In the early 1970s, Bruce Campbell paid $25,800 for 10 acres of land in Hillsboro, a suburb of Portland, Oregon.
The electrical engineer, now 73, told CNBC that his dream began when he saw an airplane graveyard on TV when he was 15. It was here that he decided that he wanted to be in a plane.
In 1999, Campbell was ready to move forward with his plan, but had no idea how to go about it, so he hired a salvage company to find an aircraft for him.
“It was the worst mistake I ever made. I will never do it again. Salvage companies are the worst,” Campbell said. “I probably recommend buying a fully functional, intact aircraft without engines.”
After months of searching for an aircraft, the company found a Campbell Boeing 727, which can seat 200 passengers, has 1,066 square feet of interior space and weighs 70,000 pounds. He found it in Greece and it’s a piece of history for the United States.
In 1975 the plane was used to carry the remains of the airline’s owner, Aristotle Onassis. The Greek-Argentine tycoon was married to former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at the time of his death.
Campbell said he paid $100,000 for the plane, which flew from Greece to Oregon. Once ready, the aircraft were driven through the streets of downtown Hillsboro to Campbell’s lot. That process included removing its engine and other parts so the plane could never fly again. Total cost is estimated at $120,000.
Here we explain.
“When you live in a structure like this, you feel a little bit more satisfied with your life,” he said. “And if you’re an engineer, a scientist, or anyone who appreciates the grandeur and beauty of aerospace technology, it makes for a happy place to live.”
He spent $15,000 and it took 2 years to build the plane home
Campbell said he added a shower, sink, washing machine, refrigerator to the plane and used the food cart on the plane as his pantry.
Instead of a kitchen, Campbell has a microwave and electric stove, which he says he rarely uses.
“I’m an idiot. I don’t cook, so the kitchen area is very small,” he explained. Next to the kitchen is a sofa bed, which is used both as a living room and as a work room.
Her monthly expenses are $370, which includes $220/month in property taxes and $100-$250/month in electric bills.
Campbell said he spends his time fixing old computers, repairing electrical systems in aircraft, and giving visitors tours of his exotic home.
“I don’t regret whatever I did to fulfill my dream. I think humanity will take the view that planes can be reused after they are decommissioned,” he said.
Campbell said he also wants to have a plane in Japan, where he spends some of his time.
“I want to make a home there, in that place and with the people I love. The only thing I need is to reclaim my youth.”