A couple of weeks back I had the opportunity to spend a few free days at Paine Field North of Seattle, and it was everything that I had hoped it would be. As a complete and utter AvGeek I will gladly take any opportunity to watch planes in all of their many states. Paine Field just happens to be one of the best places to see planes as it is also the home of Boeing’s largest factory.
At the Boeing factory in Everett they manufacture the 747, 767, 777, and the recently reairborne 787. I will talk about the tour another day, but will simply say that I highly recommend it to anyone who loves planes as much as I do.
When it comes to plane spotting at Paine Field I took the advice of some experts as to where to go. Malcom Muir of AirlineReporter.com wrote a great piece about all the ins and outs of plane spotting in the area. Based on his recommendations I chose to spend the vast majority of my time on the Stratodeck at Future of Flight.
On my first day at Paine Field I was fortunate enough to check one aircraft off of my list that I wanted to see airborne. While I had missed the 787 battery test flight the day before, I was fortunate enough to see one of numerous 787 flights that week. You can see some of the pictures I took below, as well as a couple of shots from a newly discovered friend, PlaneInsight. Of course that isn’t his real name, but I will leave that for you to learn by getting to know him.
It was awesome to see the 787 in flight. It is just a beautiful aircraft, and it is a pity that it has been grounded for so long. Fortunately, it will be back in the air soon. I was able to see this gem of an aircraft numerous times throughout the week, but again, I will save that for another day.
I mentioned meeting a new friend while plane spotting, and that was probably the second best part of the day. It was awesome to meet someone who loves planes as much as I do. Many of us self-proclaimed AvGeeks live with people who simply don’t understand why we love planes and aviation so much, but when we get the chance to be around the people who not only understand us, but share our passion, it is something that you just never want to end.
I finished my day at another great attraction at Paine Field, Historic Flight Foundation. But I will leave that for later in the week.