Washington, Apr 29 - Amid great fanfare, Boeing has rolled out the first 787 Dreamliner aircraft produced at its brand new plant in South Carolina and built for Air India to be delivered in mid-2012.
The airplane's rollout marks the first time that a Boeing commercial airplane has been produced in the Southeastern United States, the US aerospace giant said.
"This is a proud moment for Boeing as we roll out an airplane from our third final assembly site," Jim Albaugh, president and chief executive officer, Commercial Airplanes said yesterday at the function held in North Charleston.
The 787 airplane built for Air India next goes to the flight line, where it will go through systems checks and engine runs in advance of taxi testing and first flight.
The airplane remains on schedule for delivery to Air India in mid-2012, Boeing said in a statement.
While Air India has ordered 27 of these new planes, Jet Airways has placed orders for ten. The national carrier is expected to get at least three of these air-planes this year.
The long-haul aircraft made of composite materials like carbon fibre, is portrayed as fuel-efficient aircraft which would help slash flying costs significantly.
"We'll celebrate on Sunday, and Monday we begin the process of getting the airplane ready for delivery to our Air India customer," said Jack Jones, Boeing South Carolina vice president and general manager.
The ceremony was attended by nearly 7,000 Boeing employees and invited guests. The festival-like atmosphere, featuring aerial displays, music and entertainment, was a fitting celebration to commemorate assembly completion of the first 787 built at the North Charleston, facility, the company said.
Boeing announced that it had selected North Charleston as the location for the second 787 final assembly line on October 28, 2009, and broke ground on the site in November of that year. The South Carolina final assembly facility was completed in June 2011, and production began later that same month.
"Every one of our South Carolina teammates should be extremely proud of this historic accomplishment," Jones said. PTI