When you’re in the top 5 of all international business travel partners, you sometimes get to see some amazing places. For example, part of the goMICE team made the journey to Seattle last month, together with a large media company from the Netherlands, in order to visit the enormous Boeing factory there. Because we organise so many Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events, we often deal with the planes which are assembled in this factory, so it was about time we took a look behind the scenes. In this blog, we’ll take you with us as we journey to the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world.
Flying in style
We all agreed: “We’re flying to the Boeing factory in Seattle, so we should fly there in a Boeing!” Flying with KLM, we ended up soaring high across the Atlantic in a Boeing 777-200ER.
After perfect service on the flight, the check-in at Vancouver International Airport ran smoothly. Our previous experiences during inspirational trips to Vancouver were once again reinforced: Canadians are extremely friendly people, and you immediately feel welcome in Canada. We even forgot our jet lag for a moment. After a little sightseeing in North Hollywood and a good meal, we decided to prepare ourselves for the 250 kilometre journey the following day.
Here at goMICE, we’re regularly on the road. However, we were still surprised by the inspection at the US border. The inspections were a lot more thorough since the last time we’d made this journey. After a thorough check, we were able to continue our journey to Everett, a city just 50 kilometres north of Seattle, where the Boeing factory is based.
The Boeing factory in Seattle
The Boeing factory in Seattle is the largest building in the world. This fact only really starts to register when you arrive at the complex. The first time at the factory, we stood with our mouths hanging open, astounded at the sheer size of the complex. There’s a reason for the slogan ‘If it’s not a Boeing, you are not going’.
After a warm reception by our guide and a short introduction, the tour of the immense factory could begin. We got a bird’s-eye view of the assembly hall where we were able to see the aeroplanes in various stages of construction as we walked across the walkway. Beneath us were a 777 with wings, a 737-800 without, Boeings with and without engines, and planes without undercarriages.
Meanwhile, the Boeing guide talked on and on about Boeing’s history, the different models and the various construction phases. The enormous engines of the Boeing 777 were truly impressive. Together with the undercarriage, a plane’s engines are the most expensive component. Before an engine is attached to the plane, a block of concrete is used in order to keep the wings tensioned. If this is not done, the wing will spring upward, and tear off! A great deal of weight is therefore required. It was really impressive to see the kind of precision work that is done in the Boeing factory.
Just take a look at the time lapse video below.
The tour of the Boeing factory lasted around an hour and a half, after which there was time for questions and discussions while enjoying a bite to eat and a drink. Both the members of the goMICE team as well as our client and the personnel were deeply impressed by the one and a half hours which had just passed, and we nearly talked the ears off our Boeing guide!
Would you like to see a factory of this kind a little closer to home? Then consider visiting the Airbus factory in Toulouse, South France! A visit to this factory makes a really nice little stopover while on holiday in the south of Europe.
What our client said: “What a sensational stopover between two metropolises. All perfectly organized by goMICE!”