Retired Engineer Turns Abandoned Plane Into Dream Home!
Bruce Campbell isn’t just the name of an iconic horror actor! In fact, the Bruce Campbell we are going to be introducing you today did something even wilder than star in Evil Dead. Campbell is a retired electrical engineer who transported an ancient Boeing 727 to the middle of the woods in Hillsboro, OR. His goal was simple: to transform the plane into an exotic home that he could live out of. Let’s dig into Campbell’s journey so that you can see exactly how he managed to accomplish this amazing renovation!
Bruce Campbell: A Man With Imagination.
You don’t simply stumble into the world of electrical engineering without a passion for crafting and creating. Campbell loved working with tools from his childhood and he continued throughout his adult career. His fascination with tinkering would inform his dream of designing his own exotic home and that’s exactly what he would do!
Purchasing His Boeing
Originally Campbell had considered turning an old freight van into a special mobile home but when he read about Joanne Ussery, he had a change of heart. Ussery is a hairdresser who bought her own Boeing 727 after her home burned down. She decided to renovate the plane into a functional home which she ended up parking next to an idyllic lake. Campbell was not just inspired, he was motivated by Ussery!
From Greece With Love
Campbell owned ten acres of property so he had the perfect landing spot for his new plane/home renovation. Unfortunately, Campbell had to purchase his plane from overseas. Transporting his Boeing 727 from Athens, Greece would take months of planning as well as nearly $220,000 dollars. This was not a simple or inexpensive move by any measure. The plane had to be disassembled in certain areas in order for it to be properly and safely transported.
For Campbell, the decision to renovate this plane was driven by more than just pure entertainment. Campbell believes that it is incredibly wasteful to simply send these old planes to scrapyards when they can be used for so much more. Campbell strongly believes that old jetliners can be re-purposed for housing and he has led the way with his work.
Time To Get Started
Deciding to live in the woods was tough, but Campbell knew that he couldn’t put it off if he wanted to complete the project. He started by getting his permit to work on the plane before working to clean the exterior of the vehicle. Campbell claims that it took him four rigorous days simply to pressure was the exterior of the plane!
Ready For The Long Haul
After cleaning the exterior of the plane, Campbell had the entire vessel placed on giant concrete blocks. His goal was to get the plane off of the ground while making it a more permanent fixture. Campbell also put in a driveway leading up to the plane itself. It was clear from the beginning that Campbell was designing a home that he could live in for years and years.
The Front Door
Don’t worry about ringing any doorbells! If you want to visit Mr. Campbell, you’ll have to get onboard the same way as everyone else. Campbell decided to keep the folding stairwell in order to honor how the plane was once used. He tried to incorporate as many of the original aspects of the plane as possible.
Stripping The Vehicle
Just because Campbell wanted to keep the plane as intact as possible doesn’t mean that he left it completely alone. As you can see here, Campbell decided to strip out much of the interior of the plane before moving himself into the property. You’ll also notice that he laid down special plexiglass flooring throughout the structure.
Water & Electric Included
While Campbell is trying to live a relatively modest life, he doesn’t want to go without all of the comforts of conventional life. Here, you can see Campbell proudly standing next to his homemade shower. Campbell dug a trench and routed both water and electricity to the facility. He has hot water on command!
A View Of The Living Quarters
Here we can get a good view of the living section of the Boeing 727. While Campbell has spent at least half of a million dollars on this project, he still likes to live in relative modesty. He sleeps on a futon and cooks with a simple microwave and portable skillet. He has refrigeration available and room for all of his prized possessions.
Crowning Jewel Of The Home
Campbell knew that he wanted to leave the cockpit completely as it was. All of the original instruments and tools sit exactly where they were when the plane was functional. Campbell says that many of the mechanisms still work as he can trigger hatches and doors from his pilot seat. Campbell calls the plane ‘nirvana’ due to how fun it is to play with all of the ‘little toys’ in the craft.
Quite The Sight
Finding a plane in the woods is pretty impressive on its own but Campbell wanted to go a step further. Here we see how Campbell decked out the entire exterior with special lighting. You can also see how well-lit the interior of the plane is at night which showcases how well his engineering works!
An Engineer At Heart
Campbell may be retired but that doesn’t mean that he’s ready to give up on his work. Campbell has a dedicated space for working on his engineering projects, including the craft itself. Here we can see Campbell’s workstation where he claims to spend the vast majority of his time.
Belief In Upscaling Aircraft
Campbell believes that scrapping a Boeing 727 is a ‘failure of the imagination’. Campbell points out that these crafts are able to withstand storms and earthquakes while also being durable enough to last for generations. Campbell points to the pressure canisters as one of the reasons why more planes need to be upscaled into living quarters. Campbell says, “They could last for centuries.”
Still Gotta Mow The Lawn
Living alone in the forest doesn’t mean that you get to slack off with your chores. When Campbell isn’t cleaning up the interior of his craft, he is taking care of the exterior. Campbell says that he has to mow the lawn and work with weeds at least once a week in order to keep the yard looking fresh.
Original Section Of The Plane
While Campbell has stripped the vast majority of the plane, he decided to keep at least one section of the vehicle in its original form. Here we can see a row of seats as they would have appeared while the plane was in operation.
Want A Bite To Eat
Campbell keeps a fully stocked kitchen on hand at all times. After all, when you live in the heart of the wilderness you probably don’t want to make too many grocery trips. His kitchen has running water, electricity, and all of the tools required in order to make a healthy meal. Campbell isn’t a cook though, as he mostly likes to eat simple foods while working on his dream.
Bathroom Also Included
Don’t worry, there aren’t going to be any lines for this lavatory. Campbell made sure that the original bathroom remained completely functional. You don’t really have room to stretch your legs but you ARE in a plane.
Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association
As it turns out, Campbell isn’t alone in the world of recycled Boeing 727 living. According to the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA), more than 1800 aircraft will be dismantled within the next couple of years. Of these dismantled crafts, at least a handful of them will be renovated into new living quarters.
Dream Come True
For Campbell, his Boeing 727 home was a dream come true. He managed to combine his love of engineering with his fascination with technology in order to create a unique home in the heart of his home state.