In an immense factory in Everett, Wash., Boeing builds its 777 aircraft. CNET tours the facility to find out how.
Everett, Wash.--In one of the world's largest buildings, Boeing conducts final assembly of its 787, 777, 767, and 747 aircraft. The immense, 98.3-acre facility can produce one 777 aircraft every three days for a total of seven planes per month (Boeing will increase production to eight aircraft per month next year). It takes 49 days to complete final assembly on an airliner.
In this photo, a 777-300 for Air China is nearing completion on the production line. The engines have been installed, and the cabin interior is being outfitted with seats and furnishings.
The rudder is painted before it is installed to ensure that it balances correctly on the vertical stabilizer. Later, after the aircraft is rolled out of the factory, the rest of the 777 will be painted with the airline's full livery. In the background is a 787 destined for Royal Air Maroc.
Further down the line sit more 777s in various stages of completion. The aircraft in the foreground will be delivered to Angola Airlines. The white neon sign in the background identifies the "Twin Aisle Cafe," an employee cafeteria (the 777 has two passenger aisles).
A crane on the factory's ceiling hoists a 777 wing frame into place. Fuel tanks will be installed inside the wing's structure while the flaps, ailerons, and skin will be added later. The factory has 26 such cranes running on 39 miles of track. A 777 crane can lift up to 40 tons.
At the end of the production line, a 777 is days from its roll out. Wing control surfaces have been installed, and workers are adding the final pieces. Just below the sweep of the wing on the factory wall is a screen that shows the progress of each aircraft on the line.