Paine Field Tour

Home to the Boeing Tour Center and five aviation museums.

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This Everett, WA airport hosts the Boeing factory tour and is home to five museums specializing in airplane restoration, antique aircraft and warbirds. The airport, a magnet for general aviation activity, also employs more than 30,000 people at Boeing, Goodrich Aerospace and other businesses.

History

 
The airport was started in 1936 as part of the Roosevelt Administration’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) project to construct 10 super airports around the country to facilitate economic growth.  Even before it could be completed, an emergency landing became the first successful arrival at the field.
 

The project would be completed in June, 1939 with two crossed runways, but the Army Air Corps would occupy the field in the spring of 1941 to defend the Bremerton Shipyard and Boeing plant in Seattle.  The field was named for 2nd Lt. Topliff Olin Paine (1893-1922), an Everett High School and University of Washington graduate who would become a pioneering pilot in World War I and an early air mail pilot.

 

After World War II, the airport was transferred back to Snohomish County.  But the Korean War would bring an Air Force squadron and the airport became Paine Air Force Base in 1951.  In 1955 e airport would again revert to county control.

In 1966, Boeing chose the location for its 747 assembly plant, starting operations in 1968. The Boeing wide-body plant now manufactures four models of planes and has more than 98 acres under roof.
 
Today, Paine Field is a mix of airport sounds from 100 years of flight: the deep rumble of radial engines from the first 50 years of flight; the sound of piston-driven light planes; and the jet engines of modern commercial aircraft.

  

Museums

The airport has recently created a $10 Paine Field Passport allowing a visitor to see each of four museums (Future of Flight, Historic Flight, Flying Heritage Collection and the Museum of Flight Restoration Center)  within one year at a 20% discount.  It also provides a 20% discount to gift shops and cafes at each of the museums.

Also, once each year in May the airport conducts a major open house during General Aviation Days.  In 2011, it is Saturday, May 21.


Future of Flight

http://www.futureofflight.org/planavisit.html#BoeingTourInformation

8415 Paine Field Boulevard, Mukilteo, WA 98275
(800) 464-1476
Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., 7 days per week
 

Observation deck at the Future of Flight Museum 

 

The museum, which sits at the northwest corner of Paine Field, is the home of the Boeing Tour Center.  It has an excellent view of down onto the Boeing assembly buildings, paint buildings and the flight line where planes are finished with engines and interiors.  It also looks down upon the longest runway at Paine Field, so it has excellent views of airplanes taking off and landing.  On a clear day Mt. Baker is visible to the northeast — and Mt. Rainier to the south.

Exhibits include a several interiors from Boeing aircraft and some advanced light aircraft.  The museum also has a store with a wide variety of Boeing-logo products and aviation gifts.

 

Flying Heritage Collection

http://www.flyingheritage.com/

3407 109th St SW, Everett, WA 98204
(877) 342-3404
Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., 7 days per week, Memorial Day to Labor Day

Tuesday-Sunday during non-summer hours

Microsoft founder Paul Allen built this museum to house his collection of World War II era aircraft.  It is devoted to restoring aircraft to flying condition and takes them flying on weekends at Paine Field.  The collection includes Japanese, German and Russian aircraft, in addition to the better known American and British fighter planes.  The collection also includes a German flak gun, though unfortunately they don’t use it as actively as the aircraft.
 

 

In the tradition of Paul Allen’s other museum efforts, each aircraft is well documented with its role during the war.

This museum is at the south end of Paine Field near old Air Force base housing.  A number of facilities remain from the airport’s days as an air base, including the old recreation center and weather forecasting buildings.

 

Legend Flyers Restoration Facility

http://www.stormbirds.com/project/index.html

10728 36th Place West, Building 221, Bay 3
Everett, WA 98204
(425) 290-7878

 

This restoration group has a singular mission: restoration of the first fighter jet put into production, the Messerschmitt Me 262.

The jet-powered ME 262 would only reach operational status in the summer of 1944, near the end of World War II but it could outrun Allied aircraft by as much as 100 mph and was able to shoot down more than 500 planes with the loss of only 100 of the Messerschmitts.

One of the German fighter jets has been refinished so far, with two others scheduled.  Because of the concentration on restoration work, there are limited tour opportunities, which need to be pre-scheduled.

 

Museum of Flight Restoration Facility

2909 100th St. SW, Everett, WA 98204
(206) 764-5720
9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday (June-August)

9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday – Thursday & Saturday (September – May)

Before airplanes ever make it to the well-known Museum of Flight on Seattle’s Boeing Field, they are restored 20 miles to the north at the Paine Field facility, which is open to visitors.  The restoration center sits on the east side of the field, near the entrance to general aviation facilities and is marked by a Learjet sporting the museum logo on the lawn.

Both commercial and military aircraft are in the process of restoration. 

 

Historic Flight Collection at Kilo 6

10719 Bernie Webber Drive, Mukilteo, WA  98275
(425) 348-3200
Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. , Friday-Sunday

Check for longer summer hours

The Historic Flight Collection opened in March, 2010 with a college of more than a dozen aircraft built between 1927 and 1957.  The “at Kilo 6” title of the museum refers to the taxi that is the turnoff for airplanes arriving at the museum, but this museum sits on the west side of Paine Field and is eminently visible on the hill above Mukilteo Speedway (WA 525).
 

B-25 Mitchell bomber at Historic Flight Museum in Mukilteo

 
 
 Like the Flying Heritage Collection, this is a private collection of aircraft assembled by John Sessions, a Seattle lawyer.  The collection includes Grumman F8F Bearcat and F7F Tigercat; a North American P-51B; and a B-25D Mitchell bomber.  The Mitchell bomber, recently restored, is often flown during museum operating hours.

Future additions to the collection will include a Beechcraft Staggerwing biplane; Douglas DC-3; and a Canadair T-33 Silverstar jet trainer.

 

Other Facilities

In addition to Boeing facilities, the airport houses a wide range of other business and recreation activities.   While the new aircraft are equipped with jet engines, Precision Engines continues to supply older aircraft with radial engines.  And B.F. Goodrich’s Aviation Technical Services, at the south end of Paine Field, provides maintenance services, aircraft modifications and overhaul services to airlines and cargo services.

 

Access to the general aviation services at Paine Field, including Regal Air, Northwest Aviation and Fliteline is from the east side on Airport Way (128th Street SW).  Everett Community College also operates its Aviation Maintenance school on the east side of the field.

   

How to Get There

 
 
Take I-5 to exit 189 at the S end of the city of Everett.  Exit WA 526 west, about 4 miles.

For facilities on the east and south sides of the airport, exit at Airport Way, south.

For the Future of Flight/Boeing Tour Center, continue to 84th Street SW and turn left.

 Bus service is available from the Mukilteo ferry landing.  The Mukilteo Sounder station is about ¼ mile from the ferry landing.

 Though the roads around Paine Field are four- or five-lane highways, there are bicycle lanes along each of them.

 There is no commercial airline service into Paine Field at this time.  General aviation aircraft can taxi up to several of the museums.  Rental cars are available at Flightline in the main terminal.  Customs inspections are available only when pre-scheduled.

  

Commercial Service Issues

Though there is no commercial service into Paine Field at this time, airport management has been trying to encourage commercial flights, against the opposition from surrounding communities.

 

Dining & Accommodations

 

Hotels

 

Next door to the Future of Flight/Boeing Tour Center is a Hilton Gardens Inn.  However, most other nearby hotels are just west of the field in Mukilteo.  Hotels are listed by proximity to Paine Field, with the closest at the top:

Hilton Gardens Inn: includes a restaurant in the hotel
(425) 423-9000
 
Staybridge Suites:  indoor pool and located just west of the Boeing Tour Center
(425) 493-9500
 
Extended Stay America: behind an extensive shopping/dining area in the Harbour Pointe neighborhood and next to Mukilteo City Hall
(425) 493-1561
 
Towneplace Suites: just west of Boeing Tour Center
(423) 551-5900
 
Silver Cloud Inn:  waterfront location next to the ferry with vistas to the north
(425) 423-8600

 

 

Dining

 

While there are some fast food locations near Paine Field, there is none on the airport (the Jet Deck, a popular pilots’ hangout, having closed).  The best dining is just west of the airport in Mukilteo, which has dozens of restaurants and several wine bars.  A selection of some of the top locations, list by proximity to the airport: 

Sakuma: a Japanese restaurant and sushi bar that’s small but authentic enough to draw Boeing’s Japanese customers.
(425) 347-3063
 
Amici Bistro: Italian bistro just west of the Boeing Tour Center (next to Mukilteo Post Office)

(425) 438-9544

Arnie’s: seafood and American fare in downtown Mukilteo, overlooking the park and ferry.(425) 355-2181

Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing: seafood restaurant on the waterfront next to the ferry with a walkup seafood bar, a real bar inside and a restaurant.
(425) 742-6180
 
Diamond Knot Brewery:  a brew-pub with peanut shells on the floor, also next to the ferry dock.  Known locally for Diamond Knot IPA.
(425) 355-4488

  

Other Nearby Sites

 
This area of Snohomish County is historically significant for many reasons.  John D. Rockefeller’s investment in the port of Everett spurred the first growth phase of the port, which included smelting operations for gold, lead and other minerals pull from the Cascade Mountains.  Today it is the Navy Homeport for the USS Abraham Lincoln, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, and its escort destroyers.

 

The neighboring town of Mukilteo, which is one end of the ferry service to Whidbey Island, was the site of the Point Elliott Treaty, which established the basic rights of native tribes and the U.S. government.  A monument to the treaty sits next to the Rosehill Community Center in downtown Mukilteo.
 
Everett Aquasox — the short-season A ball minor league affiliate of the Seattle Mariners
 
Comcast Arena – Everett events center that is home to the Silvertips minor league hockey team and also has a public skating rink
 

Mukilteo Lighthouse

 

 

References

 
Everett Herald
“John Sessions, Historic Flight Foundation,” John Wolcott (March 10, 2010)

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20100310/BIZ/100309801

 
HistoryLink.com
“First plane lands at the new Snohomish County Airport,” Margaret Riddle (Sept. 19, 2007)

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=8287

Paine Field Airport
“How did we get our name?” (undated)

http://www.painefield.com/history/topliff.html

 
Paine Field Home page
 
 
 
 
 
Last modified: May 18, 2011