Day 439: Big Planes Made in the World’s Largest Building

This morning we said goodbye to Kesser Israel, the synagogue where we’ve been staying on and off over the last three weeks.  It was great to see all of our old friends, and to meet families that have moved to the community since our last visit. 

Heading North, we just made it to the last tour of the day of the Boeing Everett Factory, led by docents from the Future of Flight Aviation Center.  The building in which the planes are built is the largest building in the world, covering over 98 acres and enclosing over 472 million cubic feet of volume.

The first assembly line we visited was building 747-8s.  Photography in the building is not allowed, but this is what it looked like:

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Images Courtesy: Boeing

Looking over the massive floor space was amazing!

Next we boarded a bus to take us to the other end of the building, where the 777 is built.  The planes are assembled on rolling platforms that move the planes along as they’re built at a rate of a few inches an hour:

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Image Courtesy: Boeing

Across the balcony we saw the 787 being built.  Unlike the other planes we saw being built here, sections of the 787 are built in factories around the world and are flown here by the massive 747 dreamlifter for final aircraft assembly. Incredibly, ten 787s per month are assembled here:

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Image Courtesy: Boeing

We accessed the various assembly areas using a tunnel in the basement.  Standing at one end, the door at the other end, nearly a mile away, wasn’t even visible:

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Back at the visitor center, we could see the assembly building in the distance.  The two buildings on the right are where the planes are painted.  To get there, the planes are towed across a Boeing-owned overpass that crosses a freeway:

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The visitor center has an extensive exhibit space as well:

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A 747 cargo plane was parked next to the viewing area on the roof:

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Looking out over the field where the planes are stored before being delivered to customers:

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After the tour, we continued North to overnight at the Big 5 Sporting Goods in Burlington, Washington.  See the trip map for driving details.

Day 438: Biking and Laser-Tagging
Day 440: Ferries and Islands - the San Juans

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