Hillsboro Man Lives in An Airplane House in The Woods and Loves It
Thanks to a recent report by CNBC, we know that Bruce Campbell, a local Hillsboro man, is currently living in airplane house, a converted airplane that he bought from a salvage yard for $100K.
An engineer by trade, Campbell wanted to live in an airplane since childhood and his dream finally came true in the late 1990’s when he contacted a Oregon salvage company and was able to purchase a retired Boeing 727 that was once owned by Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onasis.
The plane is 1,066 square feet in length, and it had to be towed through the streets of downtown Hillsboro to his land where Bruce Campbell lives in it to this day.
Airplane House – Boyhood Dream Come True
Since watching a TV show as a child about airplane graveyards, Campbell knew that he wanted to live on a plane when he was older, and his plane continues to draw the interest of locals to this day.
Campbell paid $100,000 for it, and the plane was flown from Greece to Oregon to prepare it for him to take ownership. Once the aircraft was ready, it was towed to Campbell’s land through the streets of downtown Hillsboro. That process included removing the engines and other elements that make it so the plane can never fly again. It cost a total of $120,000.
“When you live in a structure like this, you feel a little more fulfilled with your life,” he said. “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.”
How He Turned His Plane into A Home
Campbell added a makeshift shower, a temporary sink, a portable washing machine, a refrigerator, and a food service cart from another plane that serves as his pantry.
In place of a stove, Campbell has a microwave and a toaster oven, which he barely uses. “I’m a nerd. I don’t cook, so it’s a minimal kitchen area,” he said.
Next to the kitchen area, Campbell has his futon sofa, which doubles as his sleeping area, and his workbench.
His monthly expenses for his airplane house are $370 a month, which includes $220 a month in property taxes and between $100 to $250 a month in electricity.
Could More Airplanes Be Converted to Housing?
Campbells love of living on a retired airliner does draw attention to the possibilities of converting airplanes into modular homes to house the homeless in Oregon and across the United States.
Could it work? If it’s worked for Bruce Campbell, it can work for anyone, but the reality is that converting an airplane to a home may be more costly in the long run than turning a shipping container into a house.
“I have no regrets about pursuing this vision. In my experience with my guests, I believe that humanity will embrace this vision wholeheartedly in enough proportion that we can utilize every jetliner which retires from service,” he says.
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