Bruce Campbell

This Retired Engineer Did The Unthinkable – He Lives In A Plane

Before we tell you this story, we first want you to imagine yourself in the woods. While walking and taking in the beautiful scenery, you suddenly stumble upon an aircraft. What would be the first thing that pops into your mind? Perhaps you would think there was an unreported plane crash. Maybe you start to think you just walked into a plane junkyard. However, if you happen to be in an Oregon town called Hillsboro, you would have simply found the incredible thing Bruce Campbell gets to call his home.

Of course, he would not be the first man who crafted a shelter from something that was once a different thing entirely. After all, there are numerous other folks out there who made pretty bizarre homes they live in. We have become used to hearing about people living in boats and cars, so it is nothing more than quirky to us. However, there are other things out there that are a little more unconventional.

For one thing, there are different groups of people who make living spaces among and within the trees. Meanwhile, there are those who make their homes out of stone, bricks, mud, and straw. But we bet this would be the first time you have heard of an airplane home.

It is no surprise to hear that it was difficult for Bruce Campbell to take an airplane and convert it into his own home. There were various setbacks he had to overcome on this quest. We do not even have to get into the nitty gritty of the legalities that surround this ordeal. Can you just imagine what it must be like to bring a huge airplane there? Aside from that, how do you even transform something like the Boeing 727 into a place that you can comfortably live in, day in and day out? After all, we all know that the plane has an odd shape that would make it difficult to create a nice kitchen, living room, and bedroom. Well, the first thing you need to know is that this is one talented man.

Bruce Campbell was actually an electrical engineer before he decided it was time to retire. An inventive individual, he has taken a liking to converting planes into upcycled masterpieces. For him, airplanes hold more potential than we all think. Armed with incredible imagination, this man took an old airplane and saved it from its scrap metal fate by turning it into a fascinating abode. Let us see how he did such an amazing feat all by himself!

Creative Vision

The retired electrical engineer is a 64-year-old man who has always been armed with a creative vision. When he was still in his twenties, he paid for a 10-acre plot of land in the woods of Hillsboro, Oregon. It cost him $23,000 back then. It might be hidden in the forest, but he knew what to do with it.

From A Young Age

Even when he was a little boy, Bruce Campbell was already fond of tinkering with old materials and junk to make new objects. In the beginning, he was hoping to use the piece of land to make himself a home with the use of freight vans. Before, it sounded like an innovative and wonderful plan to him, though he changed his mind after hearing about someone else’s inspiring story.

A More Interesting Idea

About two decades later, he got wind of what happened to a hairdresser from Mississippi called Joanne Ussery. She bought a Boeing 727 jet and converted it into her very own home. She once had a regular house, although it burned down in a terrible incident. She decided to simply make an airplane home right beside a beautiful lake instead.

Starting Small

Bruce was already in the middle of making his dreams of a freight van home a reality, though he came to the decision to go with a giant plane instead. Aside from the fact that it was more innovative than his original plans, he thought this project was going to be more fun. He also wanted to stop airplanes from being scrapped for metal parts. He had no problems with space since he was already in possession of 10 acres of land. However, where was he going to get a plane and how was he going to bring it to Oregon?

Purchasing An Airliner

In 1999, he decided to just go and buy a Boeing 727 plane just like Joanne Ussery. He paid $100,000 for a unit from Olympic Airways, which was stationed at Athens Airport. After he made the payment, the next thing on his to-do list was to find a way to deliver it to Oregon.

Moving The Plane

We doubt you would be surprised to hear that the most challenging part of the entire project was to bring the airplane all the way from Athens to Oregon. He had to arrange and then put the move into action. Apparently, doing so set him back by yet another $120,000, which meant that his airplane home project already cost a jaw-dropping $220,000 by then. Nonetheless, Bruce Campbell would get the bang for his buck in more ways than he thought he would.

Moving The Plane

Massive Relocation

Keep in mind that we are dealing with an industrious man here. Bruce Campbell was thrilled and ready to begin working on the project, which was not only new but also large. However, let us first take a look at how he managed to bring the Boeing into his neck of the Oregon woods. A couple of men had to first take apart the wings of the plane in order to move it to the forest.

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His Own Land

A lot of people have expressed their concerns about the laws surrounding a project like this one. Well, there were no legal issues whatsoever since he was the owner of the plot of land anyway. He certainly thought the whole thing out.

His Own Land

Building Wings

The wings needed to be deconstructed in a way that it would still be possible for Bruce Campbell to reinstall everything after the airliner got to its new environment. He figured that he would begin working on this “work in progress”. That might have been how it started, although it later became much more than that after all the years of hard work he put into it.

Building Wings

New Insight

In the beginning, he only thought of the undertaking as nothing more than an enjoyable project. He did not have a specific vision in mind back then. Regardless, he was planning to upcycle the airliner. He strongly believed that it was in his power to convert jetliners into fantastic homes. These engineering wonders had to be saved from being “mindlessly scrapped”.

Living On The Side

During the several years he worked on the plane, Campbell had to reside in the freight vans nearby. Of course, it was going to be difficult to relocate to the forest. However, he was someone on a mission, and there was no way he was giving up just like that even though more challenges cropped up.

Unexpected Trouble

After a little while, he had to deal with a mice infestation in the van! He did not have any choice but to retreat to the aircraft despite the fact he did not have a building permit on him. This was when he started to truly understand the plane.

Converging Of Two Worlds

When the Mirror got to speak with him, Bruce Campbell told them about his vision and said that “shredding a beautiful and scintillating jetliner is a tragedy in waste, and a profound failure of human imagination.” Aside from that, he said that it might sound like a strange and lonely thing to live in an aircraft right in the woods, but he did not think it was all that unnatural. For him, airplanes come with an “engineering grace unmatched by any other structures people can live within.”

Bruce Campbell


Even though he did not draw up any plans for the interior of the Boeing 727, everything clicked for him after he started to live in there. The Business Insider got to hear about this man’s vision firsthand: “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.” He added, “Then open your eyes with that vision and consider the expanse of the living room. It’s a good environment; it really is.”

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Bruce Campbell

The Debut

Before he debuted the masterpiece he calls his home, he first had to clean the exterior of the plane with the use of a high pressure water spray. When he spoke to Daily Mail, he told them that it might sound like an easy job, but the entire task of pressure washing actually happens over four days.

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Bruce Campbell

Maintenance And All That Jazz

The Boeing 727 fuselage exterior required washing every two years. Bruce Campbell has to use ladders to access the top portion of the plane as well as the engines. Cleaning this part of his home is actually a rather dangerous task since it was always possible for him to fall or get into an accident. As a matter of fact, this makes him nervous. However, you will see why he puts up with this after you see what’s inside.

Bruce Campbell

Unconventional Home

Campbell has previously said that it is the destiny of each plane to be converted into an “aerospace class castle” worthy of living and retiring in. When he was talking to Daily Mail, he drew up this analogy: “If a conventional home is a legacy age family Chevy or Ford, an airliner is a fresh new Tesla or Porsche Carrera.”

Bruce Campbell

Living In A Castle

Well, there are actually a couple of reasons the comparison to a castle makes sense. For one thing, Campbell installed concrete pillars and a driveway for the Boeing 727 airliner. If you ever found yourself in the forests of Hillsboro and stumbled upon his home, you should be able to notice just how much work has been done to the airliner. You can easily tell that it did not pop out of there from nowhere.

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Bruce Campbell

Work In Progress

If you ask Campbell, he considers this new project to be a never-ending work in progress and a functional home at the same time. Aside from building a shower all by himself, he also had to restore certain features that came with the plane: the LED lighting, the flight stairs, the plane-style lavatory, and the original seats. We bet you are dying to know what it looks like after he worked so hard on it.

Source: Dailysportx