It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Super… no, wait, it’s a plane.
You may be wondering where I am going in regards to this little introduction. Have you ever wondered how those big behemoth airplanes are able to fly? You may be an aircraft enthusiast that ponders the technical aspects of its creation. Or, you are like me, who is new to the industry (as a summer intern in Human Resources!) but wishes to expand their knowledge of the topic. For whatever reason you find yourself here, let’s take a nosedive and plunge right into learning about the Boeing Everett Factory (puns are free of charge)!
We begin our flight exploration at the Boeing Everett Factory, where Boeing planes are assembled. The aircraft built here include the Boeing 747, 767, 777, and most recently the 787 Dreamliner. The factory is located in Everett, Washington, USA and is the largest building by volume in the world according to the Guinness World Records. It covers 472 million cubic feet in total. After WWII, this Boeing factory opened in Everett, as the community supported the production efforts of the “Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress” (a four-engine heavy bomber aircraft). What was it that motivated Boeing to build this humongous facility? In the mid-1960s, Pan Am ordered 25 new Boeing 747s (worth about $525 million), and needed the space for production! The photo on the right shows the facility being built back in 1967.
Take a Tour
If you wish to take a tour of this facility, it is open 7 days a week thanks to the efforts of Boeing, the Future of Flight Aviation Center, Snohomish County Public Facilities, and Snohomish County Airport. The tour usually lasts an hour and a half. During this time you have the chance to view commercial airplanes being built (which is a rare sight!). This is the ONLY public tour of a commercial airplane factory in all of North America.
Through this tour, aviation, engineering and history buffs are able to experience the inner workings and innovations within the industry. Some activities included on this tour involve the chance to design and virtually test your own jet. You may also go on the Innovator, a virtual ride which allows you to visit destinations and experience things like the Battle for Iwo Jima, a Grand Prix Race or a barnstorming stunt plane. ‘Barnstorming’ refers to pilots who perform stunts in their airplanes for entertainment.
A Game of Two Truths and a Lie
Now upon my research of this factory, some pretty interesting facts were uncovered! Below are three interesting ‘facts’ about the Boeing Everett Factory, two of them are true. Can you guess which one is the lie?
To help employees get around this massive factory, 1300 bicycles are provided.
This building is so massive, it has been known for rain clouds to form indoors.
The Boeing Factory has actual train tracks that run into the facility.
Ready for the Answer?
- True: Within the factory, there are 1,300 bicycles and tricycles that are used by its employees to make their way around the building.
- False: This was true when the factory was first built, but remains false today! Due to the warm, moist air, mini clouds could be seen forming near the ceilings. Airplane factories and water moisture do not make for a good combination and as a result, Boeing has installed air circulation systems that keep weather outdoors instead.
- True: Not only is there a railway running to the factory, but the track is the steepest active standard-gauge railroad in the U.S.
We have now finally reached the end of our knowledge flight destination. I hope by the end of this, something new was learned about the world of airplanes that you can take away with you or test your friends with this little game and show off your knowledge. If you ever have the chance and are visiting Washington, USA on a trip, why not visit this place and open the gates to a new world!
Disclaimer: Any views or opinions presented in this blog post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Aversan Inc.
Banner Photo Credit: Flickr User Mark Harkin, https://www.flickr.com/photos/markyharky/14522002180/
Future of Flight: http://www.futureofflight.org/flight-systems
Photo Credit for Boeing Factory Picture: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boeing_747-8_Test_Planes_in_Assembly.jpg, taken by Jeff McNeill
Photo Credit for Boeing Historic 1967 Picture: Airways News: http://airwaysnews.com/html/memorabilia/boeing-everett-factory-historical-images/1967-boeing-everett-factory-under-construction-/28389