Friday, June 22 – We loaded the car on the Kingston Ferry this morning in route to Everett, WA, and the Boeing Factory Tour.
The round-trip fare is $40, not cheap, but that beats driving all the way around Puget Sound. The Ferry ride over to Everett was very smooth.
We hardly knew we were moving. The Washington Ferry fleet is one of the largest fleets in the world with 25 vessels, serving 9 routes and 20 terminals. Jumbo class ferries can carry in excess of 200 vehicles and 2,000 foot passengers.
The Future of Flight Aviation Center (Boeing Factory plant) was a short drive from the ferry terminal.
We saved a little on the tour by purchasing tickets on line. We've been looking forward to this Boeing Tour. As a matter of fact, it's on Paul's “Bucket List.” Today was an ideal day for an indoor tour....it's raining.
Before we get started, just a note to say there were no cell phones, cameras, backpacks or really anything permitted on the tour. All factory photos will be courtesy of the Internet.
The Everett facility was built when Boeing began building the Boeing 747. A huge airplane required a huge facility. The complex is the largest building in the world by volume. It has an enclosed space of 472 million cubic feet and covers 98.3 acres. It currently houses the assembly of the Boeing 747, 767, 777, and the newest aircraft the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Imagine this assemble line with the Boeing 747 (The largest passenger plane in the world.) passing 4-stories below the observation floor. Wings, 13-story tail sections, fuselage, landing gear, engines, and all the interior wiring and pieces and parts coming together in a completed airplane. A pretty amazing scene.
787 assembly line.
The 787 Dreamliner is the newest aircraft. They have so many orders for this plane that they are five years BEHIND in manufacturing. Not bad for a plane selling for over $225 million dollars. By the way, the Boeing 747 sells for in excess of $425 million.
Following the tour, we walked through the Future of Flight Museum on the grounds of Boeing. It is a historical view of the Boeing Company and an education center with cockpit modules, 747 tail fin, mock-ups of the new Dreamliner interior, and smaller private planes hanging from the ceiling.
787 Fuselage…composite one piece barrel (COPB2). This is a very interesting new material. If you read closely, you will see that it REDUCES the number of parts - 40,000-50,000 parts are eliminated just in fasteners.
It was surprising the number of finished airliners parked outside the factory and around the air strip waiting to be delivered to the purchaser. They are painted to the airline specifications and are being test flown or waiting for final delivery.
We really enjoyed this industrial tour. (Hope Marsha enjoyed it as much as Paul did.) Not sure it's worth the $18/person charge, but Starbucks Coffee shouldn't cost over $4 either. That's tomorrow's adventure....Seattle and the original Starbucks.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!