Would you live in a plane? This man does

This is Bruce Campbell. He has lived in an airplane in the woods of Hillsboro, Oregon since he bought his very own Boeing 727 back in 1999. Some 25 years later, there are a couple of things he would do differently, but the choice to live inside a plane isn’t one of them.

Bruce works as an electrical engineer and has always been an aeronautics enthusiast. While most people are happy to separate their living quarters from their hobbies, he had an idea to combine them and give himself a home for life. 

“It’s a sealed pressure canister. It’s incredibly strong. It will last practically forever,” he told Great Big Story. The isolation, he appreciates, might be off-putting for some, but he also can’t understand why more people don’t choose to make homes out of airplanes, given how many we discard. 

bruce campbell man who lives in a plane

The specific 727 that he lives in was a Greek aircraft in use until the mid-1960s. It belonged to Olympic Airways, and in 1975 it was used to transport the remains of Aristotle Onassis, the airline’s owner and business magnate, who was married to former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at the time of his death.

“I didn’t know the plane’s history,” Bruce explained. “And I didn’t know that it had an old, 707-style interior. It was really, really awful compared to modern standards. It was functional but it just looked old and crude. Maybe the worst choice for a home.”


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That was mistake number one. Mistake number two – a bigger one, that he classifies as a “Whopper-class mistake” – was hiring a salvage company to source him the airplane. “Salvage companies are wreckers,” he says. “I highly recommend just buying a jetliner completely intact and completely functional, except maybe the removal of the engines.” This also would have made it cheaper.

Otherwise, he has no regrets. “I would never live in a conventional home. No chance. If Scotty beamed me to inner Mongolia, erased my fingerprints and forced me to live in a conventional structure, I’d do what I have to do to survive – but otherwise, it’s a jetliner for me anytime.”

bruce campbell man who lives in a plane live in a plane
Bruce in his “primitive” shower.

His project cost $220,000 in total. The plane constituted around half of this cost. He had already bought the 10-acre plot of land that his home sits on back in the early 1970s. Other costs were converting the inside of the plane, though he opted for a minimalist approach. He has a “primitive” shower, a futon doubling up as a bed, a microwave and toaster oven, and a workbench where he’s constantly “embellishing” his home further.

“When you live in a structure like this, you feel a little more fulfilled with your life,” he says. “And if you’re an engineer, scientist, or anyone who appreciates the elegance and beauty of aerospace technology, it’s just a happier place to live.”


Enjoy this story? It’s not the only time we’ve met people living off the beaten track. Check out the video below for about the group living on a homemade island!

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