Paine Field was constructed in 1936. It was envisioned that it would become a super-airport, supporting economic growth and job creation. During World War II the airfield was used as a patrol and training base by the US Army. The US Army operated the airfield from 1947 through 1960. Around 1960 Paine Field was also considered as the location for SENTINEL program which was an anti-ballistic missile system, but that idea was eventually dropped in favor of the SAFEGUARD system.
In 1966 Boeing announced that it would build the Boeing 747 airplane, and had selected Paine Field as the location where they would undertake the project. Construction on the buildings in which Boeing would build the 747 started in August 1966, and the first Boeing employees started working at the facility in 1967. The Boeing 747 made it’s maiden flight from Paine Field on February 9th, 1969.
Today The Boeing factory in Everett is the largest single building on the planet, by volume (13.3 million cubic feet). It has a floor space of 4.3 million square feet. Everett is the final assembly line for the Boeing 747, 767, 777 and 787.
Besides for Boeing, there are a couple other businesses at Paine Field. ATS (Aviation Technical Services) which does checks and maintenance for a number of passenger and cargo airlines. There are also 4 flights schools located at Paine Field.
Paine Field is home of Future of Flight, an aviation museum and education center. It’s located at the North West corner of the airfield. Future of Flight also operate tours of the Boeing factory, which is must-do activity if you’re an aviation enthusiast. The Future of Flight center was opened in August 2005.
There are a couple of good locations for plane spotting and photography. Runway 16R/34L is where most of the action is. The Strato Deck at the Future of Flight is your best bet for 16R. If the Future of Flight center is closed, or if the deck is closed due to bad weather, then you next best best for runway 16R is the grassy mound outside the center.
For runway 34L there’s a spot on Bernie Webber Rd. You’ll be able to park your car and walk up the embankment for great shots. You will be able to identify that you’re in the right place by locating the windsock near the perimeter fence.
There are three runways at Paine Field. 16R/34L which is 9010 feet long (2746 meters). The runway surface is grooved asphalt. This runway is the primary active runway. Runway 11/29 is 4505 feet long (1373 meters). The runway surface is asphalt and in fair condition. Runway 16L/34R is 3000 feet long (914 meters). The runway surface is asphalt.Photos shot at KPAE
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