Some people looking to downsize might consider living inside a camper while others may opt for more unconventional shelters.
Bruce Campbell, a 74-year-old retired electrical engineer, is most definitely showing the world that a smaller home does not mean a less interesting one. He has been living inside a decommissioned Boeing 727 for over two decades.
“Jetliners are masterful works of aerospace science, and their superlative engineering grace is unmatched by any other structures people can live within,” Campbell explains on his website. “They’re incredibly strong, durable, and long lived. And they easily withstand any earthquake or storm.”
Pointing out that jetliner bodies are actually airtight pressure-sealed canisters, he claimed that they are impervious to any kind of intruder, be they human, insect, or animal.
Nestled in the woods of Hillsboro, Oregon, Campbell’s remarkable residence has brought him worldwide attention. Yet the journey to transform what is now known as the Airplane Home into a true dwelling was a long one.
He purchased the retired Boeing 727 from Greece for $100,000. Then, he spent another $120,000 to have it transported to various staging sites before it reached his 10-acre plot of land, which he bought in the mid-1970s for about $26,000. He currently spends roughly $400 a month on electricity and property tax.
“I substantially mismanaged many aspects of my project,” Campbell wrote on his website, citing various weather-related issues. He encouraged anyone wishing to follow in his footsteps to learn from his mistakes to lower their costs even further.
Alongside the draw of the uniqueness of living inside a jetliner, Campbell equipped the plane with plenty of home comforts, including a shower, sink, futon, portable washing machine, and refrigerator. He also uses a food service cart from another plane as his pantry.
The interior of Campbell’s home is a blend of aviation history and personal touches. Some of the original seats from the plane, which was once owned by business mogul Aristotle Onassis, are still in service. The living space, though unconventional, is functional and can be used to host events and concerts in the summer.
However, while guests are welcome at Campbell’s home, he warned that he is a self-described nudist.
“My home’s sleeping and shower areas are fully open [not walled] within my cabin, I don’t shade my cabin windows, I wear no clothing when indoors unless required for task related protection or warmth,” he indicates on his website.
Campbell is now planning to build another airplane home near Miyazaki City, Japan, where he spends considerable amounts of time. Someday, he hopes to see sprawling communities of wide-body aircrafts transformed into homes.
“Such projects would conserve a superb human resource and at the same time create truly unique and scintillating communities of aerospace class homes. … I hope to at least witness such a project within my lifetime,” he writes.