Video Source: WCBD News 2 Charleston, SC
South Carolina 100
On April 27, 2012 the first South Carolina made Boeing 787 rolled off the line in Charleston, SC. Flash forward to February 16th, 2016, and Boeing delivered its 100th South Carolina made 787 to American Airlines (AA) in a special ceremony complete with ribbon cutting and ceremonial key handover.
A Welcome Milestone
The delivery marked a welcome milestone for Boeing in South Carolina, as they struggled in recent years to get 787s out the door both on time and completely assembled. In particular, issues with back-end fuselage assembly forced Boeing to fly unfinished airplanes from the new line in Charleston back to the original line in Everette, WA in order to work out the kinks. Fortunately, the roughly 7,500 workers of Boeing’s team in South Carolina came together and solved those kinks airplane by airplane.
Churning ’em Out
On Tuesday, Beverly Wyse, Vice President and General Manager Boeing South Carolina, reflected on that hard work: “Reaching this milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire team.”As a result of such dedication, almost no new 787s require trips to Everette for troubleshooting. Additionally, Boeing engineer Robert Hooge, on hand for the day’s events, noted that when the Charleston line first opened, 787 construction took six months; now the production rate runs four or five units per month. With such a turnaround in production and the assembly line now humming, Charleston will serve as Boeing’s designated manufacturing line for their largest Dreamliner currently on the books, the 787-10.
A Big DAAy
While a big day for Boeing and the state of South Carolina, American Airlines also had cause for celebration with 787 number 14 joining the fleet (their first Charleston made 787). 787 number 15 for the carrier gazed on (to be delivered later). American has some 20 787-8s on order along with a further 22 larger 787-9s. The carrier already uses the 787 extensively on routes from Dallas to Beijing, Shanghai, and Santiago, and it has plans to grow 787 service with new routes from LAX to Tokyo Haneda (started this month) and New Zealand (June 2016), as well as Chicago to Beijing (March 2016) among others.
With such beautiful airplanes like the one handed over on Tuesday, the partnership between Boeing, especially the new line in Charleston, and American has nowhere to go but up.
*All article photos sourced from Boeing