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Hidden deep in the forest of Hillsboro, Oregan you will find a Boeing 727 passenger jetliner. It was not a plane crash or salvage or stolen cargo. It was just placed there intentionally by a man with a crazy idea. Who is the person, and why did he place such a good plane in the woods? Keep reading to find out!
Bruce Campbell, a retired electrical engineer, is quite inventive despite being in his sixties. He bought an old Boeing 727 with one simple purpose: to live in it. Actually, he has managed to turn the plane into not just a fully functioning home, but also, in his words, "an aerospace class castle." So what does the castle look like inside?
When you think of a passenger jetliner, you may think of its cramped legroom and being packed like sardines with a bunch of strangers. However, a Boeing 727 is large enough to hold nearly 200 passengers, a flight crew, their luggage, food trolleys, emergency equipment and more. To make it fit to live in, Bruce cleared away all the seats, and what was left was a huge space. You won’t believe what it looks like now after the remodeling.
Bruce paid attention to the minute details, including dismantling the overhead compartments and disconnecting some lights, call buttons, oxygen masks, PA system, and others. This was really a lot of work, but the technology nerd quickly completed all the renovation work. Though it wasn't yet clear to him what the project would eventually look like, he knew it would be big and impressive.
Bruce didn't want much and decided to choose a simple way of living inside the plane. His bedroom, with only a futon to sleep on, might be the best reflection of his character.
As can be seen in the photo, the kitchen is quite simple, containing nothing more than a fridge, a toaster, and a microwave. It might not be easy for Bruce to cook up a fancy meal, but it is not that hard for him to prepare basic meals. At the very least, his meals taste much better than airplane food!
Although Bruce has a fridge in his kitchen, most of his food is not perishable, including canned preserves, boxed cereal, and dry goods. He does go to buy vegetables and other goods once in a while. When visitors come to stay over for a few days, many of them love to buy all kinds of food and treat Bruce to meals they prepare.
Bruce managed to connect the original toilets along with the sinks to his hand-built plumbing system. He even installed space heaters for those cold winter nights. Just like the rest of his house, this room also feels comfortable.
While Bruce has given up many everyday amenities and comforts, an excellent washing machine and dryer is obviously something he didn’t want to go without.
Once the sun sets and darkness fills the air, the plane, illuminated from the inside out, stands out much like a UFO landing in the middle of the forest. To make the aircraft environmentally friendly and energy-saving, he made sure all the original LED lights were fixed and worked perfectly.
The floors are Plexiglas glass, and they get dirty quickly because of the surroundings. So, to keep the plane as clean as possible, Bruce came up with a sock and slipper rule. Anyone indoors has to wear socks or slippers, including himself.
When Bruce bought the Boeing 727, he tried to keep it as fully functional as he could, except for the fact that he removed the engines after he had the plane flown to his stretch of forest. Although the engines are missing, the rest of the plane is present and functional.
Although the plane will never fly again, Bruce still likes to spend some time in the cockpit. Actually, the creative genius turned the cockpit into a home entertainment center. Watching science-fiction movies like Star Trek or Star Wars in such a super-technical place is pretty neat.
There was one hot potato that Bruce had to deal with - how to take a shower inside. Like many other planes, this Boeing 727 is not equipped with a shower, which means that Bruce had to install one himself. The tinkerer managed to set up a fully functioning shower near the plane's tail, with both hot and cold water.
In addition to being Bruce's paradise, the plane also serves as a fantastic gathering place for Bruce's friends and the community in Portland. Some of the most popular activities they attend are musical shows that are performed...on the plane's wings.
Admiring backpackers and curious adventurers often call in and stay over for a few nights. Bruce never hesitates to share his house with them, and even insists no compensation is necessary. If you want a visit, you just need to email him in advance.
Almost anything on the plane is under the control of Bruce except one thing - the temperature. Oregon winters are notoriously long and cold. While Bruce has found many ways to keep the rear of the plane warm, its front end can get quite chilly - sometimes even below freezing. So, visitors who plan to visit in the winter should definitely come prepared.
Living on a giant airliner comes with its fair share of perks as well as some unavoidable challenges. Since the plane is pressurized, there are few insects and not much dust inside, so, it's fairly easy to keep clean. However, standing in the middle of a forest, the plane does get covered in leaves, and the exterior requires special cleaning. Every two years, Bruce will take out a high-pressure water hose to wash all the dirt off its body.
While Bruce's home is very different from a typical house in many ways, it does have a lot in common with our everyday homes in some others. Familiar house chores like vacuuming and cleaning are necessary evil in order to live on this Boeing 727. Bruce is so casual about it that he often makes first-time visitors feel like they are in a regular home.
Bruce bought the plane for $100,000 from Olympic Airways, Athens, but this didn't include the cost of transportation, dismantling, rewiring, and redecoration. After the end of the massive project, Bruce spent more than $220,000 on the plane, but he has never regretted his decision.
Bruce decided to convert this Boeing 727 into his forever home for good reason. Standing at 34 feet and 11 inches tall and boasting a 1,066-square-foot floor, the plane makes the most fantastic house ever. Besides, "Jetliners are incredibly strong, durable, and long-lived. And they easily withstand any earthquake or storm," Bruce explained. He also had something else to say...
Bruce believes every retired airplane has the potential to become an “aerospace class castle” for people to live in. “If a conventional home is a legacy age family Chevy or Ford, an airliner is a fresh new Tesla or Porsche Carrera,” he said.
Bruce is very proud of his home and even built a website, airplanehome.com, to let the world know what he has done with his unique habitat. Whatever you say about him, one thing is sure: he did things his way.