NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — A crew from Boeing has completed the maiden flight of the first 787 manufactured in South Carolina.
The aircraft took off shortly after noon Wednesday from North Charleston and returned shortly after 5 p.m. Eastern.
Pilot Randy Neville called it a beautiful flight.
The aircraft flew almost 2,000 miles, mostly off the Atlantic coast, and climbed to 41,000 feet.
As the plane returned to the Boeing assembly plant, hundreds of company workers cheered and gathered around the plane as the six-member crew walked down stairs leading from the aircraft.
The plane has been sold to Air India. Its next flight will be to Texas for a paint job before it’s flown with representatives of Air India. The plane is to be delivered by the end of July.
The plant should turn out four completed aircraft by year’s end.
By the end of 2013, the plant should be producing about 31/2 of the speedy, light aircraft a month.
The planes are made partly from composite material of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic.