Boeing showed its support for the Seattle Seahawks in the big way, rolling out a 747 cargo plane painted with team's logo Wednesday.
The airplane flew over the city Thursday and will make flights in the Puget Sound area Friday and possibly Monday, Eric Lindblad, Boeing's vice president and general manager of the 747 program, told KING-TV.
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The number 12 is painted on the tail in recognition of the fans, which are called the "12th man."
"This was one thing we could do to show the support, not only of the team but of the local community, and everybody we talked to was very, very helpful and wanted to understand how they could help," Lindblad said.
The freighter will make several flights around the Puget Sound leading up to the Super Bowl on Sunday, Lindblad added.
"Tomorrow we'll fly over the eastern side of the state in a pattern that we fly… it will be in the form of a 12 for the 12th Man," Lindblad said.
USA Today reported that even though Boeing
moved its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago in 2001, it remains one of the largest employers in the Greater Seattle area.
"The Seahawks have been an inspiration to our entire community throughout this incredible season," Ray Conner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive, said in a statement. "We're honored that we could join together two Northwest icons, the Seahawks and the 747, for this special salute from the entire Boeing team."
Boeing also released a number of "fun facts" about the airplane and the Seahawks. For one, quarterback Russell Wilson's 3,357 passing yards this season is close to the runway takeoff distance for a 747-8. Running Back Marshawn Lynch can squat the weight of 16 economy seats (which are 30 pounds per seat), and the crowd noise at CenturyLink Field during Seahawk games this season was 38 times louder than a departing 747-8.
"The 747 is a 'freighter' plane meaning it won't transport passengers but that doesn't make it any less cool," wrote Sports Illustrated's Bryan Rose Wednesday on the Fansided blog.
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