Boeing builds airplanes in world's largest room

Mar 27, 2014 | 08:13 AM | Andrea Hotter

Tags  Boeing, 787, 777, 737, Everett, aluminum, aerospace, Andrea Hotter

NEW YORK — In a building some 25 miles north of Seattle, several thousand people are quietly going about their daily jobs. A bicycle meanders through, carrying a walk-weary worker past the coffee shops, laundromats and restaurants inside, while a golf cart whirs along, hugging the perimeter and sticking to carefully marked lines on the floor.

It’s the world’s largest room—a third of a mile from east to west, twice as long north to south—and at any one time as many as 10 airplanes are being meticulously assembled inside it. The continuous-roof building is home to Boeing Co.’s Everett plant, the assembly line for its twin-aisle airplanes, including the 747, 767, 777 and 787 Dreamliner.

Putting its scale into context, the size of the whole Everett facility is equivalent to 46 Buckingham Palaces, five pyramids of Giza or 17 Taj Mahals. Yet the assembly lines are laid out to perfection, with the gap between the walls and the planes narrow.

Driving the golf cart is Wes Bare, a former pilot who now gives tours to executives visiting the plant. His love of aviation and visible enthusiasm for imparting his knowledge of it is infectious. According to Bare, Everett has its own police and fire departments, and even an employee who hunts unwelcome birds at night in order to prevent them from damaging the planes. ....





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