30. Bruce Campbell
Finding an airplane in the middle of the woods would usually be an alarming site, but not in this case. Bruce Campbell changed the game when it comes to recycling and home building when he decided to transform a Boeing 727 into his dream home. It wasn’t an easy task, and it took him almost two decades to complete it.
29. One of a Kind
For many people, the idea of a dream house is all in the same, the white picket fence, the matching shutters, and fancy interior. But Bruce Campell is a different story. He decided that his dream house was going to be one of a kind–literally.
28. Hillsboro, Oregon
This vision took years to fully complete, starting with the land he purchased in his early 20’s in the deep forest of Hillsboro, Oregon. The now 64-year-old retired electrical engineer always knew he wanted to use his inventive skills and lust for something different to create his dream home. Originally, the plan was to build something out of multiple freight vans, until he heard of something even more interesting.
27. The Airplane
The land was just the beginning, and the starting cost was a mere $23,000. As the years passed Campell knew it was time to start getting creative with the house plans, so he went on the hunt for something completely out of the ordinary–an airplane.
He managed to find a retired Boeing 727 for $100,000 in 1999 after hearing about Joanne Ussery, a woman who transformed a plane just like it into a luxury dwelling. After all, Campell being the avid recycler and reuser, he already agreed that planes shouldn’t just be thrown away after they’re deemed unfit to fly, so it seemed like the perfect fit.
25. Moving His Dream
Buying the plane wasn’t the hard part, transporting it to Oregon was. He had to figure out how to get the plane from Athens all the way to the Pacific Northwest state without blowing his budget. After figuring out all the logistics, he realized it was going to cost him a whopping $120,000 to move the plane to his private estate. Although pricey, he knew he had to do it.
24. The Deconstruction
To get the plane to fit into the wooded area, the wings had to be deconstructed. After it was moved to his desired location, he was able to put them back together, making the airplane whole again. It was at this point that the intensity of the project came to light, and Campell realized this was going to take longer than he originally thought.
23. Nature Taking Over
Living in freight vans nearby on the property, he was eventually forced to move into the airliner before it was even close to being finished because nature wanted to take over the vans. There was a silver lining, however. It was at this time that he was able to truly understand the space he was about to permanently occupy.
The inside of the airplane offered 1,066 square feet of space for his imagination to run wild with. He knew he needed to use every inch to maximize the usage of the awkwardly shaped home, and he wanted to make sure it was perfect for not only what he needed but wanted.
21. Recycling the Plane
When interviewed by Business Insider about his project, Campell stated that all airliners possess “engineering grace unmatched by any other structures people can live within.” He also went on to elaborate on why he wanted to recycle the plane so badly, “shredding a beautiful and scintillating jetliner is a tragedy in waste and a profound failure of human imagination.”
Although he never drafted physical planes for his new home, his imagination led him to create a glorious place to live. In the same interview with Business Insider, he gave a little piece of advice to all airline travelers, “Next time you’re in a jetliner, close your eyes for a moment and remove all the seats, all the other people from your mind. Then open your eyes with that vision and consider the expanse of the living room. It’s a good environment; it really is.”
19. Pressure Washing
Renovating the inside isn’t the only task Campell has had to take on, either. Every two years he has to pressure wash the outside in order to keep the airplane in livable conditions. This can be a dangerous task, as he has to use tall ladders to do so. However, Campell says the risk is worth the reward, especially after the interior was completed.
When designing the interior he wanted to keep in mind the functionality of the original design but wanted to adapt it to every day living. He kept some of the original parts, like the fold-down staircase as the entrance to his not so humble abode. He keeps a shoe rack near the entrance filled with slippers for guest who come to check out his incredible plane, as keeping it clean is always a challenge.
17. Glass Floors
The slippers come in handy as the entire floor is made out of glass. Not only can it get a bit chilly on the toes, but it can get rather dirty as he does live in a forest. He has great respect and pride for his home, and he encourages anyone who stops by to keep that in mind.
16. Modest Living
The plane, although fully functional, is always a work in process. Campell lives a modest life in his unique home, using a microwave and toaster as his main cooking utensils. He also sleeps on a futton but enjoys making makeshift appliances when he needs them.
15. The Shower
He does have a working shower, one that isn’t so different than yours at home. In order to give the plane running and heated water, he built a trench next to it and ran a power line through it. He made sure to outfit the plane with the necessary equipment to supply fresh water for drinking, bathing, teeth brushing, and cooking.
14. The Cockpit
The cockpit is still outfitted with most of the original equipment, but he converted it into his entertainment area. This is part of the plane in which he wants to do more renovations as the ideas come to him. The possibilities are endless.
13. Tech Nerd
The self-admitted tech nerd told Business Insider that he enjoys his living space because “It’s a great toy. Trick doors, trick floors. Hatches here, hatches there. Star Trek movies in a Star-Trek-like setting. Having lots of little toys enclosed in a very big toy is nirvana.”
He created a workspace where he can do further planning on what to improve on next. He spends most of his time in here as he really finds most of the enjoyment constantly renovating his home. Talking to the Daily Mail he said, “I think most people are nerds in their hearts in some measure. The point is to have fun.”
11. LED Lighting
He even replaced all of the original LED lights to keep his home as environmentally friendly as possible. Inside and out the airplane glows day and night. In this sense, it’s just like any other home.
He also enjoys landscaping around his 727 to keep everything tidy and neat, just as you would in any other home. Landscaping is a must, and he constantly has to keep up with mowing and edging to keep everything picture perfect. The forest is constantly trying to take over everything, so this in itself is a full-time job.
9. The Original Design
He uses the airplanes original design to his advantage whenever he can, telling the Daily Mail, “Their interior is easy to keep immaculately clean because they are sealed pressure canisters. They could last for centuries.” This eco-conscious engineer is always making sure his improvements are environmentally friendly but durable.
He keeps his kitchen fully stocked with goodies, even using the service carts to his advantage. He also lives close to the city, so he’s never in need of too many supplies.
The bathroom is as expected on an airplane, not much has been done to it because it’s fully functional and operational. The other difference is it doesn’t have a shower or tub, that is located near the tail as you saw previously.
6. Seats For All
He has seats for guests when they come over, don’t worry. This is another spot where he utilized some of the original parts to create his very own airplane home.
5. Laundry Service
He also has a fully working laundry room, next to his sink. This is a necessity for any home, and an airplane home is no exception.
4. Normal Life
He does everything a normal person does in their home, right down to shaving. Grooming doesn’t get pushed aside in this airliner.
3. Metal Not Wood
Campbell believes there are many benefits to living in a metal home, instead of one built out of more traditional materials such as wood. In the Business Insider interview, he stated his opinion, “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.”
2. Resuing, Not Building
He went on to elaborate that he doesn’t understand why others wouldn’t opt for this innovative living style, “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.”
1. Change is Necessary
Change is necessary as the world’s resources become more scarce and populations continue to explode. Campbell urges people to use their imaginations when they decide to buy their first homes, hoping more people will opt for ways to recycle materials that will last and are eco-friendly.