Do you ever wonder about how amazing it is that we travel by plane to places all over the world in less than a day and hundred years ago it would of taken us anywhere from a week to a month to cover that same distance?
I just recently went to a travel conference for those who sell New Zealand in Seattle and one of the highlights was a visit to the Boeing plant in Everett, WA. We got to visit the assembly line of the 747-8 which now back in production, the 777 and the brand new 787.
It really blew me away to see the sheer scale of the assembly line which is in constant motion at a very slow rate of something like an inch every 2 minutes or so. These aircraft consist of millions of parts and lots of attention to detail is needed to assemble them. I wonder if in 1915 when William E. Boeing first started building his float planes in a boat house on Lake Union, Seattle did he ever imagine that now in 2011 his company would own the largest building by volume in the world and would produce some of the most innovative aircraft that the world has ever seen.
One such aircraft is the new 787 or Dreamliner which is not made of primarily of aluminum but a composite material which makes for a simpler structure, is lighter and reduces fuel usage. It also has a new wing design which makes it more aerodynamic, faster and more fuel efficient. This new wing design also allows passengers a smoother ride. This is an aircraft built with the comfort of the passenger in mind with full spectrum LED lighting that adjusts for work, leisure and rest. The windows are 65% larger and you can darken or lighten your window with the touch of a control. The new state of the art filtration system also removes bacteria, viruses, fungi, irritants, odors and gaseous contaminants making for less headaches, dryness and eye irritation.
These aircraft are really our modern day wonders of the world, not unlike the engineering genius and precision of the pyramids we marvel over! This really struck me on my flight home to Ottawa from Seattle as we flew amongst the clouds with unseemly little effort while the sun was setting behind us and the glow of city lights shone before us, all I could think is it’s a miracle!
Scientific American was real spot on with this quote.
To affirm that the airplane is going to revolutionize the future is to be guilty of the wildest exaggeration.
-- Scientific American, 1910
Denise Gushue – CTC