A cold, grey sky loomed overhead, but no worries. It was a good day to see Boeing's Future of Flight Aviation Center. ETA in twenty...
On the last leg from a road trip two years ago, visiting the massive Boeing facilities seemed like the right way to end the trip.
Located in Mukilteo in Everett, just 25 miles north from Seattle, it's a relatively short drive. Boeing's Everett facilities are home to the legendary 747, 767, 777 and the new 787 Dreamliner.
A short film starts the tour, and you board a bus for the production facilities. The tour is approximately 90 minutes as you walk through the world's largest hangar in terms of volume, or about 472,000,000 cubic feet. You will walk roughly a third of a mile, which includes underground tunnels and decks above the actual production floor. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes...here are some other tips before visiting the plant:
- No cameras, still or video, are allowed on the tour. This includes other personal items like cellphones and binoculars. Lockers are provided, for a fee, to deposit these items before the tour.
- Only children at least four feet tall are allowed on the tour.
- No food and drink are allowed during the tour. A Cafe is located back at the Center, including a well-stocked gift shop.
- Restrooms are not available during the tour.
Your walk will include some cool elevator lifts and steep stairs, and hearing and seeing an actual running production line is an experience, seeing different Boeing variants in various stages of completion, all housed in an enormous building. The size of the facility is the first thing that strikes you, seeing so many commercial jets being assembled under one roof. Getting an inside look at a company that has shaped the global aviation industry is definitely an experience not to be missed.
After the tour, you can explore Boeing's impressive displays, and yes, this time you can bring your camera. Walking through the static and interactive displays is a great way to end the tour.
On the flight back home, it's great to know how these machines are made. Sadly, no photos from the impressive production facilities were allowed, but still, an awesome tour overall.
Check out some really good eats during my Pacific Northwest road trip at http://dude4food.blogspot.com/2011/03/thousand-miles.html.
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