Man Leads the Charge in Recycling Airplanes to Be Used as Homes

It’s a do-it-yourself project unlike any other you’ve ever seen, constructed from a Boeing 727 destined for the scrap heap.

A Dream Is Born

Image: CBC News

In Hillsboro, Oregon, there is a retired electrical engineer who likes to think big and make his creative plans come to life. Bruce Campbell, 64, bought a four-hectare (10-acre) stretch of land deep in the Hillsboro woods for $23,000. He was a man with a plan.

Campbell has always been a tinkerer and as a toddler he had a knack for creating something new out of old materials. In the case of the purchased land, he was looking to construct himself a home out of several freight vans. And then he found out about a different kind of dwelling someone else managed to build.

Plans Start to Change


About 20 years after his initial freight van idea, Campbell got word of a Mississippi hairdresser named Joanne Ussery who purchased a Boeing 727 and converted it into her home. This followed her more ‘traditional’ house having burned down, so after that unfortunate event she took the plunge and erected a fully functional airplane abode next to a lake.

A massive airplane as a home piqued Campbell’s creative curiosity, plus he also thought it was a much more exciting project than his original idea. The freight van concept was already in motion, but he shifted his attention to purchasing a plane he could park on the land he already owned.

The Big Boeing Purchase


Finally, in 1999, Campbell had enough cash to buy himself a Boeing 727 from Olympic Airways, based out of the Athens Airport in Greece. The price? A hefty $100,000, and that was before he even moved the thing.

That daunting feat turned out to be the biggest challenge Campbell faced trying to make his dream home become a reality. Coordinating the move and ironing out the many details added an additional $120,000 onto the project’s cost, bringing the total up to $220,000. Despite the expenses, in Campbell’s mind it was money well spent and, eventually, he would prove himself right.