A preface.. a week or two ago, Boeing rolled out the first 787-8f. I wasn’t a fan of the livery, and said so on twitter. The twitter rep for Boeing’s Future of Flight noticed this, and invited me down to have a look at it in person, and take the tour of the factory, for free *Squee* :D
So we rented a car, and and her parents and I headed off down there.
Well, back up a second. I rented a Red, 3.5L V6 Dodge Charger. It was a freakin’ awesome car, with only 2400kms on the clock (we did another 380kms). Shame it was raining most of the day. Second hand prices aren’t too bad either. Hmm! :D
I went on the tour in 1999 with my mum, but I didn’t have the plane-nerd background I do now, so I knew this was going to be different. Also, we almost got crashed into in a high speed car chase back in 1999, which fortunately didn’t happen this time. The whole concept of being able to drive to another country for a day trip is cool. Back in 1999, they had a small shop in the middle of a parking lot. They now have a huge exhibition center + store. The exhibition center has all sorts of cool stuff to walk up to and touch and feel, such as a 747 tail, GE90 engine, a 787 carbon fibre re-enforced plastic section 41-43 or so and a 727 cockpit.
The tour starts in the 747 assembly hall, where they were making line number 2 – 6 of the 747-8f. I was reminded once again just how amazingly complex building a plane is. And that building is something else.. it’s huge, and contains a mix of offices and assembly areas and cafeterias. I’d kind of like to work there, much in the same way that as a concept, working in an Apple store would be cool. You then hop back in the bus and go onto the 777/787 production area. Also interesting to see.
All up on the tour, I saw:
- N787EX – First 787 (as well as the next 12 or so in production)
- N7808A – First 747 Dreamlifter
- N747EX – First 747-8f (as well as the next 6 in various stages of production)
- A6-ECX – New 777-300 delivery flight for Emirates
- .. and some other stuff
So I’ve now seen the first 737, 747, 757 and 787. The first 727 is also at the Paine Field Airport, but I didn’t see it. Eventually I’ll see it and the first 707..
All up, good fun. Thanks so much to Sandy for the invite :)
One thought on “Boeing Tour”
So glad you enjoyed the tour and the experience. Be sure to stop in and say hi when you come back for that visit to Museum of Flight Restoration Center to see the first B707. You may also want to consider a visit to Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection, which is located at Paine Field as well.