Boeing Wows Guests with Three-Day Launch Event
Boeing’s 747-8 reveal took place in one of its gigantic manufacturing bays at its Everett, WA, plant. More than 10,000 Boeing employees, their families, media and a select group of industry VIPs watched in awe as an enormous 61-foot by 225-foot drape dropped dramatically in front of the new plane. But to make that happen, airplanes had to be moved out of the manufacturing bays then rolled back afterward to resume production. The aircraft had to remain hidden and its new red-orange sunrise livery (the paint job on the side of the plane) kept secret until the very last minute. Then there were fire and security staff and their dogs sweeping the area to make sure it was clean.
Boeing invited media from the aviation trade and travel writers for a three-day program of briefings, tours and meetings surrounding the reveal. Key customers were invited to a dinner at the Museum of Flight in Seattle on Saturday night before the unveiling and a luncheon afterward at Boe- ing’s Future of Flight Aviation Center, across the street from the manufacturing facility. Throughout the hour-long reveal, the lighting, which initially cast a bluish, pre-dawn glow about the space, slowly brightened, a nod to the state-of-the-art lighting technology inside the plane and the sun- burst design on its exterior. A performance by two violinists and two timpanists accompanied the reveal, quietly at first, but then, as the lighting intensified, gradually increasing in energy.
Finally, as the lights pulsated and audience members banged their thundersticks, the drapes fell to reveal the new 747-8. The event was rebroadcast on newairplane.com, tweeted and Facebooked around the world, reaching an additional 60,000 to 140,000 people.