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A Woodland Cabin Fit for the Skies

In a forest about 15 miles outside of Portland, Oregon, Bruce Campbell owns a retired Boeing 747 that he calls home. And for the past 20 years, he’s been living in the commercial jet.

Campbell bought the retired plane in 1999 for $100,000 and made it his mission to make the plane habitable. As a retired electrical engineer, Campbell worked on the place to install electrical, water and sewer systems. His jet home includes a living space, kitchen, two working bathrooms, a shower (which Campbell refers to as “primitive” but still functional) and a workspace. Oh, and a cockpit.

Old planes usually get retired and recycled. Campbell wondered, why not upcycle instead and scrapping the metal and building new planes? Now that Campbell has done it himself, he provides a detailed guide on his website as to how one can acquire and update their own jet plane home to live in. Campbell is even working on a second airplane home, what he calls an “aerospace technology castle” to be built in Kyushu, Japan. He hopes the aero-home will work not only as a home but perhaps as a tsunami lifeboat for the community when needed.

Although Campbell’s lifestyle may seem unique, he’s not the only one who has repurposed airplanes for a more grounded cause. In Stockholm, Sweden, is the JumboStay, a hostel inside of a decommissioned 747. The hostel was built in 2008 and holds over 30 rooms and a restaurant. In Costa Rica, an airplane in the treetops serves as a hotel for guests to stay in. And others have taken up private residences in jets, such as former airplane mechanic Red Lane’s home in Ashland City, Tennessee.

If you don’t really have the energy to build your own airplane home, don’t worry: Campbell will let you come visit his abode at almost any time (although he does prefer afternoon, he says on his website).

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