Aviation enthusiasts often hold a deep appreciation for aircraft and the nostalgia associated with them. While most people cherish these memories, some individuals take their passion to new heights. Meet Bruce Campbell, a 73-year-old electrical engineer from Portland, Oregon, who has turned his love for aviation into a unique and unconventional home by transforming a decommissioned Boeing 727 into his living space.
For Bruce Campbell, residing inside an aircraft was a lifelong dream. This dream began to take shape after he saw footage of an airplane boneyard on television, sparking his imagination. However, turning this dream into reality was no easy feat. In 1999, he took the unconventional step of enlisting the help of a salvage company to obtain a retired aircraft fuselage, and he offers sage advice to anyone considering such an endeavor.
The salvage company eventually located a Boeing 727-200, which had once flown under the Olympic Airways banner in Greece. This aircraft had a rich history, having completed 43 flights for the airline and later being involved in transporting the remains of shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis after his passing in 1975.
Bruce Campbell acquired this remarkable piece of aviation history for $100,000. What’s even more remarkable is that the 727 was still in airworthy condition. It was flown to Oregon and towed to Campbell’s ten-acre plot of land just outside Hillsboro, a Portland suburb. His dream is to inspire more retired aircraft to find meaningful second lives.
Despite his grounded lifestyle, Campbell is no stranger to air travel. He frequently travels to Japan, where he spends a significant portion of his time. While abroad, he actively seeks accommodations in repurposed aircraft, demonstrating his commitment to sustainable living.
For those curious about what it’s like to live inside an airplane, Bruce Campbell welcomes visitors. He offers tours of his unique home, asking guests to remove their shoes and providing them with slippers, much like a courteous flight attendant would. Inside the modified 727, there is a workstation where Campbell dedicates his time to restoring old computer systems.
Now, you might be wondering about the cost of living in a decommissioned, de-engined Boeing 727. Surprisingly, it’s quite affordable. Campbell estimates a monthly expense of around $370, which includes $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 has been constructed using the wings of a retired Boeing 747. 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 stories of creativity and sustainability are a testament to the enduring allure of aviation.