A Boeing 727 sits in the woods outside of Portland, Oregon — apparently fully intact. The plane, even at first glance, cannot be the remnants of a plane crash. Its condition is too pristine. Was this an emergency landing of some sort? Or a secret spy plane?
The answer is none of the above — it’s a lot better. This 727 is a man’s home, and six months out of the year, electrical engineer Bruce Campbell moves in and lives here. The 727 sits on his own 10 acre piece of land in a lovely wooded area. He bought the property four decades ago at a cost of $23,000, which, converting for inflation, would be over $100,000 in today’s cash.
In 1999, Campbell purchased a decommissioned Boeing 727 for $100,000. He has spent the past 15 years upgrading the airliner. Bruce estimates that he has spent another $120,000 since then, mainly on taking the 727 apart and putting it back together again. But, Campbell encourages other prospective airplane homeowners to accomplish the task more cheaply.
“My costs were never representative of a well executed, efficient, and almost waste free project. And everything’s changed since then anyway – irrespective of the style of airliner home you seek, costs today will be different,” Campbell wrote on his site, AirplaneHome.com.
For those looking to completely rebuild the interior of an aircraft, says Campbell, “a basic fuselage already stripped of any parts of value to the aviation business could be acquired for very roughly $15K or $20K, or possibly much less, depending upon the size of the aircraft, scrap metal prices, their transport costs, labor costs, and secondary factors.”
But with older planes now being retired at a faster rate than ever, Campbell says that even the most cost-conscious airplane home builder is not forced to settle for a fully stripped basic fuselage.
“It’s possible that airliners are being retired at such a pace now that the value of their parts is dropping substantially,” advises Campbell. “My timing wasn’t great – but yours might prove to be. Invest your time in some extensive, patient shopping. You might find that you can acquire a very nice fully operational bird for a very low price.”
Recycling old aircraft into homes is just one way to save the 1,200 to 1,800 aircraft that will be torn apart for parts and scrap metal over the next three years from becoming simply more junk for already overflowing landfills.
The interior of Campbell’s home is not exactly the lap of luxury. The 64-year-old kept most of the original 727 instrumentation intact, so the airplane home still feels like, well, an airplane — while also serving as a residence, complete with functioning bathroom facilities. The 727 cockpit serves as a reading room where Campbell goes to relax. He sleep on a futon bed and has even installed a computer.
At 1,066 square feet, the 727 home is about the size of a large studio apartment.
With his 727 all but finished, Campbell now plans to purchase a Boeing 747 — and turn that plane into his next home. The short video below provides a closer look at Campbell’s 727 home.
[Images: inhabitat.com, planeenglish.com]