Dad turns old commercial airplane into his dream home and gives a peek inside


When Joe Axline, or Captain Joe, got divorced, he knew the time had come for him to follow his dreams.You see, when he was still a child, he dreamed of living in an airplane. Inspired by his father, who was a pilot for Pan American World Airways for many years, and by Bill Bixby, The Magician, back in the 70s, he wanted to spend his life on a plane just like his heroes.

But then life happened and, although he got his pilot’s license early on, he went on working in the field of technology.“I had dreams to renovate an airplane into a home, but I put them aside, got married and had kids. Building a family and a career was great, I did well and made a lot of money writing software,” he shared with Newsweek.

But, when he and his wife decided to get a divorce, he realized it was time to reflect on where life had taken him so far, and where he wanted to go moving forward.

As a friend of his told him at the time, “he was free” so he decided to pursue his dream of renovating an airplane and turning it into a home and calling it Project Freedom.
Captain Joe started working on the ambitious project right after his divorce on April Fool’s Day 2011, and he eventually moved into his airplane home in January 2012.

Although, at first, he wanted to buy a BOEING 747, he soon realized that, even if he managed to get a good price for that, he’d spend about half a million dollars to have it shipped, so he ended up buying a Spirit Airlines DC-9-41 airplane.

He also bought half a McDonnell Douglas MD-80 passenger aircraft from Arkansas, which was destroyed inside and his kids simply hated it when they saw it.

In the months that followed, he had it fully renovated, and he turned the two half-planes into the perfect home to host his dreams.
After putting in lots of work and many hours of fixing and building everything, he now has a home that features three bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, and an office. He even has his own wine room!

Behind it, there is also a library and a playroom for his children, who are now around 20 years old.

Axline plans on making some changes to the plane so that it feels more modern- after all, it’s already been 10 years since he initially renovated it. And he hasn’t stopped working on his Project Freedom, he assures us.

As for the future? Captain Joe really doesn’t know what it has in store for him and he definitely doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life on the plane.
“I won’t live here forever, this is just the current phase of my dreams. My next goal is to build a castle on a lake. I have seen a place I like, but I don’t want to jinx it,” he explains.


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