Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Ballet with aircraft parts?

Here's an interesting video clip about how Boeing moves very large aircraft parts between its factories in Washington state.  Their extra-long trailers are steered from the front and the back wheels, by two drivers, making it a bit like a dance on the road.

I presume they suspend shipments if snow and ice arrive . . . the thought of controlling a double-steered trailer like that on a low-traction surface is daunting!



TheOtherSean said...

The journey their 737 fuselages undertake is also fascinating. There was an article in Trains magazine that covered the trip by rail the fuselages undergo from the Boeing factory in Wichita, KS to the one in Renton, WA. During part of that trip, the train runs down a street in Renton. Yes, its planes, trains, and automobiles.

Here's a YouTube clip of the train pulling the plane down the street, between cars:

R said...

Western Wa. is so temperate that snow and ice are rarely a factor.

In addition to the trucks and trains Boeing has barges a barge landing with a special railroad to transport oversized freight to Paine Field.

Boeing also flies sub-assemblies around in a modified 747 Dreamlifter that makes NASA's Superguppy look puny.

Mark Matis said...

You are probably correct that "...the thought of controlling a double-steered trailer like that on a low-traction surface is daunting!". But I bet it would make for a VERY popular YouTube video...

drjim said...

When I was working for Boeing I was fortunate enough to be able to go up there on company business a few times. I wasn't involved with aircraft, but since I had a Boeing badge, I was able to stop by and see these facilities in operation.

Amazing stuff they do with such large structures.

Bob Mueller said...

I did the factory tour a few years ago when I went out to visit my brother. Great experience. No cameras allowed at all inside the manufacturing side. Worth the side trip though.

Wrote a little about it under "Seattle Travelogue" on my blog.

mark leigh said...

I would note that the same technique is used for pre-formed bridge beams. the sight of such is relatively common in the northwest along I-5.