Enthusiasts of aviation often harbor a profound love for aircraft and the memories associated with them. While many people cherish these sentiments, some take their passion to extraordinary levels. Allow us to introduce Bruce Campbell, a 73-year-old electrical engineer hailing from Portland, Oregon, who has transformed his lifelong love for aviation into an unconventional dwelling by repurposing a decommissioned Boeing 727 into his unique living space.
For Campbell, the idea of residing within an aircraft was a dream that had lingered throughout his life. The spark for this dream ignited when he watched footage of an airplane boneyard on television, fueling his imagination. Transforming this dream into reality, however, was a complex undertaking. In 1999, he took the unconventional step of enlisting the assistance of a salvage company to procure a retired aircraft fuselage. He now imparts sage advice to those contemplating similar ventures.
The salvage company eventually located a Boeing 727-200, previously in service with Olympic Airways in Greece. This aircraft, with a history that included 43 flights for the airline and the transport of shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis’s remains in 1975, became Campbell’s remarkable piece of aviation history, acquired for $100,000. Astonishingly, the 727 was still airworthy. It was flown to Oregon and towed to Campbell’s ten-acre property just outside Hillsboro, a Portland suburb. His aspiration is to inspire more retired aircraft to find meaningful second lives.
Despite his grounded lifestyle, Campbell is no stranger to air travel. He frequently journeys to Japan, where he spends a substantial portion of his time. During his travels, he actively seeks accommodations in repurposed aircraft, showcasing his commitment to sustainable living.
For those intrigued by the prospect of living inside an airplane, Campbell extends an invitation for visitors. He offers tours of his distinctive home, requesting guests to remove their shoes and providing slippers, reminiscent of a considerate flight attendant. Within the modified 727, a workstation serves as Campbell’s domain for restoring old computer systems.
Curious about the cost of living in a decommissioned, de-engined Boeing 727? Surprisingly, it’s quite reasonable. Campbell estimates a monthly expense of around $370, covering $220 for property taxes and an additional $100 to $250 for electricity.
Bruce Campbell is not alone in embracing a jet-setting yet sustainable lifestyle. In California, a house constructed from the wings of a retired Boeing 747 stands as a testament to creativity. In Mississippi, a woman named Jo embarked on her Continental Airlines 727 renovation project, complete with a bathtub in the former flight deck. In Costa Rica, a 727 has been ingeniously repurposed as a hotel nestled in the jungle. These tales of creativity and sustainability echo the enduring allure of aviation.