Charleston Regional Business Journal
Published May 23, 2012
Today, Boeing South Carolina checked off another major milestone: the flight of the first Lowcountry-built 787.
About midday, the 787 Dreamliner took off from Charleston International Airport for its inaugural flight, dubbed B-1. The plane is expected back around 4:30 p.m.
The plane is the first wide-body jet built by Boeing outside of the Puget Sound — the site of Boeing’s other final assembly operations — since World War II.The first flight followed the schedule laid out by Boeing officials on April 27, when the company rolled the first jet from the final assembly facility to the flight line.
The company expected the 787 to take off three to four weeks after the rollout, Boeing South Carolina vice president and general manager Jack Jones said at the time. Friday marks the end of the fourth week.
Since the plane rolled from the final assembly facility, Boeing has been testing and preparing the Dreamliner for Air India, the airline that will accept the first few 787s from Boeing South Carolina.
Jones said the company’s goal is to have the 787 ready for and delivered to Air India by the end of June.
After the flight, a crew will take the plane to Texas, where it will be painted. Air India will walk through the plane and make its own test flight after it returns, and if everything goes smoothly, the airline will eventually accept the Dreamliner.