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This man lives in a Boeing 727!

Last updated on: June 10, 2014 17:10 IST

This man lives in a Boeing 727!

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Deep in the Oregon woods and rolling hills outside the Portland suburbs, where orchards dot the landscape, a Boeing 727 appears to have landed at the top of a steep dirt driveway encircled by towering pines.

For Bruce Campbell, it is home.

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Image: Bruce Campbell sits on his futon bed while using a laptop in his Boeing 727 home in the woods outside the suburbs of Portland.
Photographs: Steve Dipaola/Reuters

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Complete with wings, and landing gear resting on pillars, it is where Campbell spends six months of the year.

In 1999, the former electrical engineer had a vision: To save retired jetliners from becoming scrap metal by reusing them.

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Photographs: Steve Dipaola/Reuters

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This man lives in a Boeing 727!

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Slightly built and with a charming smile, the 64-year-old Campbell sees the task as part of his goal in life.

"Mine is to change humanity's behavior in this little niche," he said as he stood beside the plane, lamenting the need to power wash its exterior and trim the dense foliage. 

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Image: Bruce Campbell brushes his teeth at a sink in his Boeing 727 home in the woods outside the suburbs of Portland.
Photographs: Steve Dipaola/Reuters

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This man lives in a Boeing 727!

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Campbell is one of a small number of people worldwide - from Texas to the Netherlands - who have transformed retired aircraft into a living space or other creative project, although a spokesman for the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association was unable to say precisely how many planes are re-used this way.

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Image: Bruce Campbell shaves in his Boeing 727 home in the woods outside the suburbs of Portland.
Photographs: Steve Dipaola/Reuters

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AFRA, an organization made up of industry leaders including Boeing that focus on sustainable end-of-service practices for airframes and engines, estimates that 1,200 to 1,800 aircraft will be dismantled globally over the next three years, and 500 to 600 will be retired annually over the next two decades.

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Image: The cockpit, which Bruce Campbell is currently renovating, is seen in his Boeing 727 home.
Photographs: Steve Dipaola/Reuters
Tags: AFRA , Boeing

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"AFRA is happy to see aircraft fuselages re-purposed in a range of creative ways," said AFRA spokesman Martin Todd. "We would want them to be recovered and be re-used in an environmentally sustainable fashion." 

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Image: Bruce Campbell stands near his Boeing 727 home.
Photographs: Steve Dipaola/Reuters

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Campbell was in his early 20s when he paid around $23,000 for the 10 acres on which his plane rests.

His original plan was to make a home from freight vans, but then he decided a plane would be better. A van still sits nearby, covered in growth. 

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Image: Bruce Campbell sits in the cockpit of his Boeing 727 home.
Photographs: Steve Dipaola/Reuters

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ORIGINAL FEATURES

He purchased the 727 after hearing about a Mississippi hairdresser who had done it.

Now, about $220,000, many years of work and several hard-learned lessons later, Campbell is ready to do it all over again, this time with a Boeing 747 he hopes to buy and move to Japan, where he also spends half of the year.

Campbell is working to restore some of the plane's original features, from the cockpit to flight stairs, a working lavatory, LED lighting and some of the seats.

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Image: A fully functional lavatory is seen in the Boeing 727 home of Bruce Campbell, in the woods outside the suburbs of Portland.
Photographs: Steve Dipaola/Reuters

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"For him to be running electricity and flashing beacons is kind of amazing," said Katie Braun, a pilot and flight instructor who came to see the airplane home after learning about it in 2012. 

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Image: Bruce Campbell stands on the plexiglass floor of his Boeing 727 home.
Photographs: Steve Dipaola/Reuters

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"It makes perfect sense that they use those airplanes for something," she said. "It's a fascinating concept. I think it could take traction if people were more environmental."

The transition wasn't easy. While restoring the plane, Campbell spent years living in a mobile home. When that became infested with mice, he moved into the aircraft, despite lacking a building permit.

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Image: Bruce Campbell leans on a tyre of his Boeing 727 home.
Photographs: Steve Dipaola/Reuters

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On board, Campbell leads a modest life.

He sleeps on a futon, bathes in a makeshift shower and cooks with a microwave or toaster, eating mostly canned food and cereal.

A shoe rack with numerous pairs of slippers greets visitors, and he asks that everyone wear slippers or socks to avoid tracking in dirt.

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Image: Bruce Campbell leans on a tyre of his Boeing 727 home.
Photographs: Steve Dipaola/Reuters

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