Boeing Conducts Inaugural Flight Of First 787 Built In South Carolina


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Boeing Conducts Inaugural Flight Of First 787 Built In South Carolina

By Shane Nolan

May 27, 2012 - Boeing marked another 787 milestone as the first Dreamliner built in South Carolina completed its first flight. Piloted by Tim Berg and Randy Neville, the airplane successfully conducted a five-hour test flight. More than 5,000 Boeing South Carolina employees watched a live broadcast of the airplane as it took off from Charleston International Airport.   

"This is a proud moment for our Boeing South Carolina team and for Boeing," said Jack Jones, vice president/general manager, Boeing South Carolina. "In April, we gathered on the flightline to watch this airplane roll out of final assembly. Today, we watched as this airplane successfully completed its first production flight - one step closer to delivering our first South Carolina-built 787 Dreamliner to our customer." 

The production flight test profile tested the airplane's controls and systems in a series of scenarios designed to verify the airplane operates as designed. The tests occurred in all stages of flight beginning prior to taxi, through final landing and taxi. 

During the flight, the crew checked the functionality of onboard systems at high and medium altitudes. They also checked backup and critical safety elements including cabin pressurization, avionics, and navigation and communications systems. In addition, they shut down and re-started each engine during flight. 

"First flight of this South Carolina-built airplane is a significant achievement and our teammates did a great job working together to make this happen," said Berg. "The airplane performed exactly as we expected." 

The airplane will be flown to Ft. Worth, Texas to be painted with Air India's livery before returning to Boeing South Carolina for a mid-2012 delivery. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It seats 210 to 290 passengers, depending on the variant. Boeing states that it is the company's most fuel-efficient airliner and the world's first major airliner to use composite materials for most of its construction.  

According to Boeing, the 787 consumes 20% less fuel than the similarly-sized 767. Its distinguishing features include a four-panel windshield, noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles, and a smoother nose contour. The 787 shares a common type rating with the larger 777 twinjet, allowing qualified pilots to operate both models, due to related design features.


The aircraft's initial designation was 7E7, prior to its renaming in January 2005. The first 787 was unveiled in a roll-out ceremony on July 8, 2007, at Boeing's Everett assembly factory, by which time it had reached 677 orders; this is more orders from launch to roll-out than any previous wide-body airliner. By October 2011, the 787 program had logged 873 orders from 57 customers, with ILFC having the largest number on order.

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