Living In A Boeing 727
What may look a plane stranded in the middle of the woods is actually a home for one very inventive man. Bruce Campbell, a former electrical engineer, bought a retired Boeing 727 aircraft fuselage and transformed it into a living space. He claims that he didn’t want the aircraft to go to waste, stating, “Retirement into an aerospace class castle should be every jetliner’s constructive fate. They should never be mindlessly scrappeed”. The upcycled home lies in a suburban wooded area outside of Portland, Oregon. The plane is propped onto concrete pillars and features several amenities that make it feel homier, like a makeshift shower and a driveway. Campbell tries to use much of what the plane already has, leaving many of the instrumentation and controls and making the cockpit into a reading room. However, his home is still a work in process; he is continuing to work on restoring some of the plane’s interior elements, like seating and lights. Campbell also explains that there are many fun aspects about living in an aircraft: “It’s a great toy. Trick doors, trick floors. Hatches here, latches there, clever gadgets everywhere. Cool interior lights, awesome exterior lights, sleek gleaming appearance, titanium ducts, Star Trek movies in a Star Trek like setting. It’s a constant exploratory adventure, ever entertaining, providing fundamental sustenance for an old technology nerd like me. Having lots of little toys is very fulfilling. Having lots of little toys enclosed in a very big toy is nirvana.” Campbell lives in the plane for 6 months out of each year, spending the rest of his time in Japan where he’s also looking to buy and re-use a retired Boeing 747 fuselage. He initially paid $100,000 for the plane back in 1999, and the cost of staging, moving, and other aspects of the project has cost him about another $120,000. Campbell feels very strongly about his decision to rebuild the plane and is pleased that he was able to save it from getting scrapped. “Shredding a beautiful and scintillating jetliner is a tragedy in waste, and a profound failure of human imagination,” he says. Campbell also adds,“I don’t mean to offend, but wood is in my view a terrible building material. It biodegrades – it’s termite chow. And microbe (rot) chow. Or it’s firewood. It just depends upon which happens first. It’s a relatively weak material, and it’s secured with low tech fasteners using low tech techniques. And traditional rectangular designs are inferior structurally – they unreasonably sacrifice strength for boxy ergonomics.” “Jetliners are masterful works of aerospace science, and their superlative engineering grace is unmatched by any other structures people can live within…They’re incredibly strong, durable, and long lived. And they easily withstand any earthquake or storm. Their interior is easy to keep immaculately clean because they are sealed pressure canisters.” They could last for centuries.” “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.” For those wanting to turn a plane into a home of their own, Campbell says you primarily need two obvious but very necessary things: an airliner and suitable land to host it. After that comes the challenging part – you need to transport the airliner to the land. It may take a lot of hard work, but Campbell is truly living an incredibly fascinating home.