Aviation Buffs Get To Embrace Their Inner Nerd At Annual 'Geek Fest'

Feb 14, 2014

If you’re the kind of person who knows what the thrust on Boeing’s 747-8 engines is (66,500 pounds per engine), or if you spend hours snapping pictures at Paine Field in Everett, you can probably safely call yourself an aviation geek. And you can embrace your inner-nerd by attending the annual Aviation Geek Fest.

But beware, tickets for this year’s event taking place this weekend sold out in under three minutes, faster than Seahawks playoff tickets. Benjamin Granucci, an aviation blogger from New York, was ready. 

"I got on about five minutes before and just kept hitting refresh in my browser," Granucci said. 

He wasn’t taking any chances. He’d already bought his plane ticket and reserved a rental car, so with his online persistence he was one of the lucky 200 aviation geeks to score a ticket.

Highlights of the event include a VIP factory floor walk-through of Boeing’s Everett facility as well as a tour of Boeing’s 737 plant in Renton, which is usually not open to the public.

'Avgeek' Cred

Aviation Geek Fest is organized by Boeing, the Future of Flight and AirlineReporter.com. David Parker Brown, founder of AirlineReporter.com, traces his own “avgeek” credentials to his childhood growing up with a Navy pilot dad.

"I was probably identifying letters of the alphabet and colors around the same time I was getting a basic idea what the different planes were and what they looked like," Brown said. 

Brown says there’s lots of stuff for aerospace nerds to get excited about, for example, at the 737 plant, he says watching the rudder and winglets get painted has been a highlight.

"I think one of the best parts were as a collective group everyone guessing what airlines these planes were going to be delivered to just based on very small parts of their paint design or livery that’s on the airplane," he said. 

One person is flying all the way from Australia for the geek fest. And that flying is part of the fun. Benjamin Granucci from New York specifically booked a ticket on American Airlines because he wanted to check out their new Brazilian-made Embraer E-175.