AI's first Dreamliner to be inducted next month; needs fixing of minor snags
24 May 2012
A test flight of the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft assembled at the Boeing's South Carolina plant in the US was a perfect success, according to Boeing officials and the pilots who flew the plane. This particular plane is likely to be the first to join national carrier Air India's fleet.
"The airplane will now be flown to Texas to be painted with Air India's livery before returning to Boeing's South Carolina plant for a mid-2012 delivery," an official statement from Boeing said.
Air India - whose financial struggles have been compounded by a pilots' strike that has dragged on for around two weeks now - has ordered 27 of these futuristic long-haul aircraft, and delivery of the first is expected from the end of this month, with three Dreamliners expected to be inducted this year.
Private carrier Jet Airways has ordered another 10 Dreamliners.
This is the first Dreamliner built in Boeing's South Carolina plant. Test pilots Tim Berg and Randy Neville flew the plane successfully during the five-hour test flight. However, Neville admitted after the flight that there were a few snags, which needed to be corrected before delivery.
More than 5,000 Boeing employees watched a live broadcast of the aircraft as it took off from Charleston International Airport.