First Boeing 787 built in South Carolina takes flight

By Michelle Dunlop

The first Dreamliner built in South Carolina took to the skies above North Charleston shortly after 9 a.m. Pacific time Wednesday.

The 787 was scheduled to fly at 8:15 a.m. Pacific time, according to Boeing’s Twitter feed. But the mostly composite Dreamliner had to complete taxi testing before it could fly, pushing departure back to about 9:01 a.m.

You can track the flight’s progress on FlightAware. The Dreamliner is scheduled to be in the air about three hours and 30 minutes, according to the filed flight plan. It will fly northeast along the coast to North Carolina, head south over the Atlantic toward the Bahamas before returning to Charleston at 12:38 p.m. Pacific time.

The South Carolina-built 787 was scheduled to do some touch and go landings for about an hour before calling it a day at 2 p.m. Pacific time.

This is the first Boeing widebody aircraft to be built outside the Puget Sound area.

Boeing already has built and delivered 787s from its Everett location.

The first Dreamliner built in South Carolina will be delivered to Air India. On Wednesday, the Dreamliner’s rudder was painted red in Air India’s colors but the rest of the airline’s paint scheme, which was on the plane during its rollout in late April, was gone.

Jet makers conduct flight tests on each aircraft built. This first 787 assembled in South Carolina will be delivered to Air India this summer after testing is completed.

Several TV stations in the area streamed the maiden flight live online including Channel 2 and ABCNews4.

The Post and Courier’s Brendan Kearney is tweeting from the Charleston airport.

Check for updates later today.