A Boeing Plant II Primer
ramp that these three historic airplanes roll across, and the building
they leave is one of the most historic aviation sites in the
world. First produced here are the Boeing 307 Stratoliner and the
Douglas DB-7 bomber (under license.) But Plant II became the home
of the B-17.
Here, in April 1944, are the 16
B-17 Flying Fortress bombers produced in this building - that day, and
every day! Click here for a Personal Note
about those B-17s.
October 1944, the first Boeing XC-97 rolled out of these doors - later
to become the C-97 transport, KC-97 Tanker, and B-377 commercial
Stratocruiser. (See the camouflage on the roof?)
WW II, the plant was completely camouflaged to look like a residential
area as protection against possible Japanese air attack.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, myriad B-50 bombers and
C-97 Transports are being produced in this factory.
On 12 Sept 1947, a radical new airplane - the Boeing B-47 six-jet
bomber Prototype is rolled out. This airplane is the direct
lineal matriarch for all the jet airplanes Boeing has produced since.
On 29 Nov 1951, in the darkness and wet of a Seattle night, the Prototype Boeing
B-52 8-engine Bomber is rolled out and across East Marginal
Way. She's shrouded in secrecy and covered by canvas and
tarps. This amazing airplane is still in front-line combat
to this day.
Here 277 B-52s are being produced where the earlier
airplanes once were assembled.
in 1966, the first Prototype Boeing twin-jet 737 was manufactured in
this building and rolled out of these doors on to this ramp. This
airplane (which I worked on - then, and which I still work on - now,)
is in the Museum's collection. She's the first of more than
8000 737s built or ordered since then.
This first 737, and 44 years later, the Super Connie, are
my bit of Plant II experience.
And so, today - History meets History as the last three airplanes roll
out of these doors.
Plant II is truly aviation Hallowed