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Day 42 - Visit the Boeing Factory

The second day in Seattle was as beautiful as the first one. I got up quite in time and after a nice warm shower I went downstairs to have the complementary hostel breakfast. Once I had finished eating I still had about 20 minutes until the tour bus was coming to pick me up. I had booked the Boeing Factory tour as I wanted to go and see the assembly line where some of the largest airliners of the world are built. The bus came in time and the driver asked me to sit in the front seat next to him. This was great because it provided me with a great view of Seattle while we were picking up more passengers from various hotels around town. Once everyone was aboard we went on the highway and drove up to Everett where the final assembly of all Boeing wide-body aircraft takes place. On the way we got some pretty amazing views of the mountains surrounding Seattle. Then we reached the factory and first drove by the main assembly line that is housed in the largest building of the world, in terms of volume. The bus dropped us at the Future of Flight center where the Boeing Factory tour started. We still had about one hour time before the actual tour began and were able to discover the center itself as well as the galleries. Right next to the center a brand new Boeing 747-8 Freighter was parked and visitors were encouraged to have a closer look and to take pictures of the airplanes. The gallery itself featured interesting artifacts, there were different kinds of engines on display as well as cockpit and cabin sections of various Boeing aircraft. Also Boeing had a research project going on for which I signed up as a participant. Unfortunately they needed at least 10 participants to run the focus group but there were not enough volunteers during my visit. Also on top of the center there was an observation deck that gave a great view over the factory itself and the runway next to it, where all new aircraft are tested before delivery. I could just observer how a brand new Boeing 777-300 returned from its maiden flight. Then at 11 am the actual factory tour started. First we were shown a short movie about the Boeing Company and its products. Then we were guided to our buses that took us to the actual assembly line. We were shown both the 747 and the 777/787 assembly lines and a tour guide explained us all the details of the entire production process. It was impressive to see how a new airliner is built and to understand how complex the production process can be. After we saw both assembly lines the tour bus took us back to the Future of Flight center. There we still had about half an hour to visit the museum’s shop or spend some more time in the gallery. Finally at 1 pm we again departed from Everett and drove back to Seattle. I was back at the hostel at around 2.15 pm. I went straight to have lunch in one of the nearby Chinese restaurants. After that I headed back to the city center of Seattle. I walked along 1st Street and went one more time to the Pike Place Market. I bought some post cards which I sent out to family and friends back home. After I had browsed to most of the shops at Pike Place Market and have had some ice cream I started to head back towards the hostel. Before returning I still stopped by at the Seattle Library which is really an impressive building. This time the library was also open so I could enter the building in order to see more of the great architectural work. I went all the way up to the 10th floor from where I got a pretty amazing view of Seattle. Back at the hostel I had some dinner and started then to pack my bags in order to get ready for my early morning departure to Portland next morning. I spent the evening in the common lobby where I got to know some of the other travelers staying at the hostel. I went to sleep early as I had an early get up the next morning. 

Brand new 747-8F on display

Future of Flight gallery

Overview of the Boeing Factory in Everett

Mount Rainier seen from Seattle

Pike Place Market

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