Boeing to fly first SC-built 787 on Wednesday

Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer

The Boeing Co. plans to fly the first 787 built in South Carolina on Wednesday, the company announced on Twitter today.

The aircraft’s maiden flight tomorrow still could be called off due to weather or if problems arise during taxi and other testing on Tuesday.

Boeing rolled out the 787 at its North Charleston facility late last month. It’s the first commercial widebody jet that Boeing has assembled outside the Puget Sound region.

The South Carolina-assembled 787 will be delivered to Air India this summer. On Tuesday, news organizations in India reported a two-week delayin the delivery of Air India’s first Dreamliner. That aircraft was assembled in Everett.

Boeing has received more than 850 orders for the Dreamliner. The company delivered in September the first 787 to Japan’s All Nippon Airways. Boeing had delivered 11 787s through the end of April.

The jet maker plans to increase production of the fuel-efficient 787 to 10 aircraft monthly by the end of 2013. Originally, Boeing planned to built seven 787s monthly in Everett and three in South Carolina. But Jim Albaugh, president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, has suggested the North Charleston site could produce as many as seven monthly, too.

“If you can build more, we can sell more,” Albaugh said during the 787 delivery ceremony in South Carolina on April 27.