Boeing's 1st Lowcountry Dreamliner takes to the skies - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Boeing's 1st Lowcountry Dreamliner takes to the skies

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The 1st Lowcountry Dreamliner in flight (Tessa Spencer/WCIV) The 1st Lowcountry Dreamliner in flight (Tessa Spencer/WCIV)
Cell pic: The DreamLifter took off around 9:45 a.m. (Tessa Spencer/WCIV) Cell pic: The DreamLifter took off around 9:45 a.m. (Tessa Spencer/WCIV)
View from the Boeing employee viewing area (Eric Egan/WCIV) View from the Boeing employee viewing area (Eric Egan/WCIV)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV)-- The first Boeing Dreamliner to be completed at the North Charleston facility made her maiden flight for a test run Wednesday.

The Dreamliner was rolled out in a ceremony last month but still needed final flight preparations.

Those are now done, and the wide-body jet is set to take off from Charleston International Airport sometime Wednesday near the company's new $750 million North Charleston assembly plant.

The flight was supposed to take off around 8 a.m. but that time was pushed back to 11:15 a.m.

Around 9:45 a.m. the DreamLifter, the plane that carries parts made in the Lowcountry to the Seattle facility, took off from the tarmac.

The huge plane taxied around a couple of times before actually taking off.

Employees watched and cheered from a big screen inside a hangar while ground crew in bright yellow reflective vests watched near end of runway.

The massive plane finally left the ground around noon. By 12:15 p.m. she was already at 32,000 feet.

The North Charleston plant should turn out four completed aircraft by year's end. By the end of 2013, the plant should be producing about three-and-a-half of the speedy, light aircraft a month.

The planes are made partly from composite material of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic.

It was almost one month ago to the day that the unveiling ceremony was held and the 787 was rolled out. The first  787 Dreamliner that workers built in North Charleston will soon be in the hands of Air India.

The other big events leading up to that were the grand opening of the North Charleston plant
back in June 2011 and before that it was the opening of the entrance.

It was October 2009 when Boeing first announced it had decided to locate its Dreamliner assembly plant in North Charleston.

As to where the 787 will be flying during her big day?

"It will be around the southeast and along the coastline. The crew has discretion to change if they need," said Boeing spokesperson Candy Eslinger.

The plane is slated to land back in North Charleston at 4:30 p.m.

 

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