Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s……………well, sort of, both!
The Boeing Seahawk 747 was created on a whim that became a reality.
At least, that’s how Eric Lindblad, vice president and general manager of Boeing’s 747 program describes it.
The idea came up during a regular business meeting on the Monday after the defeat of the San Franciso 49ers by the Seattle Seahawks in their advance to the Super Bowl.
“Then we went on with business,” Lindblad said. But, by the next morning, what started as a throwaway idea, started to be thought of seriously.
After all, the Boeing association with Seattle goes right back to the founding of the company there in July 1916. So a link with the Seahawks was both logical, and a great marketing ploy.
The engineering and painting crews said it was possible to do it, so the plane was added to the painting schedule.
In the near future, you might be lucky enough to glimpse the Boeing 747-8 freighter freshly sporting the livery of the Seahawks.
It was rolled out of a paint hangar at the Boeing Co.’s Everett site on Wednesday afternoon in a light rain. Employees wearing yellow safety vests saw the jumbo jet reversed out onto the tarmac. They took photos and shouted and cheered “Go Hawks!”
“So here we are,” commented Lindblad standing in the paint hangar wearing a Russell Wilson Seahawks road jersey over a checkered dress shirt.
Originally, this particular freighter had been ordered by Atlas Air,but they then decided to order to a newer version. Boeing intend to use it as a test plane, but it also is talking with several potential buyers.
The company has a backlog of 55 orders for the 747-8, and it is still improving the model and making upgrades to this venerable jumbo jet which first took to the air in 1969.. Late last year, it added new GE engines, significantly improving the plane’s fuel efficiency.
“We intend to get quite a few more years out of this airplane,” Lindblad said.
The Seahawk, from which the team takes its name and sometimes called an Osprey – is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 60 cm (24 in) in length and with a 180 cm (72 in) wingspan.
The fuselage of the Boeing Seahawk 747 is 240 feet (73 meters) long. It has a wingspan of 211 feet (64 meters). This Seahawk can fly more than 600 mph and higher than 40,000 feet.
Man and nature – different, but equal?
The Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos, who don’t have a jumbo jet painted with their logo, today – Sunday – in Super Bowl XLVIII.