To say that retired electrical engineer Bruce Campbell, 73, has a one-of-a-kind home is an understatement! How many people can claim to have lived in an airplane? In the forest? The world is full of interesting homes, and Campbell’s Boeing 727 must be near the top of the list. Campbell’s 200-passenger jetliner is 1,066 square feet in size and weighs approximately 70,000 pounds.
He paid $100,000 for the plane in 1999 and spends $370 per month on property taxes and electricity. Would you ever consider living in an airplane if you were sitting in one? It was an unusual choice, but understandable for someone who is fascinated by machines and airplanes, such as an electrical engineer. Campbell’s fascination with aircraft, in particular, dates back to his adolescence.
He remembered seeing an airplane boneyard, or a field of aircraft that could no longer fly, on TV when he was 15 years old. “Why just waste a perfectly good airplane body?” he reasoned at the time. It seemed such a waste to let that decommissioned planes rust and rot in a field. Though they were no longer fit for flight, the electrical engineer believed that grounded planes could still be useful.
Years later, he made the decision to obtain one. Because it is difficult to locate a retired airplane, Campbell hired a salvage company to do so for him. “That was a Whopper class mistake,” he explained. That’s something I’ll never do again. Wreckers are salvage companies. I strongly advise purchasing a jetliner that is completely intact and operational, with the exception of the engines.”
The company found Campbell a Boeing 727 in Greece after months of searching. The plane was previously owned by Aristotle Onassis, the Greek-Argentinian shipping magnate who was married to former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
The plane was flown from Greece to Oregon and prepared for ownership after Campbell purchased it. The entire $120,000 process included removing the engines and other parts to ensure that the plane would never fly again.