MIAMI — The very first Boeing 777 was unveiled to the public twenty years today, on April 9th, 1994.
The giant twin-jet airplane, then the world’s largest, was shown off to the public in an elaborate day-long ceremony inside Boeing’s famed wide-body manufacturing plant in Everett, WA. With over 100,000 Boeing employees, their families, and members of the media expected to attend, not even the enormous factory was large enough to hold everyone for a single ceremony.
Which is why the splashy, indoor affair was repeated fifteen times in the same day. The company split attendees into groups of 7,000, all of whom were ushered in and out by 2,300 volunteers, to see the jet for the first time.
Once inside, those present were treated to a rousing video surrounding the theme ‘Working Together’. Once over, the jet was partially revealed by a mesh screen, after which various aircraft systems were either lit up or turned on.
Workers were then invited to come forward and experience the airplane up close. The heavily produced event was put together by none other than Dick Clark Corporate Productions.
Boeing’s later jets have enjoyed equally flashy roll outs. In particular the Boeing 747-8i enjoyed live musicians, lasers, and audience participation with matching noise makers.
Boeing is hardly the only aerospace company to want to introduce its latest product with a bang. Douglas turned the ‘roll-out’ on its head when it rolled the first DC-10 under its own power into the hangar it was supposed to have rolled out of.
They even booked Vice President Spiro T Agnew and then California governor Ronald Reagan for the affair. Related, Boeing’s 737 made its first flight 47 years ago today.
Check back in a few month’s time when the airplane is due to celebrate its twentieth anniversary of flight, on June 12th!