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Factory Tours in US ??

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Factory Tours in US ??

Old 11th Aug 2008, 03:22
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Factory Tours in US ??

Hi guys! i'm planning a roadtrip in US around January, i will like to know if some of you know any aircraft factory that give tours, will like to know Cessna, Piper in FL and Gulfstream (don't know which one would the most interesting, if Savannah or Long Beah).
Any tip would be greatly apreciated.

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Old 11th Aug 2008, 08:08
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Mooney used to do a factory tour. They're in Kerrville, Texas

Mooney - How to Find Us

Give them a ring. Nice people when I was there....

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Old 11th Aug 2008, 22:04
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I visited Piper at Vero Beach in April. They were very friendly and showed me over a couple of new aircraft on the ramp. However, the factory tours are only conducted on one day a week (Thursdays I believe) so there was no way to look over the manufacturing facilities as I was there on a Friday. I'm sure the other manufacturers will have a similar setup.

So, just contact Piper/Cessna/Cirrus/Mooney website and book up a tour well in advance or you will be disappointed if you just turn up at the gates !
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Old 12th Aug 2008, 04:08
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Don't even think of Boeing (Seattle), complete waste of time if you want to see aircraft in construction. Great museum though.
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Old 12th Aug 2008, 08:52
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Boeing Seattle used (mid-90s) to do a reasonable tour at Everett. A bit of a "Mom & Apple Pie" brief in a theatre, up to a gallery overlooking the produiction line - no access to the production floor, not surprisingly - and then into a bus for a flightline tour. And it was free. A bit of Googling suggests that they do still do it.
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Old 12th Aug 2008, 10:20
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Aviat at Afton, Wy do a neat tour.
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Old 12th Aug 2008, 11:25
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Boeing Factory Tour

Don't even think of Boeing (Seattle), complete waste of time if you want to see aircraft in construction. Great museum though.
What is your exact issues with the Boeing tour?

I took the Everett tour and found it very interesting, the bus journey to the actual factory passed numerous aircraft at various stages and inside the factory we had an overview of the 777 production line, I believe now it overlooks the 787 line too? But someone will need to verify this.

So i'm confused by your statement that it's a waste of time!?

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Old 12th Aug 2008, 11:32
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Boeing Factory is definately worth seeing; not as great as we'd want it to be, but at least you can get up above the factory floor and see the 787 in production. The down side is that once you can't take a camera with you into the production line.
And obviously Seattle and the surrounding area is very nice.
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 00:12
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Robinson at Torrance (Zamperini Field) in LA do them from time to time (was offered one last month but didn't have the time to do it). Worth a call if you are going to be on the west coast?
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 00:57
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Nothing wrong with the Boeing tour. After the video presentation, we were able to look down onto the production floor - saw a Korean Air 747 freighter being assembled. Only cost $5...but no photos allowed.
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 09:43
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the boeing tour was good as mentioned earlier - apart from no cameras and being kept in a viewing gallery. Renting from an FBO on Everett field was an opportunity to look around too.
But the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field was superb and a must see in Seattle. There were a few military specials parked up next door too - at the Boeing Military Facility.

Gulfstream - I did not find any way to visit there or the Boeing C15 Factory at Long Beach - if anyone knows - please post.

Last edited by On the Spot; 13th Aug 2008 at 09:58.
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 11:13
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saw a Korean Air 747 freighter being assembled. Only cost $5
Thats a bl00dy cheap 747!!!

Gulfstream - I did not find any way to visit there or the Boeing C15 Factory at Long Beach
I dont think you can visit the C17 factory at LGB, not surprising I guess as they are military. The flight school I used was based opposite the factory and used to see them doing run ups, tests, etc and then about once a week you would see them depart - very impressive!!!

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Old 13th Aug 2008, 11:35
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I did the Boeing tour in 1989 and found it really good. OK, only an hour in the actual factory but the scale of the operation is really impressive and worth seeing.

I seem to recall they were doing rehearsals for the Everett airshow on the day and an RAF VC-10 was doing touch and goes.
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 13:42
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You mentioned Florida. There are several manufacturers there. They seem to like the east coast. Grumman is building the Hawkeye in Jacksonville.

I did a bit of a factory tour a couple of years ago for light aircraft, although I had no luck with Piper(they had been very hurricane damaged from the previous year).

Unfortunately Four Winds Aircraft in New Smyrna Beach has closed down. After touring Cape Canaveral head south to Merrit Island. It is home of Comp Air. 250 dollars got me a factory tour and a flight in the Walter powered turbine Comp 7T taildragger. It is a beautiful view from the air compared to the fairly boring ground views of Florida. You can see the nearby space center and barrier islands and intracoastal waterway.

Comp Air,* Composite Kitplane Manufacturer

Nearby in Melborne is Liberty Aircraft. There was no charge for a demo flight. I flew the whole flight on this flight, takeoff and landings. I didn't see the actual assembly plant. Only where the newbuild aircraft were stored.

Liberty Aerospace

Farther south is Sebastian Airport and Velocity Aircraft. 130 dollars got me a factory tour and a demo flight.

Velocity Aircraft

There are a lot of manufacturers in Texas. I only have experience with three. Lockheed in Fort Worth will give a tour if and only if you are a resident of the U.S. Lockheed in Georgia by the way might give you a tour. I got a personal tour of the C-130 and F-22 lines but I was current on the C-130 at the time and that seemed to be the key. Gulfstream in Georgia, by the way, several years ago told me that tours stopped after Sept. 11.

Back in Texas, I just drove up to American Legend Aircraft east of Dallas in Sulpher Springs and got a tour of the Cub manufacturer. It is cool to see a final assembly line of yellow Cubs.

American Legend Aircraft Company - Home of the Legend Cub

Finally, northwest of Dallas by a couple of hours in Olney Texas is Air Tractor. They are friendly and have quite a large facility to build all their agplanes.

Welcome To Air Tractor | airtractor

Usually, the smaller and farther from the big city the manufacturer is, the friendlier they are. Mix the tours in with museums. Now maybe you can give some tips from your experiences.

Last edited by JammedStab; 14th Aug 2008 at 23:58.
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Old 14th Aug 2008, 22:48
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Vans in Aurora Oregon will give you a one to one tour of their kit production facility and take you for a test flight in one of their aircraft. So impressed I ordered one before I left.
If you are in the area also visit the Spruce Goose and Tullahoma

Hen Ddraig

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Old 15th Aug 2008, 04:53
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What is your exact issues with the Boeing tour
Maybe unfulfilled expectations and I'm being a little unkind. Visited in 2006, bought tickets at museum, on bus to 777 production hall, brief about 777 (holds X gallons of kero, enough to drive your family car X times to the moon and back etc etc), into production hall observation deck, only one aircraft to be seen, complete, in green primer, no people to be seen, back on bus to museum, and that was it. To be honest was expecting a little insight into the technicalities of putting an aircraft together eg how do you line all the bits up before bolting, riveting etc
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Old 17th Aug 2008, 14:34
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Factory tours

Remember going round the Viscount line at Weybridge...any help?
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