During the Boeing tour you MUST adhere to the following rules:
Children must be at least 48" tall.
no cameras, or any electronics of any kind allowed. No backpacks allowed, and of course, no weapons, pocket knives, etc. Common sense!
OK, you're good to go! By the way if you don't want to leave those valuables in your vehicle there are secure electronically operated lockers available for only $1 in the main entrance hall.
Make sure you arrive at the the Boeing tour entrance inside the Future of Flight (FoF) building ahead of time. This tour entrance is located between the Boeing store and the FoF store. Here you will find a display of model Boeing airplanes, and others, dating from the early days of aviation to current aerospace. It's actually quite impressive and ....if ever they want to give these away I'm calling dibs!
When ready the guard will call you and take your tickets. Make certain you have followed the checks mentioned earlier as Boeing security takes this seriously.
You will be ushered into a large comfortable movie theater and will receive a briefing before a 5 minute movie of how Boeing 'changed the world.' The tour will last about 90 minutes and there are no restrooms so this will be a great last minute opportunity to take a bathroom break if needed. Hopefully you don't as this is a pretty cool mini movie.
After the movie you will board a tour bus and will venture off to the main building of the Boeing company crossing the airport. En route your guide will give you some history of how the Boeing company started and you will be able to see the flight line with all the new planes getting ready for delivery to their prospective new owners. You may even have the opportunity to see one of the four Dreamlifters - see earlier post.
Passing by the paint hangars you will cross the freeway to approach the world's largest building by volume. This is the manufacturing home of the Boeing 747, 767, 777, 787, and future home of the KC-46 tanker for the military.
Upon departing the tour bus you will descend a few stairs and walk about 1/3 of a mile along an underground tunnel before being taken up in an elevator to the galleries above the production floor of the 747 and 767. This will be repeated at the other end of the building for the 777 and 787 lines. The tour guides are very knowledgeable and friendly with a flowing stream of educational insight into how these aircraft are assembled. I know this because I learn something new every time I take the tour. You will be amazed at the immense scale of everything inside, including the airplanes.
The Everett facility adopted the Lean manufacturing process some time ago building upon its success at their Renton facility; home of the 737 and the future 737 MAX. This can now be seen in all production lines.
The final part of the factory tour covers the Dreamliner (787) production line. Here you will notice the difference in manufacturing technologies as the composite sections (tail, fuselage, wings, and nose, which all come pre-assembled complete with wiring etc) are joined together. It reminds me of building those plastic model planes years ago, but on a grandiose scale with great skills involved... and without all the glue marks on the outside showing my fingerprints. The goal of Boeing is to produce a Dreamliner off the end of the production line every three days. Now that's impressive!
When finished you will board the tour bus and will return to the FoF at the drop off point which, like all great tours, ends in the Boeing gift shop. I should also mention that Boeing does provide a service to cater for visitors who are unable to use the stairs or walk 1/3 of a mile. I recommend you call FoF ahead of time to make sure all your needs can be catered for.
OK, now you've spent all your money on gifts and all those great model airplanes, it's time to visit the Stratodeck. Grab your cameras, and cellphones etc, and proceed to the elevator going to the Stratodeck. Those who feel the need for exercise after all the walking can use the stairs. Here you can snap away taking all those great photos you've always dreamed of, and the view is spectacular.
For more details visit the FutureOfFlight.org
Thank you for following P.I. and I'll be looking out for you on the Stratodeck.