Man Converts Boeing 727 Airplane Into Home in the Woods (Video)

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Aerial view of the airplane house through the trees in Oregon

Michael Ver Sprill / Getty Images 

Old airplane parts turned into sleek new furniture is nothing new, but what about turning an entire airplane into a home in the woods? Based outside of Portland, Oregon, Bruce Campbell is an engineer who converted this retired Boeing 727 commercial airliner into a fully functioning home with electricity and running water, on a wooded suburban lot he bought during his younger days.

Interior of airplane home with some original seats and a washing machine

Used Airplane Appeal

Calling it a "used multimillion dollar aerospace quality home," Campbell gives his reasons as to why recycled airliners can be superior candidates for conversion into domestic places:

When properly executed, the remarkable appeal of a retired jetliner as a home springs from the magnificent technology and beauty of the sculptured structure itself. 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, so dust and insects can't intrude from the outside. And they're quite secure - when all the doors are closed and locked, they're highly resistant to intruders. So the human hearts inside feel wonderfully safe and comfortable.
And their interiors are exceptionally modern and refined, and provide a wealth of unique amenities, superb lighting and climate control, and overwhelming storage space. Once the rows of seats are removed, their profound appeal as a family living environment becomes immediately obvious.
Exterior view of entrance stairs and tail of the plane
Entrance stairs and bathroom

Project Cost and Details

Campbell bought the plane for about USD $100,000 back in 1999; with renovations and other expenses, the total project cost is estimated to be about $220,000. To be suitable for transportation over land from one place to another, the wings and tail of the plane had to be removed temporarily -- Campbell tackles a lot of details in his FAQ and gives information to those who want to do the same thing too, and how to avoid being scammed.

Campbell talking on the phone at a desk
Campbell sitting on a sofa working on his laptop

Creating Communities

With the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA) estimating that there will be over 500 aircraft retired each year over the next two decades, there's a lot of airliners that could be transformed into excellent homes. Campbell envisions that this surplus could become actual communities if more people jump on board with this idea:

To visualize its scale and style, imagine that the expansive green land area adjacent to that airstrip [..] was developed into numerous individual plots for wide-body aircraft homes - perhaps one hundred or more spectacular jetliner homes, each on its own three to five-acre plot. Such projects would conserve a superb human resource, and at the same time create truly unique and scintillating communities of aerospace class homes. They would represent the proper evolution of aircraft boneyards, whose time should have passed long ago, into beautiful jetliner home communities, whose time is long, long overdue. I hope to at least witness such a project within my lifetime.

Campbell is now planning to transform another plane into a home -- but over in Japan. More over at Airplane Home.