A man built his dream home from two passenger jets – and it only costs him $200 per month to live there.
Based in Texas, it includes a VR lounge, vegetable farm, and life-size chessboard – and he also hopes to build a cinema.
Following his divorce in 2011, Joe Axline, a trained pilot, decided to embark on ‘Project Freedom’.
That involved converting two retired aeroplanes into his dream home.
Axline claims that he is “living the dream” after the renovation and living in the plane for 11 years.
He claims he wants to stay in the jets “until the day I die”.
His mission is to inspire other people to live their dreams.
Axline trained as a recreational pilot throughout his teens.
He went on to achieve his instrument rating, an advanced aviation certificate, in his twenties.
However, shortly after that, Axline was forced to give up flying to focus on his career in IT and his family life.
To commence Project Freedom, he put down $250,000 of his savings on a plot of land.
The plot sat on a privately owned airport named Sport Flyers in Brookshire, Texas.
Rules and regulations prevented him building a home or bringing a caravan on site.
However, it being an airport, there was nothing to say he couldn’t bring jets on site.
As a result, Axline decided to buy two.
First he picked up a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 Spirit Airlines plane.
While its wings were missing, it did include its original 1970s fittings, chairs, life vests, and oxygen masks.
It took Joe so long to move the plane to his waiting plot, the trained pilot decided to buy another “in the meantime”.
This time it was the fuselage of a McDonnell Douglas MD-80.
One of the planes is used as Axline’s living quarters, while he plans to turn the other into a cinema.
Before his dream home was put in situ, the innovative pilot built concrete foundations elsewhere.
He then shipped the jets to the land.
He worked alongside Tom Bennington, an airplane-renovation contractor.
While not a builder or handyman by trade, he trained himself the DIY essentials via YouTube videos.
His brother, Joe, an electrician, then helped him gut the MD-80.
From there they installed a sewage system, water, lighting, and insulation.
That rendered the plane “liveable”.
He says the purpose of living on a plane “is to inspire people to live their dream life”.
The plane is now a cosy home that sleeps three, complete with wood-effect flooring, a kitchen, and some of the plane’s quirky, original fixtures.
These include overhead bins and passenger windows.
“I don’t care if it goes up in value or goes down — doesn’t matter to me. I will live here until the day I die,” he said in an interview with Business Insider.
And Project Freedom is not a finite mission.
Axline recently decided to extend the plane’s patio with an additional 20-feet of concrete.
That made it possible to grow more hydroponic vegetables, including onions, broccoli, tomatoes, and cabbage, as well as cultivating tilapia and avocado.
While fruit and vegetables are grown aboard the International Space Station, this could be the world’s first vegetable farm aboard a plane.
The plot sits next to his life-sized chess set within Axline’s dream home.
One goal is to turn the other plane into an “entertainment center” – including a cinema.
He already has VR technology on board his jets.
Living aboard a plane is a lifetime ambition for Axline.
Axline’s inspiration came from a TV show called The Magician.
The main character lived on a plane, traveling from city to city solving crime.
Axline trained as a pilot and, in his forties, made an attempt to redesign the ‘Skycycle’.
“It’s not the airplane, it’s the dream,” he told the Daily Star.
“That’s the angle: be James Bond with your life to the max.”