Airplane Home in the Woods – Hillsboro, Oregon - Atlas Obscura
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Hillsboro, Oregon

Airplane Home in the Woods

Screw your Airstream; this man lives in a converted Boeing 727 parked out back. 

Although not in plain sight, it is a plane to see; buried deep within 10 acres of woods just outside Portland, Oregon is a retired Boeing 727 that has been transformed into an unearthly living space.

The aircraft’s owner, Bruce Campbell (unfortunately not of Evil Dead fame), has been living in the airplane for six months each year since purchasing the plane in 1999 for $100,000. Equipped with water, electricity, and sewage plus 1,066 square-feet of interior space, Campbell’s airplane home is pretty plush for all its eccentricities. The plane also has the notoriety of being the very aircraft that flew Aristotle Onassis’s body home to Greece for burial, with Jackie Onassis and family flying in the main cabin.

Campbell is part of a group of people around the world known as the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA). The members of AFRA share a similar view of turning retired airplanes in to homes or other creative spaces. On a recent tour of the plane Bruce told the group about his plans for restoring a Boeing 747 in Japan, where he spends the other six months out of the year. And what’s the draw of wanting to make a permanent home inside of an airplane?

To hear Campbell explain it, the whole idea makes so much sense: 

“When properly executed, the remarkable appeal of a retired jetliner as a home springs from the magnificent technology and beauty of the sculptured structure itself. Jetliners are masterful works of aerospace science, and their superlative engineering grace is unmatched by any other structures people can live within. They’re incredibly strong, durable, and long lived. And they easily withstand any earthquake or storm. Their interior is easy to keep immaculately clean because they are sealed pressure canisters, so dust and insects can’t intrude from the outside. And they’re highly resistant to intruders. So the human hearts inside feel wonderfully safe and comfortable. And their interiors are exceptionally modern and refined, and provide a wealth of unique amenities, superb lighting and climate control, and overwhelming storage space. Once the rows of seats are removed, their profound appeal as a family living environment becomes immediately obvious.”

Then of course there’s the delightful, kitschy aspect of living in an aircraft. Campbell adds, “It’s a great toy. Trick doors, trick floors. Hatches here, latches there. Cool interior lights. Awesome exterior lights, sleek gleaming appearance, titanium ducts[…] It’s a constant exploratory adventure, ever entertaining, providing fundamental sustenance for an old technology nerd like me. Having lots of little toys is very fulfilling. Having lots of little toys enclosed in a very big toy is nirvana.”

Campbell is happy to offer tours of his airplane in the woods. One need merely contact him via his website to schedule a time.

Please note: As this is a private residence located on private property, Campbell’s exact address has been withheld with respect to his wishes, though it is his intent that this omitted detail should in no way dissuade interested parties from contacting him for a visit, or from finding his address through alternative means. 

Know Before You Go

Comprehensive directions available on the official website.