Boeing has advanced production of its first North Charleston, South Carolina-built 787, moving the aircraft from its major assembly join to systems installation and testing.

The milestone, known as "weight on wheels", took place on 18 December, rolling the aircraft from position one where the wings, fuselage sections and empennage are installed to position two where electrical, hyrdraulic and mechanical systems installation and testing will continue over the next several weeks, said Boeing.

The aircraft, which is the 46th 787 built, is believed to be for Air India, which will take delivery of the aircraft before June 2012 sometime in the first half of the year.

The installation of the aircraft's interior and engines, expected to be twin General Electric GEnx-1B powerplants, is expected to begin "soon".

The aircraft is the first non-Puget Sound assembled Boeing widebody aircraft in the company's history, excluding its McDonnell Douglas legacy aircraft which were merged into its commercial portfolio in a 1997 merger.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news