Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Stanwood WA, Boeing Airplane Assembly Plant

We drove out to Everett to check out the Boeing plant yesterday.  We took the tour and that took us into the largest building in the world by volume.  Wow!  The place is a city.  To give you an idea of the size of the building, you could fit 9 empire state buildings in it.  You could put 75 football fields in it! They have 35,000 employees, 19,000 parking spaces on the grounds (they work in shifts;), 11 cafeterias, child care centers, hospital, etc.

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

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