Without any direct flights between Switzerland and Seattle it was the duty of Swiss’ parent company Lufthansa to deliver us to the Pacific Northwest. This enabled me to log one more flight on a true classic – the Boeing 747-400 “Jumbo Jet”, which in that case already had 26 operational years under its belt.

Unfortunately I was only given an aisle seat, and so the only photo of the flight comes from a few quick snaps I took while we cruised over the seemingly endless icy expanses of Greenland basking in the low morning sunshine. What a sight to behold! 

Landing in Seattle after about 10 hours (and after an additional 2 hours spent standing in the immigration queue) the city welcomed us with highly uncommon blue skies. Reason enough to fight the jetlag, rent a car and head out to the prime spotting location of SeaTac airport!

This endeavour definitely paid off and enabled us to start the trip in style! With a 777 of course, and Mt. Rainier’s imposing silhouette looming in the background.

Besides that, the spotting session was pretty fruitful, too, and allowed me to stock up on some of the newer additions to the American airline industry. Like Alaska’s newly added (and newly painted) Dashes and Embraers (there goes the “proudly all Boeing” motto…) for example

 

Still, there always has to be room for a classic! 

Concluding a fantastic evening with yet another Alaska newbie (with Split Scimitar winglets) 

The next morning, most members of our tour group embarked on a Seattle city tour. As I had already been to the city a couple times before I skipped it and went to the airport instead. But just to let you know, Seattle’s location by the sea definitely makes it a worthwhile destination, and of course the city is brimming with aviation, too. Not only does it host three very attractive airports, it also boasts a seaplane base (at Lake Union) from where amazingly scenic sightseeing and commuter flights can be enjoyed. Again, these pictures date from a few years back, but I thought I’d include some for inspirational purposes. And if you’re hungry for more, head over to my flight report here

 

 

Back to the present: Seattle again surprised me with mostly blue skies, and so I again headed south to SeaTac in the morning to enjoy the diverse airline traffic there. 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, as noon approaches, the light conditions deteriorate.

Time to head on, northbound to be precise. 

My destination: The production facilities of Swiss company Bucher Aerospace, conveniently located close to the Boeing plant at Everett. Founded in 1953, they pride themselves in producing extremely lightweight, durable and innovative aircraft interior parts, especially Galleys. 

In a series of presentations we learn more about the art of concepting and building airplane galleys.

We are informed about the special status of the Door 2 galley, as this is where passengers normally board a widebody airplane, which is why this section has a highly representative function and is the perfect place to impress them. Further slides reveal how extremely time-consuming the task of designing a new galley from scratch really is – 100’000 working hours went into their making (with only 20’000 being the construction time), and the project started way back in 2014 (that's two years before the delivery of the first airplane).

It will definitely make me appreciate this seeming jumble of ovens and boxes a bit more on my next flights! :-)

 

Besides just watching presentations, we were invited to construct our very own little souvenir trolley – a fun task, despite the fact that Bucher has in the meantime abandoned the trolley construction, as it is apparently not economically feasible anymore for a company based in high-wage environments. 

 

The final product and its big brothers! 

How SWISS' Instagram stories are made :-)

Returning back to Seattle in the evening. Oh how I love cruising on US Interstates and Freeways, gazing out at those captivating skylines while the radio is blaring out country music. It always induces a feeling of pure freedom, despite the traffic! 

The tiny fraction of downtown I got to see so far on this trip…

 

…which is why I end today’s report with an earlier favorite of mine. See you tomorrow for the next part! 


Copyright © 2019 planepics.org. All Rights Reserved.
[Login]