6 Really, Really Big Things You’ll Discover at the Boeing Factory Tour
Welcome to the Future of Flight
Ever since I was a little kid I loved airplanes (even earning 35 hours towards my Private Pilot’s license). So when I had the chance to visit the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour in Everett, Washington, I jumped up and down in glee. What did I discover on my tour?
That airplanes are really, really big.
How big? Here are 6 examples.
A Boeing 747 Tail Fin
When you see an airplane from the terminal, you truly can’t appreciate it’s size. You enter through a tiny door, walk down a narrow aisle and cram yourself into an uncomfortable seat. But planes are big. And the big planes are real big. This tail fin from a Boeing 747 is over 63 feet high! Only when you get this close do you realize it.
The Boeing Dreamlifter
Speaking of the Boeing 747, that photo above is of a modified 747. It’s called the Dreamlifter. A cargo plane, that funny-shaped plane actually flies (I know, it’s hard to believe). And not only does it fly, it travels the world and carries sections of the new 787 Dreamliner airplane. A plane inside of a plane. Imagine that!
A Boeing 787 Cross Section
What you’re looking at in that photo is a slice of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The fuselage is made out of carbon fiber. Farewell to flying sardine can analogies. You can go up to the cross section and touch it. It feels like hard plastic. Trust the engineers. That thing will fly.
A 787 Engine
Big planes like the 787 need big engines, and that one is almost twice my size. It’s younger sister, the Boeing 777 has an engine that is bigger than the fuselage of a Boeing 737. Think about that for a moment… the Boeing 737 cabin could fit inside a Boeing 777 engine.
The Boeing 737 Business Jet
Poor ‘lil 737, right? Wrong. Despite being comparably smaller than it’s larger siblings, it’s still a mighty plane. Shown above is a mock-up of a portion of the plane as a Business Jet (for the very wealthy of course). With 2,400 square feet of space, that plane has more footage than my house.
The Boeing Factory Everett, WA
Question: What’s the biggest building on the planet?
Answer: The Boeing Factory in Everett, Washington.
Coming in at 472 million cubic feet, it is the largest building in the world in floor space. Inside this building, the 747, 777 and 787 are built. On the Boeing Factory Tour, airplane geeks (like yours truly) have the chance to step inside and see real planes in various stages of production. It was the highlight of my visit.
Photos aren’t allowed inside. Nonetheless, you’ll have the chance to see the assembly line where everything is put together. One of the stand outs was the watching the 777 Moving Assembly Line! Scaffolding surrounds the plane’s body and creeps at 1.6 inches/minute while workers build the whole thing.
Whether you love airplanes, Washington or factories… The Future of Flight is a worthwhile stop. Buy your tickets online ($18.00 at this time) to save a few dollars (you’ll need to if you plan on purchasing the $200 million Dreamliner).
What’s the biggest plane you’ve ever flown in? What was the experience like? Share by commenting.
I’ll see you out there…!