A Visit to Boeing

Boeing 777

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

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  1. Reply

    Well said. Thank you Mr. Michael Hervieux for sharing this extraordinary event with us!

    The introduction of the 777F to the FedEx fleet of more than 650 aircraft expands what is already the world’s
    largest cargo airline.

    The 777F will support more point-to-point transoceanic routes with shorter flight times, enabling improved service
    offerings to customers.

    The 777F is the world’s largest twin-engine cargo aircraft. Its flight range, the equivalent of about 6,675 land miles, or
    nearly three times the approximate distance between the east and west coasts of the U.S., is the longest of any two-engine
    freighter, with a payload capacity of 215,000 pounds (98 metric tons). This represents an increase in range of more than 2,400 miles and an additional 14,000 pounds of payload over the MD-11
    freighter, which until now has been the primary long-haul aircraft in the company’s fleet.

    It also will:
    Allow FedEx Express to fly directly between major markets and hubs in Asia, Europe and the U.S. with
    more freight and in less time than it takes today.
    Improve transit time from points in Asia to Memphis is now about 1 to 3 hours faster; approximately 13 to
    15 hours total flight time depending on origin location.

    The 777F is friendlier to our environment.
    It uses 18 percent less fuel than an MD-11;
    • State-of-the-art engine technology reduces emissions 18 percent;
    • Advanced noise-reduction technology meets airport noise standards and makes landings and takeoffs quieter;
    • Has lower maintenance and operating costs than other aircraft in its class.

    • Teri
    • September 24, 2009

    Well said! Many of us around here are FOB or, Family of Boeing and taken tours of several local plants. The sense of awe, the idea these gee-normous man-made things fly. Imagine, a triple seven full of beads!

    BTW my favorite tour was of the Air and Space clean room. Dust free to work with sheets of gold.

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