Today, the fellows spent all day at the Boeing factory and engineering offices in Everett, Washington. The day began with a tour of the plant, the largest building in the world. In fact, the building is so large that it could fit the Taj Mahal, the Capitol building, the Seattle Seahawks stadium, and probably the KU campus within it. We got to see first hand how airplanes are assembled from their individual parts as several planes were in production as we walked the plant.
We had the unique opportunity to learn about the 787, a new jet from Boeing made 60% from composite materials. These new materials allow for longer flight times, lighter aircrafts, reduced fuel costs and the ability to recycle components of the aircraft after they are taken out of operation. Several KU alumni who worked on the project answered questions about this new aircraft as we walked through the plant.
After lunch, we went to the Dreamliner gallery where we got inside access to how customers customize the massive 787 airplanes they purchase. We walked though rooms containing seating options and arrangements, cabin options, utility options, and finished with a demonstration of modern cabin light shows the new airplanes can do with the help of computer controlled LEDs.
After a four hour bus ride and a much-enjoyed stop at Burgerville (a Pacific Northwest chain) for dinner, we arrived in Portland for our final day of visits.