there is a method to his madness. It is easy to see that by living within the space he is working on, he gets the best sense of the direction to take, to create a home for himself which is more functional and useful. It’s not every day you can glean that sort of insight; in his former career’s industry, often the engineer would draft plans for an area that they’ve never actually stepped inside. A win-win situation really!
The Big City Lights
The two basic requirements for a home are lighting and water supply. But in the deep woods of Oregon, it was not so simple. Campbell designed and built his own running water system, as well as restoring the lighting on the plane; both internal and external. While some of us struggle to piece together Lego, Campbell was constructing necessary elements to ensure the basic amenities were covered, even in the forest.
Just as we flick on a switch in our home and at our workplace, as we read and research...so can Campbell, thanks to his engineering background. He can continue to work on his designs, read in the cockpit or even watch TV throughout the night without worry of a power cut. Not only resourceful but environmentally-aware, Campbell repaired the original LED lights on the airship, which have reduced his emissions and energy usage.
We all know a person who is extremely house proud, and proud of their gardening efforts. Well, this is something which resonates deeply with Campbell. Not only does he regularly clean and maintain the aircraft, but he also tends to the surrounding forest area. Just as you’d care for your plants, or mow your lawn, Campbell keeps an eye on weeds and the length of the grass!
Now we don’t want anyone feeling shameful here…but Campbell mows his lawn once a week and also removes weeds from beneath the body of the plane to ensure his home is always presentable. We admire his determination and attention-to-detail…and also the fact that he isn’t lazy! We wish we had half the strength to not just sleep all weekend and be productive! We suppose that even in the forest…there’s such a thing as keeping up with the Joneses…
A Real Green Thumb
The Daily Mail spoke for a lot of people when they asked why Campbell is so enthusiastic about upcycling and converting aircraft into homes. He emphasized the environmental benefits, noting that three airliners are decommissioned on a daily basis. If these steel birds can be repurposed and utilized as opposed to ending up on a scrap heap, then that’s a win for the environment! Planes are strong and durable and can withstand storms and earthquakes, making them perfect for regions which are frequently harassed by the elements. Perhaps he’s onto something, and they could be recycled for good!
The Boeing 727, as well as being sturdy, is also simple to clean (the interior at least!). “Their interior is easy to keep immaculately clean because they are sealed pressure canisters. They could last for centuries,” he said. Campbell thinks that his Boeing 727 is a glittering example and might be enough of a push to create traction around the world once people see the enormous benefits.
Ready For Anything
A lot of people would be hesitant about deciding to live inside an airplane, simply due to the isolation and lack of nearby amenities and grocery stores. Campbell proves that this is definitely not an issue and assures his guests that he is not far from the city at all! It seems with his fully stocked kitchenette he essentially has an above-ground bomb shelter situation going on. With all the ketchup and mustard and tinned food one could only dream of, he has plenty of ingredients for sustenance. He mustn’t be much of a foodie clearly…someone bring that man a (fresh) vegetable!
Aside from the tinned food and being unable to create a gourmet three-course meal, he seems to be able to compromise on taste in order to be able to feed his inventive appetite. The kitchen has all he needs; running water, a microwave, and a toaster; easy, simple, quick meals at his fingertips! We don’t know about you but…airplane food is pretty good these days…shame the prepared meals don’t come with the aircraft…!
Ready For Lift-Off?
Whilst the plane certainly is defunct and has been long-retired from its flying duties, Campbell has ensured to maintain the plane’s original features to offer that feeling that he could fly anywhere he pleases. By keeping a row of well-preserved seating, Campbell feels he has somehow captured that feeling of being 20,000 feet high!
For practical living purposes, the majority of the seating has been removed, but Campbell, during his design process, insisted on retaining a piece of the original plane to remind him that he is indeed, living inside an aircraft. The seats are also definitely open for guests to use; not a bad spot to sit and admire Campbell’s handiwork! Where to, Mr. Campbell?
“This is your Captain speaking”
We bet Campbell must feel like a 7-year-old each time he enters the cockpit area. No doubt this is the reason he absolutely loves hanging out in this part of his home. His “reading-corner” it’s a place where he restores his creative energy and generates inspiration, as a little sanctuary in which to unwind and relax. It also acts as a game room!
For Campbell, who had an interest in aviation from a young age, the cockpit transports him to the interior of a working plane, preparing for its next flight. The gadgets and flashing lights which he has enabled to work to some degree, enable him to vividly imagine what it would be like to be a pilot. We’re sure at some point he’s definitely used the PA system to do a pilot’s impression of… “this is your Captain speaking!”
So, you’d think a man living on his own, with no partner to keep him in line, would be living in a glorified junkyard. But Bruce Campbell is definitely an exception. The aircraft is immaculate and is cleaned regularly. He holds the same level of cleanliness with his own personal hygiene, ensuring that he has access to clean running water. He even has his own washing machine also connected to the water source. So, no excuse for not smelling and looking good for his visitors! Campbell has proven that with a lot of imagination and a few simple handyman skills, as well as a bit of time, you can make anything mobile. His makeshift home is just as good as any conventional house, with its full host of amenities.
So gents, if any of you at home are too lazy to do your washing or maintain some level of personal hygiene, think of Bruce…proof that there is no excuse to not do your laundry!
Okay, we know what you’re thinking; Bruce Campbell has probably let himself get to a state which challenges Tom Hanks’ character in Castaway. However, this just isn’t the case! Just because Campbell lives in an isolated environment, doesn’t mean that he has a little self-respect. The 68-year-old takes a lot of pride in his appearance. If anything, his pedantic approach to cleaning the aircraft is a reflection of his own level of personal hygiene.
When you think about it, he isn’t exactly floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a piece of driftwood; he shaves, showers and washes his clothing every day just like any city slicker! He’s ensured that his home is fully functional and isn’t lacking any of the comforts that you’d expect in a standard home.
The Business Of Building
One of the benefits of owning an airplane home is its durability. Its sturdy metal exterior is a huge plus for Campbell, as opposed to having a home made out of wood. He explained in detail to Business Insider that “wood is, in my view, a terrible building material. It biodegrades – it’s termite chow and microbe chow. Or it’s firewood; depends upon which happens first.” Fair call!
He believes that a traditionally shaped, rectangular house, is inferior to that of his pressurized metal craft, as the emphasis for conventional homes is on ergonomics as opposed to strength. “To me it makes no sense at all to destroy the finest structures available and then turn around and build homes out of materials which are fundamentally little better than pressed cardboard, using ancient and inferior design and building methods,” he said. Well, we’re not engineers, so maybe he has a point!
So...It Wasn't A Crash?
Funnily enough, one of the most common questions people ask is; “so, did you just find it here and decided to claim it or?” Campbell flatly refuses to answer those sorts of questions, telling news outlets they are “totally illogical” and “unreasonable.” Let’s think about this though people; if it were a crash, wouldn’t it be crawling with authorities and then taken as evidence? Then disposed of? Anyway… Campbell has since made it his mission to educate people and teach curious passers-by how much work truly goes into such an undertaking.
For him what seems so simple to understand has left many Americans and visitors scratching their heads. But he’s not one to judge (too harshly at least!) and has decided to share his home with the world so they can appreciate the work and the inspiration behind his one-of-a-kind home.
Beaming With Pride
You can just see in Campbell’s face how proud he is of his Boeing 727 “baby.” It’s no wonder he’s so attached to his home, after having lovingly worked on it for years, to a point where it was finally serviceable as a living space. The aircraft is almost an extension of Campbell, with its design features and little gadgets installed or maintained for his own enjoyment. It’s a safe haven for the engineer, a place where he can truly relax and feel safe, as well as get to play with his toys, inventing new things all the time!
But this is just one project of Campbell’s; his innovative tendencies do not stop with this 727. He strives for the next best thing…and boy does he have some creative pursuits lined up for the next few years! We’re just as curious as you are….
A Home Away From Home
Six months of the year, Campbell resides in Oregon, U.S.A. But after some quick maths (Yes...that’s a Big Shaq reference), there are of course twelve months in the year. So where does Campbell spend the rest of the year? Well, whilst he’s fond of living inside his Boeing 727, he cannot go past the picturesque beauty of the island Kyushu in Japan. A massive cultural difference that’s for sure!
Whilst living in Japan, Campbell simultaneously works on a number of projects to keep himself busy. And naturally, they’re ideas that are…flying (too much?) ...well above our heads. With that hint, surely you can guess what his next endeavor is!
What’s Better Than One Airplane Home?
Well…two airplane homes! Campbell is indeed planning on transforming a second aircraft into a home, this time in Japan! You may have already guessed that he feels he might have outgrown his humble 727…this time opting for its larger brother, the Boeing 747. Way to go Brucey! He is currently planning on securing another retired airplane and converting it into a home on the island in Japan which he adores. Now that’s a way to spend your retirement!
He feels that instead of building a new home and wasting more resources, he can do his bit for the environment again in Japan by upcycling a second plane. Now that he’s restored and completed one home in the States, surely it will be a piece of(airplane) cake to create another.
Activating for Social Change??
You know how when you feel like you’ve found your calling? No? Not yet? Okay... anyway…so Campbell feels that he’s truly found his life’s purpose. And no, it’s not to upcycle airliners you cynics! He’s fuelled by the fact that he can make a difference in the world for the environment. With his inventive mind and electrical engineering background, he believes he should put it to good use. What better way than to give back to the environment?
But Campbell too is a little kid at heart, and perhaps he has found his true love; recycling airplanes. The potential he sees in a pair of silver wings is huge; he wishes to claim the aircraft upcycling niche as his very own! “My goal is to change humanity’s behavior in this little niche,” Campbell says, standing proudly in front of his masterpiece of a home
There Are More Of Them?
So, after a little digging, it seems that Campbell isn’t the only person with an airplane home! Of course, you may remember he was inspired by a woman who had decided to use the body of a plane to construct her own home! From Texas to Costa Rica, and even the Netherlands, there are a limited bunch of individuals who’ve transformed decommissioned airliners and aircraft into functional homes. Did you know there’s even an association dedicated to this process?
Martin Todd, the spokesman for the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association, said that the group “is happy to see aircraft fuselages re-purposed in a range of creative ways. We would want them to be recovered and to be re-used in an environmentally sustainable fashion,” Todd said. Wow! AFRA focuses on promoting sustainable practices for engines and aircraft, particularly after they have been retired from service. Another spokesperson estimated that almost 2,000 aircraft will be dismantled and repurposed globally over the next few years. With the demand increasingly high for air travel, this calls for newer, and more advanced planes to be in circulation. Thus, around 500 to 600 will be retired each year over the next two decades! That’s a lot of scrap metal! But as Campbell has shown, with a little imagination and a few power tools, these could all be upcycled into homes!
So now we’re sitting here with the question; why Oregon? Well, no it’s not quite as mysterious as you’re imagining. Not because it’s a site known for UFO sightings (are we wrong for thinking the sight of a “plane crash” could draw the aliens???), but for two pretty fundamental reasons; for work and for aspect. He chose to build his airplane home in the woods of Hillsboro, Oregon because, a) he was offered a job in the area after he graduated in the 1970s, and b) for the simple reason that he enjoys the natural aesthetic of the landscape: “I like the area and it’s very green and Oregon is a little independent-minded which appealed to me. It’s a country setting, it’s very nice. It’s more than enough for the aircraft,” he wrote on his website.
They say good things come to those who wait…and Campbell definitely waited! The engineer took his time before deciding to purchase a home, for the simple reason that he never wanted a mortgage due to its ability to financially cripple. When he had enough cash to purchase a home outright, he totally changed his thinking; “I stopped thinking in provincial terms and I had thought like a free bird engineer,” he said. Well, he’s certainly free as a bird now…ha…ha…
Open For Visitors
Whilst Campbell is certainly not putting his “house” up for sale, it seems as though he may as well apply for a Real Estate license, regularly allowing curious guests the opportunity to have a walk-through the aircraft. If you so wish, you can schedule an appointment with him directly via his website if you’re looking to quench your curiosity.
The average person may feel their privacy is slightly violated what with the abundance and regularity of visitors. When Daily Mail asked his thoughts on this, he seemed rather unphased: “It happens frequently; it happens almost every day now and I encourage it.” Happy for people from all walks of life to witness his gloriously innovative abode, it is Campbell’s wish to show people what he believes is a “great toy” and “one of the finest structures mankind has ever built.” Well, he’s certainly not shy, nor short of self-praise!
Campbell is accustomed to visitors dropping in at the most bizarre times to get a look at the interior of his incredible home, but you can imagine that there have been some awkward situations! Campbell recalls how one time, he was taking a shower when several onlookers walked in for a visit.
You’d think that by living deep in the forest in Oregon you’d be away from prying eyes…but not when you decide to live inside an airplane! “I live in a pretty transparent environment. I go about living while people are touring my aircraft and sometimes it’s very intimate,” he told Daily Mail. Campbell, however, isn’t a total recluse; he genuinely enjoys learning new things from his visitors and always meeting interesting people.
Bringing Music To The Woods
Campbell has garnered broad interest from the public, hosting many inquisitive guests. But that’s not all; he even holds a number of events during the course of the year. In June last year, he hosted Japanese vocalist, Yuko Pomily-san, a Tokyo-born composer and performer. Bruce has a love for Japan and Japanese culture; along with it, Japanese-inspired music! Along with a selection of other artists, a truly unique show was held, taking place on the grass in front of the right wing of the Boeing 727.
He advertised the show on his website as “A new concert option: Superb music rendered from a wing of a scintillating aerospace home.” He invited his guests to enjoy the stirring compositions and songs of the musicians, advising them to dress comfortably for the countryside. He even offered tours of his home for the more curious of the bunch. Not many people can say they’ve been to a concert with an airplane as the backdrop.
Party In The USA
Bruce recently hosted a massive dance party onboard the plane with his friends who own the Portland-based party-promotion company, Murderboat Productions. At least he knows there’s no chance of being reported for noise disturbance! But we’re not so sure about the commotion attracting forest critters…if you can call a wolf a critter…
The dance party took place on the wing of the aircraft, with guests partying on the ground also being taken on a guest tour of the Boeing 727. Over 14,000 people showed interest on Facebook for what was a truly memorable event, celebrating art, beer, and food. With permission of Oregon’s authorities of course! We’re sure the next day there would’ve been no chance of lift-off...heh.
Living a relatively solitary life, Bruce Campbell is content with this lifestyle choice. He can enjoy his unique bachelor pad without any interruptions. He doesn’t seem to get lonely either, accepting the fact that: “I will not marry and will not generate kids. I’m 68 so it’s too late anyway, but I simply never desired to be married or have kids. I enjoy romance and love and I indulge in it as much as civilization will allow,” he declared to Daily Mail. You do you!
He truly adores his unconventional living quarters, which perhaps provides insight into why he finds the traditional concept of love and marriage as restrictive as having a mortgage! Perhaps a bitter recluse, or a realist…you decide! But he isn’t totally devoid of human emotion, maintaining a close relationship with neighbors who support him 100% and enjoy his vision and determination. Despite his modest life, it doesn’t stop him from securing his next project, which is situated in an exotic location!
One Airline’s Trash, Another Man’s Treasure
Campbell has the leisurely option of splitting his time between his Boeing 727 in Oregon and Kyushu Japan. Always planning, Campbell is already in the process of purchasing a nice piece of land to create an even larger airplane home with a Boeing 747!
He finds the pull of upcycling airplanes too strong to resist; he particularly enjoys the thrill of unveiling something he has created with his hands and seeing his ideas come to fruition. He even hosts social events and open tours on his aircraft, which provides an additional source of income for the retiree. On Campbell’s website, his goal is summed up in the line; “to spark a renaissance of thought about how to utilize this remarkable resource.” But it doesn’t stop there; Campbell sees himself as trailblazing a new trend in housing, imploring others to build their own airplane homes as well!
I Think I’m Turning Japanese
While most people work to earn enough to secure just one home in their lifetime, Campbell has greater aspirations. The talented tinkering man plans to work on his second airplane home, which was set to begin in 2018. He plans to spend six months in the States, and then the rest of his time in Japan, the site of his to-be home. Tucked away on the idyllic island of Kyushu, Japan, he was last reported to have been arranging the purchase of an old fuselage to create his second landing pad…(ahem).
But Bruce’s intentions are not all selfish; he wants his home to also be something for the local community to enjoy. His vision is to transform the Kyushu plane into a tsunami lifeboat for surrounding islands of the archipelago which are frequently threatened by the natural disaster. Campbell also plans on educating others with the knowledge that airplanes have incredible lifespans; lasting for centuries and withstanding extreme conditions due to their aerospace sealed pressure technology. What a great guy!
The Old Birds Are Still Going!
Now for a little bit about the aircraft itself, the Boeing 727 was built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes from the early 60s up until 1984. Intended for short to medium-length flights, the 727 was commonly seen at smaller airports. Carrying up to 189 passengers, the craft has three Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines, also being the only Boeing tri-jet in commercial plane production.
The design was actually borne of a compromise between United Airlines, American Airlines, and Eastern Airlines, with the three passenger-flight companies agreeing on this tri-jet design. From its original development in the U.S., it became popular with international airlines, hence Olympic Airlines possessing a number of the 727 in its fleet. Delta Airlines was the last major U.S. carrier to employ this model. Its last 727 was retired in April 2003. But it seems that there are still a few flying! The last remaining airline to operate the 727-200s for passenger services is Iran Aseman Airlines!
A Sombre Past
Of course, as with any second-hand object, there is usually a story that follows. Before Campbell transported the Boeing 727 to Oregon and transformed it into his own work-of-art, the craft itself was used as a passenger plane. Belonging to Olympic Airlines, it goes without saying that the aircraft would have flown a number of stars and prominent people. However, our little-known-fact is of a bleaker disposition.
Now Campbell’s ‘home sweet home’, the air taxi transported the body of Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis to Greece after his untimely death in France. Suffering respiratory failure in March 1975, the body of Onassis was accompanied by Jackie Kennedy Onassis, the former First Lady of the United States of America. Quite a story; albeit a gloomy one. We suppose the good thing about planes is that there’s no real chance of them ever carrying the title of ‘haunted plane’…so Campbell can sleep soundly tonight!