Pre or Post Seattle Cruise Excursion: Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour
Perhaps a little off the beaten track but well worth the effort is a pre or post cruise tour to the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour in Snohomish County. I got a chance to enjoy the center after my ship docked in Seattle at the completion of my 7-day cruise on Holland America Line. I had a guide with me and private transportation, however there are tour companies offering trips from local hotels.In fact, I counted about five different tour companies in attendance the day of my visit.
28,000-square-foot Aviation Gallery with interactive exhibits and displays
The unique interpretive facility designed to let visitors experience the marvel of commercial jet aviation and production. From interactive exhibits to the only public tour of a commercial jet assembly plant in North America, the Future of Flight Aviation Center is a major visitor attraction in Western Washington. The center draws approximately 200,000 visitors per year and generates an additional $3.5 million annually of tourism spending in Snohomish County.
The $23.5-million Future of Flight Aviation Center features hands-on exhibits, videos, graphics and interactive stations to involve and the whole family. Our group walked around the center before heading into the theater for a short movie about Boeing. After the film we broke into groups and headed to a shuttle bus to tour the nearby Boeing commercial jet assembly plant.
Boeing Tour: where the headliner is a dream
As chance would have it, while we were standing around, the first ever United Airline’s 787 hit the tarmac for the first time. We were lucky enough to be standing around at the Historic Flight collection, when the United Dreamliner took off for the first time.
- A Dreamliner in the making: 787 Assembly Line. Photo from futureofflight.org
During the tour, visitors walk around on catwalks above the assembly line. We observed all the steps involved with the assembly of Boeing aircrafts. In the photo above is the final stages of a 787 Dreamliner. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. We were told that the new fuel-efficient airliner is in high demand. Currently the plant can make two jets a month but that number is about to increase due to demand.
The 787 development and production uses supplies form all over the world. The world’s first major airliner to use composite materials for most of its construction, the 787 is assembled at the Boeing Everett Factory in Everett, Washington and in the new North Charleston, South Carolina facility.
The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour is located at 8415 Paine Field Blvd., Mukilteo, WA 98275, approximately 30 miles north of Seattle via Interstate-5. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Boeing Tours are offered on the hour beginning at 9:00 a.m. with the last tour time at 3:00 p.m.
Ticket prices at the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour, which include the Boeing factory tour, are $20 for adults, $14 for children 15 and under. For more information visit www.futureofflight.org