By Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren / Published January 29, 2014 / Photos by author
Updated 1/30/14 @ 1230PT
UPDATE, SEATTLE: The Seahawks Boeing 747 made its first foray into the sky Thursday, making a brief hop from Paine Field in Everett down to Boeing Field in Seattle. The airplane was tailed by a small T-33 acting as photoship as it passed over downtown Seattle. After landing at Boeing the airplane then took off for eastern Washington, where it is currently making a giant “12” in the sky in honor of the Seahawks famous 12th man.
EVERETT, WA: The Seattle Seahawks’ home base of Century Link Field is known for being loud. So loud, in fact, that the team and its 12th-man fans set a world record for loudest outdoor stadium at 137.6* decibels earlier this season, nearly equal to a Boeing 747 taking off.
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Today, however, an actual Boeing 747 joined the 12th man Seahawks Super Bowl fever here in the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday as the company revealed a full-fledged 747-8 freighter in team colors. The airplane is painted with a giant 12 on the tail, a nod to the 12th man, along with the team seahawk logo and “Go Hawks!” on the body. The design prompted The Wall Street Journal’s Jon Ostrower to call the plane a giant “Seahawks billboard”.
The airplane will be flying around the Puget Sound region starting tomorrow, though Boeing declined to say where or exactly when. On the more avgeeky side, the aircraft, registered N770BA, was originally due to go to Atlas Air but was rejected, leaving it in Boeing’s care. It is now part of the test fleet.
Boeing’s 747 is not the first airplane to receive special Superbowl treatment. Alaska announced it would paint a Boeing 737-900 in honor of the team’s quarterback, Russell Wilson, earlier this week. The airplane will then run a special charter tailgate flight from Seattle to New Jersey for the big game. The carrier picked up Wilson as its “Chief Football Officer” just prior to the team’s playoff berth late last year, and has been utilizing him heavily in promotional material ever since.
Meanwhile, just for fun, Boeing released a number of fun facts about the Seahawks and the 747-8:
- Russell Wilson threw for 3,357 yards (10,071 ft.) this season, similar to the runway takeoff distance for a 747-8 (10,650 ft.)
- Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin can dash the full length of the 747-8 main deck, 180 ft., in less than seven seconds
- Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch can squat with 16 economy seats (30 lbs. per seat)
- A 747-8 Freighter can carry 121 million Skittles candies, or 302,400 one lb. bags (in case you didn’t know, Marshawn Lynch has a thing with Skittles…)
- It would take 144 747-8 passenger airplanes (Intercontinentals) to carry all the Seahawks fans in CenturyLink Field (67,000 seats)
- The 747-8 can cover the length of a football field in one second at takeoff
- Seahawks fans’ Guinness World Record for crowd noise is approximately 38 times louder than the 747-8 at departure
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*The original article stated the record as being 136.6db, it was later broken and reset to 137.6. Either way, still LOUD!