It was amazing to be in that building looking down on the assembly line of 747's, 777's and 787's (the Dreamliner)!!! The tour guide was telling us crazy stuff like there are 6 million parts in a 747, most of which have to be assembled there. And although the technology for the subsequent designs in the 747 have improved greatly over the years, it is still made mostly of aluminum requiring 1 million rivets to hold it together! A 747 cost 350 million. They complete a new one every 2 weeks and are backlogged for years with orders!
The newest airplane, the 787, is actually flown in in large solid piece sections of carbon fiber composite (see below) and assembled with titanium clips. The 787 is made up of 2+ million parts. It cost 200 million and is backlogged in orders through 2015. 9 of the ordered planes will be going to private parties/companies.
We were not allowed to take any electronic devices on the tour unfortunately, so here is what I did get to take pics of:
|the largest building in the world by volume, the Boeing Assembly Plant|
|Boeing visitor building|
|Boeing aircraft through the years|
|the planes are moved from the plant on the left to the buildings on the right for painting|
|the green on the plane is a special coating that comes on the parts. The green will come off if a part is damaged showing the workers where the damage is|
|all the planes you see in these pics are new and waiting to be delivere|
|inside the visitors center|
|I am looking up at the tail of a 747|
|the countries that have purchased Boeing planes|
|a section of a 787, no rivets!|
|checking out the controls of an old 707, so many knobs and switches!!|
|Mike standing next to a 747 engine|