First 787 built in SC takes maiden flight - FOX Carolina 21

First 787 built in SC takes maiden flight

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A scale model of a vertical fin of a Boeing 787 stopped at the Peace Center. (May 22, 2012/FOX Carolina) A scale model of a vertical fin of a Boeing 787 stopped at the Peace Center. (May 22, 2012/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) -

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.

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.

Residents in the Upstate had a chance to see a part of the plane in person on Tuesday as a one-third scale model of a vertical fin stopped in Anderson and Greenville as a part of the "Building Dreams Tour."

SLIDESHOW: Model tail fin of Boeing 787 tours Upstate

The model will be put on permanent display at the Boeing plant following the tour.

By the end of this year, the company plans to have four planes completed. Boeing hopes to be producing about three-and-a-half planes a month by the end of 2013. The speedy, light aircraft are made partly from composite material of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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