Bruce Campbell, a 62-year-old self-confessed nerd from Oregon, USA, has spent the last 10 years converting a 727-200 passenger jet into his dream home.
We’ve seen airplanes converted into living space before, like the 747 jumbo jet hostel in Stockholm, or the Boeing 707 plane hotel of Costa Rica, but Bruce Campbell’s work is the most impressive we’ve ever seen, because he did it all by himself. The Building Services & Environmental Engineer bought the old 727-200 plane for $100,000 and spent at least another $100,000 on logistics costs like having it moved from the airport to his home, and temporarily removing the wings and tail. On AirplaneHome.com, the website dedicated to his ambitious project, Campell says planes like his aren’t that expensive nowadays, and costs can be significantly lowered if you work on the project during the summer, instead of a La Nina hurricane winter, like he did.
For the kind of money Bruce spent on his dream home, he could have probably bought one of the most expensive houses in Oregon, so why did he choose to spend it all on an old airplane? Without meaning to offend anybody, the man says wood is just a terrible building material. On his site, he calls it “termite and microbe chow”, “firewood”, “relatively weak”, and says “it’s secured with low tech fasteners using low tech techniques”. Another reason would be that rectangular designs are structurally inferior which can’t withstand severe winds and earthquakes, are frequently broken into, kill people when they explode into flames, are leaky and degrade quickly. On the other hand, airplanes are “well designed, high tech, aerospace quality sealed pressure canisters that can withstand 575 mph winds and seven G acceleration forces with ease, could last for centuries (with effective corrosion control), are highly fire resistant, and provide superior security. They’re among the finest structures that mankind has ever built.”
Photo: CNN video capture
The single BSEE recently welcomed KOIN -TV reporters into his airplane home, deep in the woodlands of Oregon. Although he has been working on it for over 10 years, one man can only do so much, so it’s still a work in progress. He managed to get one of the plane’s three toilets working, got the electricity working inside the jet and even installed a temporary shower right in the middle of the main cabin. It’s not very private, but considering he lives in the middle of the woods, it doesn’t bother him much. Like most other airplane enthusiasts, Bruce Campbell’s special place inside his unique home is the cockpit, which “has a certain magic”, but he’s also very fond of the 727’s wings, which make wonderful decks. Although he doesn’t have a TV or radio, Bruce has an iPod Touch to keep him company as he tinkers on his dream home.
‘It’s not for everybody. But I think it is for a lot of people and it is definitely for me. I absolutely love it,’ Campbell says, as he concludes the video tour.