The Boeing Aircraft Company assembly plant (pics), located in Everett, WA, is the largest building in the world by volume at 472 million cubic feet. The building covers almost 100 acres and is 1/3 of a mile in length. At this plant they build the 747, 767, 777 and 787 Dreamliner jumbo jets.
When we were ready to leave Whidbey Island, we drove to the south end of the island to the Clinton Ferry Terminal. This ferry connects Whidbey Island with western Washington state at Mulkiteo, WA. The Boeing factory is a short drive from the ferry terminal in Mulkiteo.
The tour begins at Boeing’s Future of Flight Aviation Center. First we were shown a short film to introduce the Boeing Company and some of its history. Following that we boarded a bus along with a tour guide and were driven to the factory. The factory consists of 6 sections, each section is used for the production and assembly of various portions of the aircraft that are built here. We entered the building in one of the underground tunnels that runs underneath each of the six sections. With an uninterrupted view of the length of the 1/3 mile long tunnel you begin to get a feel for the size of this building. We were then taken up in a freight elevator to a viewing platform in the middle of the portion of the factory that is used to build the 747-800 aircraft. It is then that you can appreciate the massive scale of this factory. We are just not used to seeing that much open space inside a building. We also visited other sections of the factory where they build the 777 and Dreamliner aircraft. The Dreamliner is assembled here but virtually all of its components are manufactured elsewhere in factories around the world.
We also saw the Dreamlifter which is a modified 747 aircraft that is used to transport portions of the Dreamliner fuselage and other components to this plant from manufacturing locations around the globe. One of the unique aspects of the Dreamliner is the composite material used to build the fuselage in one piece barrel sections without the need for fasteners. The completed sections are then flown here in the Dreamlifter for final assembly.
Since no cameras or electronic devices of any kind are allowed on the tour, this photo is one taken by Boeing. We were then able to select from a variety of backgrounds (this one shows the assembly of a 747) and download the photo.