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Factory Tours, Airbus Or Boeing?

Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:49 pm

I'm going to be close to both Toulouse and Seattle in the next month, and am curious if it is worth the 100-200km detour for each of these locations to see the aircraft manufacturing lines? I'm not even sure if it is possible! I'd love to see 747's being built, as well as the A380 first hand. But my time (and money) are limited for both places.

I'll be in Nice, FR in early Feb., so not too far from Airbus. I'll be in Victoria, BC just after Christmas and before New Years. Anyone have some incite into both facilities and whether tours can be provided/worthwhile? Oh, I assume Airbus would do a tour in English too... My French, you might say, is crap.

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RE: Factory Tours, Airbus Or Boeing?

Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:52 pm

Well,I've taken the Boeing tour 4 times. I was well worth the $5 they charge - I spent way more than that at the gift shop,there! They take you up to a balcont overseeing the 747 line . Then they take you in a Greyhound-type bus ride across the highway to see the paint hanger and widebodies awaiting delivery.

I don't know about the Airbus tour,though.
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RE: Factory Tours, Airbus Or Boeing?

Thu Dec 16, 2004 12:15 am

The Boeing tour in Everett is quite fun, but I don't know their holiday hours. They might not have them while you are there, so it is a good idea to check.

You get to see the 744 production line from overhead on a platform. Unfortunately it hasn't been very exciting lately since so few 744s are being produced. It was a lot better when Boeing was doing full scale production in the 90s. You also go on a bus to see the flight line of all of the freshly painted widebodies waiting for delivery. It is a fun thing to do, and the Museum of Flight restoration center is a fun thing to do up there as well, and it is free. You can see the work they are doing on the Comet and other cool stuff. Unfortunately it can be kind of difficult to get from Victoria to Everett. Without a car it would be next to impossible. Taking the Victoria Clipper or Kenmore Air to Seattle is expensive, and there is little transportation available to Paine Field, but if you try hard enough and have some time it can be done on Metro bus service.
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RE: Factory Tours, Airbus Or Boeing?

Thu Dec 16, 2004 12:40 am

can you do an Airbus tour?
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RE: Factory Tours, Airbus Or Boeing?

Thu Dec 16, 2004 12:48 am

A company called Taxiway offers tours at Toulouse.


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RE: Factory Tours, Airbus Or Boeing?

Thu Dec 16, 2004 12:51 am

I went on an Airbus tour in March of 2003, and it was amazing. We drove around the facility in a bus and got out at certain spots to check out the different stages in the assembly process. The best part is when we were on a catwalk above the A330 assembly floor, there must have 5 or 6 planes at different stages of construction. I've never been to Seattle so I have nothing to compare it to, but an Airbus tour is definitely worth a trip. Also, Toulouse is a nice city, good food.
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RE: Factory Tours, Airbus Or Boeing?

Thu Dec 16, 2004 1:02 am


I have done airbus twice, and they are awsome!! You get such good views of the planes, unfortunatley, they dont let you take photos.

I think that the A380 plant will be added to the tour??

Yes, I believe that Taxiway is the only tour company that does airbus.

Does airbus have a tour at there hamburg plant?

They do tours in english.

You can take the train from Nice to TLS. I drove from TLS to Nimes which is about four hours, Nimes is about two hours away from Nice.

Good Luck!
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RE: Factory Tours, Airbus Or Boeing?

Thu Dec 16, 2004 6:27 am

On our tour the guide spoke in English, but his English, to quote Manu, was crap. It's a good thing a member of the group was from France so she could translate as our French was terrible.
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RE: Factory Tours, Airbus Or Boeing?

Thu Dec 16, 2004 6:37 am

I've been on the Boeing tour about 6 times...but I got in free because my uncle is a Boeing employee Big grin

It was awesome, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although I spent the last 3 tours only in the gift shop!

I haven't been on the Airbus tour, so I don't know about that. I would love to go on that tour also someday.
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RE: Factory Tours, Airbus Or Boeing?

Sat Dec 18, 2004 2:37 am

I did the Boeing one, which for trivia fans (at the time) was the largest covered building in the world, (I think by volume, if not by area). I also thoroughly enjoyed the Museam of Flight which is in US terms quite close to Everett. Of course, no trip to the area should miss a visit to Jimi Hendrix's grave.

Thanks for the post which has reminded me to go to Toulouse as it is relatively close to where I live.


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RE: Factory Tours, Airbus Or Boeing?

Sat Dec 18, 2004 2:52 am

One tip I recommend and used for the Boeing Tour I did back in August, it to get their by 8:30 when they open the ticket windows. If you are lucky, you may be able to get one of the morning tours, which start at 9:00. The area where you get the tickets also is a small museum about Boeing's history. It is an amazing experience. The tours last about 2 hours if I am correct and you better bring your walking shoes. Everett is about 40km/25 miles north of downtown Seattle. There may be tour groups available from downtown Seattle as well that include the Factory Tour. There are several moderate priced motels in the Everett area. By the way, you cannot have your cell phone or any cameras with you when on the Boeing tour.
I would also recommend going to the Museum of Flight, which is about 12 km/8 miles south of downtown Seattle. Go to their website for further info (I think it is The museum is part of Boeing/King County Field, and is where final prep/delivery of 737 & 757 models is done, and where several facilities of Boeing are located. It too is well worth the visit. If you have a car, you could what I did, do both the Factory tour and the Museum in the same day.
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RE: Factory Tours, Airbus Or Boeing?

Sun Dec 19, 2004 5:41 am

There are also Airbus-tours at HAMBURG!
I´ve been there once. I think it´s nice but i don´t know how much they charge as it was an organized tour by an aviation club...
As far as i know these tours are only mo-fr and exceptionally for groups on sa possible...
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RE: Factory Tours, Airbus Or Boeing?

Sun Dec 19, 2004 6:35 am

I've done both and enjoyed both!!!

If I was you I would go to Airbus to see the A380!!!!
Don't forget to book your tour.

Whatever you chose, enjoy your tour!


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