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If it's not a Boeing, it's not a Going

The Everett based Boeing factory is the largest building by volume in the world. It is so large in fact that when it was first built weather systems developed inside and clouds formed at the ceiling. This monstrous building sits just 15 minutes from my house. I knew it existed as I experienced the traffic terror of 29,000 employees getting to and from work each day, and I often saw the planes making touch and go test flights in the air space near my home. It wasn’t until this past week that I actually discovered that Boeing gives out, I mean, charges the equivalent of my lifetime savings for a tour of the factory. Hence, I found myself broke, as I shuffled along in a group of 35 others touring the Boeing factory on Friday.

No photos were allowed inside the factory - Photo borrowed from www.petergreenberg.com

Staring up at the dizzying exterior it’s no wonder Boeing requires its own medical facilities, fire department, and water treatment plant. But just how big is the Boeing factory? Well, let’s just say that you could fit the entire Disneyland theme park inside it and still have lots of room left over for a giant parking lot. Or you could gather over 2,000 average sized homes inside the factory walls. In numbers the Boeing factory encloses 472 million cubic feet of space. Yup, it’s huge.

Photo borrowed from www.petergreenberg.com

The tour covered the 747, 777, and 787 factory lines. That’s right I actually stood over the elusive 787 as the imported plane sections were pieced together like legos. The new 787 is not actually constructed at the Boeing plant, but rather completed sections of the plane are flown in on the “Dream Lifter”, a retrofitted 747, to then be pieced together. The 787 is not made of aluminum alloys as traditional planes are, but is built of a composite material that is stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum. After many delays the maiden flight is scheduled to occur later this year.


The tour lasted 90 minutes and doesn’t even compare to any other tour I’ve been on (although the eat your weight in chocolate at Theo Chocolates is a close favorite). I could have stood above the factory floor for days and never looked at the same thing twice. The space was just so immense and the organized chaos of building a plane extremely fascinating.

Following the tour we were then shuttled to the gift shop at the Future of Flight. Talk about convenient. Our tour tickets also gave us entry into the museum which housed a mock up of the 787 Dreamliner interior and design your own plane work stations.


All the images of planes being built and flown over faraway locations just instilled in me the desire to get away. Realizing I have four trips planned in the next two months is a comfort, but after our crazy side-burned tour guide said “If it’s not a Boeing, it’s not a going” I began to worry as my upcoming month of travel on JetBlue means flying on Airbuses. Either way, flying is one of the greatest adventures – taking off on one side of the globe and waking up the next morning in a completely foreign land still boggles my mind. We are truly fortunate to have the entire world at our finger tips and my trip to the Boeing factory in Everett only further encouraged me to test the limits of travel. The possibilities are endless, so get out there and discover them!

Dan gazing up at the tail wing of a 747

Posted by Jennylynn 12:02 Archived in USA Tagged air_travel

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Cool. Nice photos.
Thank you.

by Travel4gro

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