We had a student from Paris stay with us many years ago and her father called Seattle “SEA-uh-tle.” Randy and I have referred to it as SEA-uh-tle ever since. Seattle is a great place to visit but a hard place to have an RV. Last time we stayed in an awful KOA and picked up a mouse.
This time we stayed at Issaquah Village RV park. It is a nice enough place – nothing special, but pricey at a discounted rate of $55 per night. But it is Seattle – and, so far, no mouse!
The downside is the close proximity to I-90. It is literally 100 yards away and the traffic noise is non-stop. If you live here it probably becomes white noise.
We had a Handy Randy project right away. Our water heater wasn’t heating well on electric mode. The T-Stat and connector had melted and needed to be replaced. It is a common fail and Randy already had a spare from the last time.
He drained the water heater, manipulated the camera inside and looked around. He found nothing else amiss. Randy thinks he could use his camera to do his own cystoscopies and send the video to his urologist in Boise. Engineers….
We were very pleased to reconnect with friends Phil and Shirley. They lived in Boise many years ago and it was very nice to sit with them and catch up. It was very comfortable, like the intervening years never happened. Thanks Phil and Shirley!
We enjoyed lunch at the field, having normal ball park fare – even peanuts later. Safeco field was recently voted the stadium with the best food in all of baseball and they have an extensive variety.
You can even get chili-lime grasshoppers! We weren’t tempted, even when a man sitting near us bought some and offered them around.
The Mariner’s ended up losing the game to Houston but we did see a triple play! That is a rare event!
There are a variety of displays and simulators. The 787 Dreamliner is the only Boeing plane with a number and name designation.
We saw one of only four Boeing Dream Lifters. This huge cargo plane gathers parts from all over the world to assemble the 787 Dreamliner in Everett or North Charleston, South Carolina.
We stored our cameras and cell phones in provided lockers and loaded onto the bus to access the factory. The Everett Boeing Factory is the largest building, by volume, in the world. It is over 114 feet tall and covers 98.3 acres. All of Disneyland would fit inside and still have 12 acres for a parking garage!
The outside mural is the largest digital graphic in the world. Both the building and mural are recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records.
We were able to see 747, 767, 777 and 787 planes on assembly lines. Unfortunately, we were at the factory during shift change and didn’t see any work being done. This plant employs 30,000 people and few, if any, robots.
Although we missed seeing active assembly at the factory, we did see inside one of the painting bays – supposedly a rare event. (This picture is from a viewing area once we got the camera back.) A brand new FedEx plane was getting painted in a building specific for that purpose. It takes five days to paint a plane, adding 1000 pounds of weight in the process.
The completed plane has two test flights by Boeing pilots, each lasting 2-4 hours in length. When Boeing is satisfied, the purchaser is invited to come to Everett to complete their test flights. Once everyone is happy with the plane’s performance, Boeing gives the purchaser 1/3 of a tank of fuel and a send-off party in thanks for the $200-400 million purchase.
Randy asked about the Boeing numbering systems for their planes. He was told that the company began with the lower numbers but as production evolved the engineering department decided to categorize products by design type. These were done in 100 unit intervals:
200, 300 and 400 series were propeller aircraft
500 series were turbine engine aircraft
600 are rocket and missile products and
700 are jet transport aircraft
In the 700 series, the second number is the model sequence, 727 before 737 etc. Newer doesn’t mean bigger as 747 models are still the largest. The last seven was suggested by the marketing department to sound good and be easy to remember.
There was a lot of interesting information on the tour. Some of it, such as production times, was only given in generalities due to industrial security. In addition to not being able to take pictures, we also couldn’t take notes. You may not be missing all the cool facts and figures from the Boeing Factory Tour but I was very frustrated with not being able to bring them to you!