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波音747巨无霸客机工厂:世界上最大的单体建筑

更新时间:2018/12/23 10:53:52 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

What it's like to work in the biggest building in the world
波音747巨无霸客机工厂:世界上最大的单体建筑

When you’re building some of the world’s biggest airliners, you need an equally outsized building.

要建造世界上最大的客机,需要一栋比客机还要大的巨型建筑。

When Boeing decided to build the 747 – a plane so big it would become known around the world as the jumbo jet – they had to build a factory large enough to build several of them at the same time.

波音747客机之大全世界闻名,因此被称为“巨无霸客机”。当波音公司决定生产747时,他们必须得先建一间能够同时生产多架客机的厂房。

If you’ve ever seen a 747 from close quarters you’ll know just how giant Boeing’s jumbo is. So it’s no surprise the factory which ended up building has to be very big indeed.

如果你曾近距离看过747,就知道这架巨无霸飞机有多大。所以,生产747的厂房再巨大也不足为奇。

How big? Try the biggest enclosed building in the world.

那么到底有多大呢?让我们来看看这座世界上最大的单体封闭建筑。

Boeing started work on the Everett factory in 1967, just as the Boeing 747 project was starting to gather pace. Bill Allen, Boeing’s charismatic chief, had realised the company would need a huge amount of space if they were going to build an airliner big enough to carry 400 passengers. They chose an area of woodland some 22 miles (35km) north of Seattle, near an airport that had served as a fighter base during World War Two.

1967年,波音747客机项目刚刚起步之时,波音公司的埃弗雷特工厂投入使用。那时,波音公司魅力十足的掌门人艾伦(Bill Allen)意识到,如果要生产能容纳400人的的大客机必须得有很大的空间。他们看中了西雅图以北35公里的一片森林。森林附近有座机场曾是二战时期的战斗机基地。

An article in the Daily Herald, Everett’s local paper, recalls just how out of the way the airport was. According to Joe Sutter, the engineer who masterminded the 747 project, the site had only minor road access to the nearest highway and no railway connection. In the forest roamed wild bears.

埃弗雷特当地报纸《赫勒尔德日报》上的一篇文章回忆了这座机场是多么的人迹罕至。主持747项目的工程师苏特(Joe Sutter)说,厂房与最近的高速公路只有一条小路相连,不通火车。森林中还时常回荡着野熊的嚎叫声。

At the same time Boeing was building the prototype of the world’s biggest airliner, it was also having to construct the factory to make them in.

波音公司在建造世界最大型客机模型的同时,还需要建造装得下客机的工厂。

Today, the Everett factory easily dwarfs any other building in the world by volume, with the Guinness Book of Records reporting that it occupies 472 million cubic feet (13.3 million cubic metres).

如今,世界上任何建筑的容纳量与埃弗雷特工厂一比都会相形见绌。据吉尼斯世界纪录大全,整个工厂占地472百万立方英尺(约1330万立方米)。

“We’ve overlaid the building over some of the most famous landmarks around the world,” says David Reese, who helps runs the factory tours at Everett. “We have various famous places like Versailles, the Vatican and Disneyland, and you see them when you start the factory tour.

负责运营埃弗雷特工厂观光旅行的瑞斯(David Reese)说:“埃弗雷特工厂可以装下世界上最著名的一些地标建筑,比如说凡尔赛宫、梵蒂冈和迪斯尼。”

“I remember I did an interview with the BBC a few years ago, and I thought ‘I wonder what the volume of Wembley Stadium is?’ Well, it turns out you can fit 13 of them in the volume of our factory.”

“几年前我接受了英国广播公司的一个采访,我当时在想'温布利球场到底有多大?'后来我发现我们的工厂可以装下13个温布利球场。”

The Everett plant still produces a dwindling number of 747 freighters, but today it mostly concentrates on the smaller 767, 777 and 787 models. To build that fleet of planes requires lots of room. Everett’s main building covers 97.8 acres (39 hectares), more than 30 times as big as London’s Trafalgar Square.

埃弗雷特工厂目前仍在生产747客机,但数量不断减少,现在的重心主要放在体积较小的767、777和787。想要打造客机机队需要很大的生产空间。埃弗雷特工厂的主建筑占地97.8英亩(约39公顷),有30个伦敦特拉法加广场那么大。

Each shift has as many as 10,000 workers, and there are three shifts each day. Over the course of 24 hours, the factory has a population only a little less than the Australian city of Alice Springs.

工厂每次轮班涉及1万名员工,每天三班倒。工厂一天二十四小时生产在线的员工数量与澳大利亚城市爱丽丝泉相差无几。

Reese has worked for Boeing for 38 years – 11 of them running the factory tours – but says he can still remember his first impression of the factory. “It was very awe-inspiring the first time – and I would have to say every day since, too.  It changes constantly. Each day there’s something new.”

虽然瑞斯已经在波音公司工作了38年(其中11年负责运营工厂观光),但是第一次看到工厂的那一幕仍历历在目。“初次见到工厂时,我简直惊呆了。可以说此后我每天还是感到十分震撼。埃弗雷特工厂一直都在改变,每天都能看见一些新东西。”

The Everett factory is so big that there’s a fleet of some 1,300 bicycles on hand to help cut travel time. It has its own fire station and medical services on station, and an array of cafes and restaurants to feed the thousands of workers.  Overhead are a multitude of cranes used to move some of the heavier aircraft parts as the planes start to take shape. The operators, Reese says, are some of the most highly skilled and best-paid workers at the factory.

埃弗雷特工厂到底大到什么程度呢?为了减少通勤时间,厂房内共有1300辆自行车供工人使用。工厂还配备了消防站、医疗点、许多咖啡厅和餐厅,以满足成千上万员工的需求。飞机进入组装阶段时,厂房顶有许多起重机在起吊重型飞机部件。瑞斯说:“起重机操作员是工厂里工资最高、最具技术含量的职位。”

There are a few rules for working in, or even just visiting, the factory. “We do require proper footwear, so no open-toed shoes and no high heels for the ladies – anything that could possibly cause a fall or damage your feet – and you have to wear safety glasses at all times in the factory. Constantly. That can be an issue with some of our visitors, they say things like ‘Oh, I wear reading glasses, that will be enough.’ It’s not.”

在工厂工作或者参观工厂都要遵守一些规章制度。“必须穿合适的鞋子,不能穿露脚趾的鞋子,女士不能穿高跟鞋,任何东西都可能伤到脚或者让你摔倒。除此之外,在工厂必须时时刻刻佩戴安全眼镜。有些观光游客可能会不愿意,会说‘我都带了看书的眼镜了,应该够了吧?’那当然不行。”

The factory boasts some surprising features. While there is ventilation, there is no air conditioning. In summer, if it gets too hot, Reese says, they just open the massive doors to let in the breeze. In winter, the effect of the more than one million lights, the huge amount of electric equipment and some 10,000 human bodies also helps moderate the temperatures. “I only have to wear a sweater or a light jacket and that’s sufficient.”

这座工厂的一些特色之处会让人相当意外。比如说,厂房虽然有通风装置,但却没有空调。瑞斯说:“到了夏天,如果实在太热,他们只需打开巨大的大门让风吹进来就行了。到了冬天,厂房里有100多万盏灯,有数量巨大的电动装置,再加上1万多名员工的人体发热,汇聚的热量能够使厂房内温暖宜人。冬天我只穿一件毛衣或者薄夹克就够了。”

There is a longstanding urban myth that the building is so large and high that clouds form at the top of it. Not quite so, says Reese. “The building was still being constructed as the first plane was being built, and one wall was not yet enclosed. We think that fog or mist from the outside and accumulated in the building, and it looked like a kind of hazy atmosphere.

关于这栋巨无霸建筑,一直以来都有这样一个“都市传说”。传说,因厂房又高又大,厂房顶端会形成云雾。瑞斯说:“其实不是这样的。生产第一架飞机的时候厂房还在建,还有一面墙没封起来。因而外面的雾气进到厂房集聚多了,看起来有些云雾缭绕的样子。”

“It’s the same thing when we had wildfires nearby, it got pretty hazy inside the factory.”

“如果附近发生山火,工厂里也会烟雾缭绕。”

Reese says the factory’s days have an ebb and flow, the factory changing tasks as the day progresses.  “The second shift, that’s when there’s more crane activity when there isn’t quite as many people.

瑞斯说:“工厂经历了起起落落,随着时代进步不断改变生产任务。其中第二个转变是增加了起重机数量、减少了人力。”

“When we move a finished aircraft out of the factory it’s driven over a freeway to an airport nearby, and in order not to startle the drivers too much, we tend to do that at night.”

“我们都是经高速公路把完成的飞机运到附近的机场。为了缩短运输时间,一般都是晚上运走飞机。”

Not just the world’s biggest building, but full of surprises too.

埃弗雷特工厂,不仅是世界上最大的单体建筑,也是充满惊奇的巨无霸工厂。

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