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…

This 747-8 is looking forward to a nose job

This 747-8 is looking forward to a nose job

Boeing 747-8F about to be complete

Boeing 747-8F about to be complete

Check out all the tails on the hangar door.

Check out all the tails on the hangar door.

View of the 747 line from the factory floor

View of the 747 line from the factory floor

The wingtip is put on while at the second to the last step

The wingtip is put on while at the second to the last step

Building the 747's wings in the factory

Building the 747’s wings in the factory

Working on the upper section of the 747

Working on the upper section of the 747

The front and rear are side by side

The front and rear are side by side

Working on that GEnx 2b engine

Working on that GEnx 2b engine

MORE 747-8 FACTORY PHOTOS

Want even more 747-8 factory photos? Then check out our Flickr album.

 

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: [email protected]

http://www.airlinereporter.com
Flying “Business Class” on an Antonov AN-12
11 Comments

Very nicely done David.

Scott Z

I never get tired of that tour. It’s sad to think that the 747 is pretty much on it’s way out though. She will always be the Queen of the Sky in my book.

Pago Flyer

I thought all 747’s were built there, but you indicate just every other one ??
Where are the other 747’s built?
Great pics…and that tour was the neatest tour ever.

All 747s have been produced at the Everett factory.
I think its way the sentence is worded that is confusing you.

He is saying since the first one rolled off the production line, every other 747 (so every one since the first one) has also come from that Everett factory. The following sentence about how the 747-8 is also built there also addresses this topic.

I never grow tired of seeing one fly from take off to landing, such a beast. I have yet to see the other big jet fly (Airbus) over. David you are the man.

Michael

Anyone know what the minimum build rate is to keep the 747 line viable? Could they keep building them at a rate of .5 or 1 a month? Would it be possible to shrink the foot print of the 747 line like they have done with the 767 line to help make it more viable at a lower production rate? I’m thinking that the 747 order book has dried up enough that sadly we are already passed the point of asking these questions.

Will Schilling

Ok this is a silly question. Why doesn’t Boeing allow cameras on the public tour yet they allow members of the media to do so? Seems contradictory if they are trying to prevent trade secrets (only reason I can think of).

They know we will be there and can prepare. Plus they are things they tell us that we cannot take photos of and we listen.

I hope someday that Boeing will allow photos in the tour.

David

Scott S

Great pictures, David, and brings back wonderful memories of that tour at AVGeekFest 2013 and 2014. Maybe Boeing might allow we “groupies” to take our own pictures one of these years!

Boeing used to allow cameras on the tour. Then they use the excuse of someone dropping the camera on the plane and casued a $200,000 damage to stop camrea on the tour.

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