Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Visiting Microsoft and Boeing Aircraft Headquarters

Wow - look at these hippies -- and Orinda! Actually, these are the founding folks from Microsoft. The young guy in the left is Bill Gates! This is from the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, WA. We were really impressed with the huge Microsoft Campus, but in all honesty, the visitor center was a bit of a let down. There was some interesting exhibits, but most of the display focused on the Zune or the XBox. I would have expected a bit more on the interesting history of the firm.

Still, it was fun to see things like this Atari 2600 -- the "old school" video game! I do recall thinking how cool these things were.

While in the area, we decided to visit the Boeing Headquarters. This tour turned out to be truly amazing! Orinda is shown standing at the entrance to the Visitor Center which houses many of the Boeing historical displays and aircraft.

This engine shows how big the new engine for the 787 Dreamliner aircraft will be. This thing is HUGE! The Dreamliner is just about to enter airliner service and will be a revolutionary ship. Built out of mostly composites, it is much lighter than current airliners and as a result, offers 20% better fuel economy.

This is one of the first Dreamliners ever built! This 787 is undergoing final tests and is about ready for delivery. UPDATE (8/12/09)-- this is the info from the Boeing Tour guide and based on a couple of comments I have received, apparently is not quite accurate. As a result, I did some research and sure enough, the 787 is not quite ready for prime time -- see Boeing 787 for details. Interestingly, Boeing is building these on the assembly line and apparently storing them on the flight line. Hopefully, flight testing will be underway soon.

This building is amazing. It encloses 98 acres under roof and houses the assembly lines for the 747, 767, and 787 aircraft. We were able to actually take a tour of this building and watch these huge airliners being built. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed on the tour, but it is well worth your time if you are in the Seattle area.


squawmama said...

I just found your blog and I really like it... We have been full timing for 5+ years in a motorhome and love it a lot... I have added you to my favorites so I can keep in touch with you guys... Come on over and visit me...

Have Fun & Travel Safe

Anonymous said...

The dreamliner in NOT "about ready for delivery". It never left the ground and first flight is not even announced yet.