An Oregon Man Calls A Boeing 727 Plane Home

Oregon, better known to some as the "Beaver State," prides itself on recycling so much that, according to Waste360, it ranks in the top 10 states with the highest recycling rate. However, some Oregon residents take recycling one step further and reuse even the largest items. That's what Bruce Campbell did when he chose to convert a Boeing 727 plane into a home for himself.

As it turns out, retired planes aren't that difficult to come by in the United States. In 2021, there were around 5,882 commercial flights in operation (per Statista). However, according to Aviation Pros, about 700 of those planes are retired every year. This means there are a lot of flightless planes out there. Retired planes are typically kept in an airplane boneyard, where they await their future of either returning to the skies or becoming salvage. These planes are well-preserved, and their engines and windows are heavily protected from weather damage, including wind and sun (via Airplane Boneyards). With so many planes grounded, never to take flight again, it's a wonder how more people aren't calling them home.

Airplane boneyards inspired Campbell at a young age

In his teenage years, Bruce Campbell saw an airplane boneyard on television and became enamored by these winged yet grounded giants. As an adult, Campbell went into the field of electrical engineering, and in the 1970s, he purchased 10 acres of land in Hillsboro, Oregon. In a few decades, the land would be home to Campbell's future commercial airplane. According to CNBC, Campbell hired a salvage company in 1999 to help him locate an airplane he could purchase and convert into a permanent living space. It wasn't long before an Olympic Airways 70,000 pound, 200 passenger airplane turned up in Greece.

Campbell paid $100,000 for the plane and flew it from Greece to Hillsboro, Oregon, where the process began of ensuring the 1,066-foot plane would never fly again. While at the airport, it was stripped down. The engines and any remaining fuel in the plane had to be removed (per CNBC). Once the plane was ready, it had to be transported through the city of Hillsboro to Campbell's property in the woods. Getting the airliner into the forest wasn't the end of the adventure for Campbell. He spent the next few years transforming the plane into his home. Complete with two bathrooms, a shower, and a kitchen area. Campbell lives half the year in Japan, but for the other half, he lives entirely in his plane.

Campbell's plane was a part of history long before he bought it

Those curious to see what a plane converted into a home might look like or who simply want to see a commercial airplane in the middle of an Oregon forest are more than welcome to pay Campbell a visit at his home, according to Not only will guests be walking through unique living quarters, but they'll be experiencing a piece of history. Campbell's Boeing 727 was the plane used to transport the body of the Olympic Airways owner, Aristotle Onassis, in 1975. Onassis was not only the owner of the airline company, but at the time of his passing, he was the husband of the former first lady of the United States, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (via CNBC).

Campbell's passion flourishes regardless of the plane's history and utilizing grounded planes as living spaces is something he believes should be more common than surprising. Allowing guests to experience his home is one way he hopes to spread interest and understanding in his belief that airplanes can be used as affordable housing in the future (per OregonLive). In a quote published by CNBC, he said, "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."