Boeing rolls out first Charleston 787

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Boeing today rolled out its first 787-8 from the Charleston, South Carolina final assembly line, marking the first time the company has produced a modern widebody aircraft outside of Everett.

Airplane 46, which will be delivered to Air India by the end of the second quarter, rolled out of the factory this afternoon in front of 7,000 Boeing workers at the facility and VIP guests.

Three additional Air India 787s are in the final assembly line building in Charleston, all to be delivered by year's end, says Boeing South Carolina general manager Jack Jones.

Boeing also builds the aft body portions for all 787 production in Charleston - sections 47 and 48 - and joins midbody sections delivered here from Italy and Japan.

Production at Charleston is key to Boeing achieving its target production rate of 10 aircraft a month by late 2013. Currently the airframer is building 3.5 aircraft a month at its Everett, Washington facility, the same rate that the Charleston facility is under contract to achieve in six-month increments by the end of 2013.

After several first post-production tests, Airplane 46 will take the first test flight of approximately five hours in the next three to four weeks, says Jones.

The aircraft will then be flown to Texas for painting, then back to Charleston for acceptance and final delivery to Air India at the new customer delivery centre here.