Recently I was fortunate enough to be one of only a few of FedEx’s customers invited to attend the ceremonial delivery to Federal Express of their first Boeing 777 freighter, manufactured about 50 miles from Artbeads.com at Boeing’s Everett facility. Prior to the delivery of the jet, we were given an expanded tour of Boeing’s facility, granting us access to areas that are inaccessible to people attending any of Boeing’s public tours. There is no other way to describe this building except by saying that it is big… really, really big. So big in fact that the Guinness Book Of World Records lists it as the biggest building in the world by volume at 472 million cubic feet. To put that into perspective, that’s big enough to hold all of Disneyland and still have room for 12 acres of covered parking! Another way to get an idea of the size of this building is to consider that it has 1 million light bulbs!
The 777F is one of the newest series of freighters produced by Boeing, and to see one up close was truly incredible. Standing next to this plane on the tarmac and being able to reach out and touch it gave me a sense of perspective that you simply can’t get any other way. Each wheel was about 4 feet tall and the landing gear has a total of 12 of them. The wingspan is over 200 feet, more than two-thirds the length of a football field. Even the engine itself was enormous with the diameter being greater than that of the entire fuselage of a 737, one of the most common commercial passenger planes in use today.
Most of us take air travel for granted now, but if you ever get the chance to visit an aircraft factory or have the opportunity to see a large scale jet up close and personal, take it from me that you won’t regret it. These machines are truly remarkable, and to see how they are made makes the experience even more incredible.
- Michael, Chief Operating Officer