Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 258,704
2013: 330,818

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Inside the Factory: Photo Tour of Where Boeing 747s are Born

The money shot: 747 line inside the Boeing factory

The money shot: 747 line inside the Boeing factory

Back in the 1960s Boeing made a big gamble. They decided to build the world’s largest airliner, the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet. To build such a beast, they would need a large facility. After careful consideration, Boeing decided to build a large factory in Everett.

Since the first 747 rolled off the line in 1968, every other 747 has been built under the same roof. Even today, the 747-8 is built in the same factory.

In case you didn't know the aircraft type, there is a large sign on the wall.

In case you didn’t know the aircraft type, there is a large sign on the wall.

Although Boeing offers public tours of the facility, they do not allow cameras. I was lucky enough to participate in a media event and take photos of the 747 line in the factory and I wanted to be able to share. Enjoy…

Continue reading Inside the Factory: Photo Tour of Where Boeing 747s are Born

Experiencing the Amazing Aviation Geek Fest 2014

A group of AvGeeks in front of a Boeing 747-8I - Photo: The Boeing Company

A group of AvGeeks in front of a Boeing 747-8I – Photo: The Boeing Company

What a ride! This year’s Aviation Geek Fest was bigger and better than ever.

I have to say that I am very honored by the fact that I get flown around the world to do some pretty amazing aviation-related things, but Aviation Geek Fest has become one of my favorites to look forward to each year. I am just so happy I got to share the experience with 300 AvGeeks!

AGF14

Boeing SST Mock up in the Museum of Flight Restoration Center

Boeing SST mockup in the Museum of Flight Restoration Center

SATURDAY: PAINE FIELD DAY

For me, the first day (Saturday the 15th) started with a trip to the Museum of Flight Restoration Center where I was able to check out the Boeing SST mockup, a Comet, the first-ever Boeing 727, and a Boeing 247.

BONUS: An Inside Look How the Museum of Flight Restores Their Aircraft

I just love the feel of this facility; it is raw. Although there were many cool ongoing projects, the best part was talking to the folks doing the restoration. They love what they do, they have a sense of humor, and they have so much amazing background on the planes.

Continue reading Experiencing the Amazing Aviation Geek Fest 2014

Celebrating With American Airlines During a Special 777-300ER Delivery

American Airline's sixth Boeing 777-300ER, sitting at Boeing Field. Photo by Brandon Farris.

American Airline’s sixth Boeing 777-300ER, sitting at Boeing Field. Photo by Brandon Farris.

I recently had the opportunity to hang out with American Airlines while the carrier and Boeing enjoyed some festivities prior to the airline taking delivery of its sixth 777-300ER (77W) on April 11th.

Everything began early in the morning with a short drive from the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Seattle to Renton, home of the Boeing 737 final assembly lines. Although we were set to fly the 777, American had recently placed a large order for the 737 NG and MAX.

Continue reading Celebrating With American Airlines During a Special 777-300ER Delivery

GUEST POST: The Other Boeing Factory in South Carolina

A model of the Boeing 787 outside the Visitor Center in South Carolina.

A model of the Boeing 787 outside the Visitor Center in South Carolina. Check out the wing-like roof.

This is a guest post written by Drew Vane for AirlineReporter.com:

I recently visited a Boeing Factory. No, I’m not talking about Renton or Everett, but in South Carolina.

Covering almost 11 football fields and completed in mid 2011, Boeing’s “other” factory for manufacturing the new 787 Dreamliner is located in North Charleston, South Carolina on property bordering Charleston International Airport and Joint Base Charleston.  I had the opportunity to stop by during a business trip recently and let me tell you, this facility is impressive.  According to Boeing’s web site, “Boeing South Carolina fabricates, assembles and installs systems for aft (rear) fuselage sections of the 787 Dreamliner and joins and integrates mid-body sections from other partners.”

These partners include companies located in India and Japan.  While I wasn’t able to tour the facility during my trip, I did take a short visit to the visitor’s facility and grabbed some pics of the lineup near the fence line.  I just happened to miss the second 787 Dreamliner to depart for India by only one day.  I also missed the departure of the Dreamlifter with its precious cargo bound for Seattle, but I hope to catch one in the future.

Some 787s on the tarmac at Boeing's South Carolina facility. Image by Drew Vane.

Some 787s on the tarmac at Boeing’s South Carolina facility. Image by Drew Vane.

Since green is the name of the game these days, Boeing designed this facility to be as environmentally friendly as possible.  The final assembly building was fitted with solar panels that are capable of generating enough electricity to power 250 homes with a peak energy output equal to 200,000 13-watt watt bulbs.  In addition, Boeing has a zero waste program where recycling and reuse is the norm, creating zero waste to landfills from the facility as a whole.  Quite impressive for such a large manufacturing facility.

The visitor’s center unfortunately is for those with permission to enter the site.  I had hoped to see a retail store, room full of Boeing paraphernalia and models for sale.  It is too bad that the store is behind the fence, far from public eyes. The visitor center is more a front gate for those seeking security badges or meeting Boeing employees.  They did have a very nice facility with a roof in the form of a 400-ft long wing, an outside small display with the history of Boeing, and a large scale model of the 787.

Boeing workers who built the facility

Boeing workers who built the facility

A very courteous Boeing employee was kind enough to talk with me as he was leaving for the day.  Boeing’s Charleston facility is the only location currently in the world where the 787 tail assembly is manufactured.  Boeing ships the tails to Everett where they’re assembled. Similar to Everett, all the parts are shipped here to Charleston for assembly.  At the present time, Boeing’s manufacturing is only capable of producing one 787 per month.  But, they hope to eventually ramp that up to one every six days, similar to the Everett Washington facility.

From public areas, I did spot some red tails (not the movie) in the lineup area and took a drive over, stopping outside the fence to snap a pic of the lineup.  What an impressive sight!  I was excited just to be in the same state as these fine aircraft. I cannot wait until my next visit.

Boeing and Emirates Celebrates the 1000th 777

EVERETT, Wash., March 2, 2012 – Boeing [NYSE: BA] and more than 5,000 employees, suppliers, customers and government officials celebrated the 1,000th 777 at a special event today. The 1,000th 777 jetliner will be delivered to Dubai-based Emirates later this month.

EVERETT, Wash., March 2, 2012 – Boeing and more than 5,000 employees, suppliers, customers and government officials celebrated the 1,000th 777 (A6-EGO) at a special event. Click for larger. Photo by Boeing.

Yesterday, Boeing celebrated building the 1000th 777 airliner, a 777-300ER registered A6-EGO, which is set to be delivered to Emirates Airlines later in the month. The celebration took place in the Boeing Factory and the 1000th aircraft was revealed to have a special “1000th” livery.

“As the largest 777 customer, it’s very appropriate that Emirates is the recipient of our milestone 1,000th 777,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Emirates has set an industry high bar in providing excellent customer service and we’re honored that the 777 is central to its efforts to be a global airline leader.”

Emirates is the world’s largest operator of 777 aircraft, with 102 already in its fleet and another 93 on order.

Almost a year ago Boeing celebrated building the 1000th 767, which was first produced in 1982 and took almost 30 years to reach the 1000 mark. It has taken the Boeing 777 less than 20 years to reach the same accomplishment. “The 777 program reached this milestone faster than any other twin-aisle airplane because of the 777’s proven performance, exceptional value, continuous innovation and progressive environmental performance,” said Larry Loftis, who until recently was vice president and general manager of the 777 program.

To date, Boeing has recorded orders for 1,361 777s to 64 customers around the globe.

In my experience, I think I have heard someone say, “I prefer not to fly on that aircraft,” about every type of airliner except the Boeing 777. She is an unassuming workhorse that has never caused any fatalities to any passenger or crew since her first flight on June 12, 1994. Huge cheers to Boeing and those who have helped to make all 1000 of these planes.

Here are additional photos of the event from the Seattle PI and from Randy Tinseth’s Boeing Blog. Also check out these 777 videos from Boeing