Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 93,970
2014: 363,407
Total: 1,015,570

Aviation in Seattle – Boeing Field Spotting Guide

Boeing Field 10 years ago in the Summer of 2005.

Boeing Field in 2005

King County International Airport, or Boeing Field (BFI) as it is commonly known, is the largest business and general aviation airport in the Seattle area.  If you are flying your Gulfstream or Challenger in to Seattle, this is the place you are likely going to be landing.

The line up of brand new Boeing 737s at BFI - Photo: Bernie Leighton

The line up of brand new Boeing 737s at BFI – Photo: Bernie Leighton

There are a few scheduled services in and out of this airport, which include Kenmore Air Express and cargo flights with UPS & DHL (FedEx is based at SeaTac).  The major traffic at this airport comes from general aviation, business jets via the Fixed Base Operators (FBOs), and Boeing test flights.

Because of this diversity, BFI is a great place to go aircraft spotting.

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Get All Your Aviation Geek Fest 2015 Updated Info Here

AGF15

We are excited to experience Aviation Geek Fest 2015 (AGF15) on February 21 and 22 in Seattle. We all VERY much appreciate your patience with getting you information and putting the tickets up for sale.

The Full AGF15 tickets sold out in about 30 seconds — crazy. All this point, there are not additional tickets (Full or Mini) for sale.

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Museum of Flight Receives a Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Boeing 787 Number 3 (aka ZA003) at the Museum of Flight - Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

Boeing 787 Dreamliner number 3 (aka ZA003) at the Museum of Flight

Saturday, November 8th at the Museum of flight will forever be known as Dreamliner Day.  This Seattle aviation museum is known for many examples of aircraft built in the Seattle area, such as the first 747, the prototype 737, and the only remaining Boeing 80A.  But now the Museum has it’s own Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the first museum in the world to have such an aircraft.

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A Unique AvGeek Wedding – Inside the First 747

The right cuff-links for the occasion - Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDLMultimedia.com

The right cuff-links for the occasion – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDLMultimedia.com

When I moved to the USA in May of 2012, I packed up my entire life, left everything and everyone behind in Australia, and began a new life in Seattle. Pretty soon I was meeting up with all kinds of people, especially AvGeeks but even I didn’t think that less than two and a half years later I would be getting married.

It wasn’t just any wedding though, it was probably the most unique AvGeek wedding. How so? Well, my wife and I were married inside the very first 747 – the City of Everett locate at the Museum of Flight.

That's me and my new wife Heidi, posing for our first photos as a married couple inside RA001, the first Boeing 747 - Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren / JDLMultimedia.com

That’s me and my new wife Heidi, posing for our first photos as a married couple inside RA001, Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDLMultimedia.com

Yeah, you read that right, the first 747.  Truth be told, I couldn’t believe at first that the Museum of Flight would let us use the first 747 (also known as RA001) like that. But we were extremely excited. Right now, you are probably thinking about my wife, “She let you do that?”. Well, the truth of the situation is that it was Heidi’s idea.

After trying to find intimate venues for a small wedding at low-to-zero cost, we just couldn’t find any. Parks in Seattle all require a permit to get married. These can cost anywhere from $200-400. Pass!

We spoke with our friends at the Future of Flight in Everett about perhaps getting married there; however, Heidi’s family are all based south of Seattle, so this would be a long way to go for them (unfortunately, my family was not able to make it over for the wedding).

I knew that the Museum of Flight had just finished refurbishing RA001 so I joked that we should just get married under it. My wife, being ever the smart one in our relationship, made a good point that it rains a lot in October – what would we do if it rained that day? Her idea was we get married inside. This excited her more than me, and I’m the AvGeek!

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The Legendary Men Behind the Historic Boeing 747

Joe Sutter and Brien Wylge

Joe Sutter and Brien Wylge – Photo: Kris Hull

Recently, the Museum of Flight in Seattle finished the first phase of restoring the historic first 747 to its original 1969 appearance. To celebrate this accomplishment, they hosted an afternoon seminar with Joe Sutter, who led the engineering team and is credited as the “Father of the 747″, Brien Wygle, the former Boeing Chief Pilot in 1969 who was in the right seat during the first flight, and noted author Clive Irving, who wrote one of the authoritative books on the 747. Before the main events on October 18th, we had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Sutter, Wygle, and Irving.

The 747 was an aircraft that was developed quickly by today’s standards, according to Sutter. “I was asked to investigate large aircraft designs in April 1965, Pan Am placed its first order in 1966, and we rolled out the first aircraft in 1968, with first flight in 1969, followed by entry into service in early 1970.” For an aircraft the size of the 747, three years from initial concept to rollout of the first model is still today unprecedented.

According to Irving, “It was a large program, and Joe was in the middle of the chain of command, and whenever there was a critical decision to be made, and no one else wanted to make it, Joe made it. He was the one in the end who signed off on everything, and took full responsibility.

Roll out of RA001, the first 747. Photo: Boeing

Roll out of RA001, the first 747 – Photo: Boeing

You will not find that speed in today’s environment.”It was a massive undertaking, and at one point, we were spending $5 million a day on the project. I was directed to cut 1,000 engineers by leadership, and I polled my crew and asked what they can do without; they said, ‘nothing, we need 800 additional engineers!'” said Sutter. “We were relegated to an old warehouse on the Duwamish River before the Everett factory was built, while the team heading up the government-sponsored SST program were housed in brand-new offices and buildings.”

When asked about how he felt being “relegated to a side project” compared to the high-profile SST program, Sutter replied, “We had a job to do, and we were going to build an airplane that did that job. We were going to get our job done, and we had the attitude that if we did a good job, the plane would have a great future.”

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