Outside the Boeing 737 factory in Renton, WA. The air frames of the 737 arrive via train. Photo: David Parker Brown
This summer I was excited to take a tour of Boeing’s 737 factory, located in Renton, Washington, with my colleague Chris Sloan over at Airchive.com. Over the past few months we have shared some pretty amazing stories and now I want to give you a photo tour of the facility and walk you through our adventure.
One of my favorite aspects of the facility is the parking lot – yes, that is right. Well, not the lot itself, but the fact that the Boeing 737 actually starts at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, KS and the fuselage is transported by train to Renton.
If you like planes and trains (which I do), nothing beats catching a glimpse of one of the 737 fuselages riding on a train to the Renton 737 factory before it is dropped off in the parking lot [this photos shows a bit better how close the plane is to cars].
My latest trip into the factory was my third visit, but the first where I was allowed to bring a camera. Unlike Paine Field, which offers public tours, the 737 factory is closed to the public. For last year’s Aviation Geek Fest, we were very lucky to bring our entire group through the factory – something that will not soon be forgotten.
GEnx engine being tested in cold weather. Image from GE.
This story was written by Christopher L. McMullin (@787forlife) for AirlineReporter.com:
Have you ever wondered if an Iditarod trained Husky and airplane engine have anything in common? Well, they just might. General Electric is currently putting their engines to the cold test.
Last February, GE established the Engine Testing, Research and Development Centre (TRDC), a $50 million facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba (YWG). With recent updates, this allows engines to be tested year-round. At this 122,000 sq. ft. facility, the newest GE jet engines, including but not limited to the GEnx family, are pushed to their max. They undergo rigorous trials in extreme winter conditions. While it may be 30°F outside, these engines are able to be tested at a blade chilling -8°F. How’s that for cold blooded?
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.
Mock up of Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and 737-8 MAX in new American Livery. Image from American.
It will still be a while until we see American Airlines new livery on a real Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 737 MAX, but until then we can enjoy this computer mock up.
Is the new livery starting to grow on you yet?