The Future of Flight Aviation Center was opened to the public in December 2005 and offers tours of the Boeing Everett Factory (pictured above) where the company’s largest commercial airliners are built. At 472 million cubic feet, the factory is the largest building in the world by volume, employs nearly 30,000 people and is opened 24 hours a day. The building was originally conceived and designed to assemble the 747 jumbo jet. Today, it also produces the 767, 777 and more recently the 787 Dreamliner which is mostly built with light composite material that makes it more fuel-efficient. During the tour, visitors are first taken through a long underground tunnel, then on to an elevator that takes them to elevated decks that offer bird’s eye views of the factory. Wings, cockpits, and fuselages can be seen as separate pieces in some areas, while in others, fully assembled aircraft bodies are waiting to be painted. The factory’s open space reveals the collaborative aspect of airplane building: very few enclosed spaces, desks and computers organized besides an assembly area, coffee meetings happening alongside drilling and welding sessions.
The Future of Flight Aviation Center is an educational NPO that shares the history and legacy of William E. Boeing, founder of the corporation, and displays the engineering, design, and technology behind Boeing’s aircraft (below).