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Fascinated With Aircraft, This Man Constructs 2 Airplane Homes That Only Cost $200 per Month

Axline described the project as a series of challenges and victories, likening it to a dance of "two steps forward, one step back."
Cover Image Source: Man builds his dream airplane homes | Youtube | @Localish
Cover Image Source: Man builds his dream airplane homes | Youtube | @Localish

Joe Axline has transformed a childhood fascination into reality by fashioning his dream abode out of not one, but two passenger airplanes, per Business Insider. Inspired by the '70s television series "The Magician," where the protagonist navigates the world in a plane, Axline's innovative dwelling is capturing attention worldwide. However, life's twists led Axline to a new chapter in April 2011 when he found himself divorced, equipped with a nest egg of $250,000. This prompted Axline to embark on what he coined "Project Freedom," a venture that would see him repurpose two airplanes into habitable spaces.

Youtube | @Localish
Youtube | @Localish

He explained that most residential properties typically come with stringent homeowners associations that would have posed obstacles to his ambitious airplane housing project. However, Axline disclosed to Insider that he had discovered a workaround within the restrictions of private airport properties. "I can't erect a train or park an RV. A mobile home is out of the question," he stated. "But there's no prohibition against my airplane."

Youtube | @Localish
Youtube | @Localish

Axline discussed the logistics of purchasing a plane for his renovation project. "His quest led him to reach out to Tom Bennington, an expert contractor in airplane renovations." Sharing his vision with Bennington, the two embarked on a search for the perfect aircraft. Their search culminated in the discovery of a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 Spirit Airlines fuselage—a plane body sans wings—up for auction. Previously, a centerpiece at Sawgrass Mills indoor amusement park for children, known as "Wannado City, the aircraft became available following the park's closure in 2011." The cockpit boasted a comprehensive array of features including fiber optics, original seating, communication devices, oxygen masks, and life-saving vests.

While Axline secured the DC-9 during the spring, the logistical challenge of relocating it from the mall proved to be a year-long endeavor. "In the interim," he explained, "I acquired another aircraft." Axline revealed to Insider that both aircraft structures were meticulously chosen to adhere to a maximum length of 60 feet. This limitation was crucial as it allowed for cost-effective transportation via truck, the most economical method for relocating retired planes. By adhering to this size restriction, Axline managed to slash transportation expenses from a staggering $100,000 down to a manageable $5,750.

Youtube |
Youtube | @Localish

Supporting the MD-80 structure necessitated the use of 25 cubic yards of cement. Axline described the project as a series of challenges and victories, likening it to a dance of "two steps forward, one step back," emphasizing the absence of small or simple tasks in the endeavor. Despite the hefty costs incurred in hiring cranes and trucks for transportation, Axline affirmed that the investment was justified by the fulfillment of "living the dream." To accommodate his height without constraint, Axline opted to remove the ceilings and overhead bins from the airplane fuselages. Additionally, "he constructed two partition walls—one delineating the master bedroom from the shower area and another separating the first bedroom from the living space." Axline remarked that these modifications were easily managed by him.



Axline prioritized making the MD-80 livable, leaving the DC-9 empty except for storage. He plans to convert it into a cinema eventually. "The MD-80 conversion took over a year, with Axline moving in August 2012 after residing in a nearby apartment." Axline enjoys the airflow through the original doors of his plane home, finding its compact 600-square-foot size preferable to his previous 5,000-square-foot house. "Monthly expenses for utilities and taxes amount to around $200." Axline sees his airplane homes as lifestyle choices rather than investments, stating his intention to reside in them indefinitely.