Life begins @ 40

The thing about airplane manufacturing is, it’s constantly evolving and improving with technology. Clearly, the revolutionary 787 Dreamliner, and the evolutionary 747-8 are already carrying on the story into the 21st Century.

But as we look ahead, I also want to give you a chance to look back at the remarkable era of growth and success that led up to today, particularly at the Boeing Commercial Airplanes plant in Everett, Washington.

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From 1967 ..

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.. to 2007.

We’ve launched a 40th anniversary Boeing and Everett Website to help celebrate Boeing’s partnership with the Everett community. The site features key events in the plant’s 40-year history.

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Boeing is implementing a more efficient production system on the 777 line in Everett. The goal is to complete a U-shaped moving line - from systems installation through final body join - by sometime next year.

It all began with a determined group of employees called “The Incredibles,” who simultaneously built the plant – today, the world’s largest building by volume – and designed and assembled the world’s first jumbo-jet, the Boeing 747.

One interesting feature on the Website is an interactive timeline and video depicting the history of the Everett site.

Something I’m struck by is the fact that we’ve built about 3,000 widebody airplanes in Everett since we began this adventure in 1967. Most of those airplanes are still flying today. And in the factory now, all of those innovative widebody products - 747, 767, 777, and 787 – are going strong.

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A real piece of Boeing history, the original 747 - the “City of Everett” - is on exhibit at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

My own connection with the Everett site takes me up to my previous role as Customers Leader for the 747-8 Program.

I had a workspace right in the 747 factory.

If you ever should find yourself in this part of the world, you can get a personal look at the airplanes in assembly in the humongous building where the work goes on, during a Boeing factory tour. It’s one of the most popular visitor attractions in the Pacific Northwest.

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Some recent history: NBC News’ “Today Show” broadcast “Where in the World is Matt Lauer” live from Everett on April 30. Here Matt demonstrates how some employees use bicycles to travel around the huge 777 factory.

So, it’s been 40 years since Boeing’s manufacturing facilities opened in Everett. I’ve heard that life begins at 40, and even that “40 is the new 20.” Either way, we’re just getting warmed up!

Comments (4)

Saj (London, UK):

Indeed life begins at 40. The 747 has stood the test of time and has proven that it was designed to cope with the ever changing nature of the travel industry.

With the 787, we'll see it in service 40 years from now.

If the journey from 1967 to 2007 is anything to go by, the next 40 years will be equally revolutionary - and what better way for the world to share it be being able to fly in these winged wonders....

JAHC (Mexico):

Congratulations for everybody at Boeing. Let this 40 years be just the beginning. Keep up making flight possible!

Chris C (South Africa):

The Boeing Everett Factory truly is a marvel! It is definitely the home to the world’s most prestigious, super-efficient, phenomenal wide-body commercial airplanes - the 747, 767, 777 and 787 - with each one of these commercial airplanes being at the pinnacle of airborne excellence in their respective markets. “The Incredibles” truly are people that have left a phenomenal legacy! Congratulations Boeing!

Everett (Beijing,China):

Congratulations for Boeing employees.747 has changed our air travel.And this 40 years is just a the beginning.I think Everett will build more widebody airplane in the future.Best wishes to the Boeing Company and Everett.

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