Sunday, April 06, 2008

Planes, Planes and More Planes!

Hi again. I hope all is well.

I always know I am going to see interesting places when I travel with Keith and Kristin. But on Wednesday (April 2), we visited the coolest place ever!

It is a business called Embraer.

Embraer is located a couple of hours from Sao Paulo. It seemed like it took forever to get there, and I was pretty bored in the van. But Kristin promised me that Embraer was worth the wait. Guess what, she was right! Embraer makes airplanes and we got special permission to watch the workers build planes. How cool is that??!!!

Do you see the Embraer sign on the building in the photo above? It is the same logo that I saw at BOVESPA yesterday! Now I know why Kristin wanted me to pay special attention to that sign.

Kristin says Embraer is the third largest airplane builder in the world. I had no idea! Kristin told me a lot of other things about Embraer, but I really can't remember what she told me. I was too busy watching people build airplanes. I LOVE watching airplanes when I am waiting at the airport but visiting the factory is even better.

Here I am just outside one of the HUGE buildings where the airplanes are under construction.

How cool is that photo above?!

I don't remember how long we spent in this building, but it was long enough for me to see how some of the plane pieces go together. It is hard to show you photos of how the pieces go together but here are some of the photos Kristin took in the hangar.

Below you can see what the inside of a plane looks like before the wires, walls, seats, and pilot controls are added.

If you look closely in the photo above, you can see me sitting on the nose of this plane. How cool is that!?
Here I am with Keith and the part of a plane where the pilots sit.

At some point, everyone in our group went to another part of the building where different parts of planes are built. It was REALLY loud so Keith and Kristin had to wear earplugs (they didn't have earplugs in my size so I just covered them with my hands). And, since it was a construction zone, Keith and Kristin also had to wear these really funny plastic glasses. Kristin says they are called "safety glasses."

Don't they look funny with those glasses!? They didn't have any of the funny glasses in my size, so Kristin made me stay in her bag most of the time so I wouldn't get hurt. She did let me look out through a small opening and sometimes she took me out for photos (but only after she knew we were in a safe area).

Here you can see me with Kristin. Can you tell Kristin was having a hard time holding me and the equipment too?

Here are some more photos that I think are really cool.

After our visit to the construction hangars, we had lunch with Embraer officials. Later my friend Simon interviewed a company executive for a television story. And just before we left Embraer, we went back to the first hangar we saw so Simon could do something he calls a "stand up." During a "stand up," a reporter reads a script on camera at the location he/she is reporting from. Very interesting. Kristin and Keith don't have to do this for radio (but they do talk to their recorder all the time, so I guess they are doing something similar).

Here you can see Simon and Steve recording Simon's "stand up." Kristin says I will likely see this on TV and the Web when the project is done. Cool!

It seemed to take Simon and Steve a really long time to record the "stand up" and tape all of the pictures they need for TV. I forgot from my trip to Djibouti that it takes MUCH longer make a television story. But I didn't mind. It gave me more time to watch the workers.

Well that's all for now. Until next time....