Boeing powering up first local jet
It's another manufacturing milestone at the Boeing plant.
Boeing South Carolina has started powering up its first locally assembled Dreamliner, a critical step toward delivering the passenger plane this spring to Air India.
The process began last week, said company spokeswoman Candy Eslinger. When the installation will be done is less clear.
Getting electricity to a new, partly completed airplane is "not just like you flip a switch, and the power comes on," Eslinger said Friday. "It's a pretty detailed process."
The closely monitored jet remains in Position 3, which actually is the fourth of five spots inside the final assembly building in North Charleston. Position 3 is also where the plane's mechanical and hydraulic systems are installed and tested and where certain interior components -- pieces that 787 passengers will see and touch -- are installed, Eslinger said.
Other 787 developments reported this week included "incorrect shimming" performed at the local aft-body manufacturing operation and an apparent request from Boeing South Carolina's first customer, Air India, for $1 billion discount for delays. Those issues would not affect the planned second-quarter delivery. "We're still on schedule," Eslinger said.
Just behind the first plane, two other partially assembled Dreamliners continue to come together.
As production ramps up, so, too, has the head count at the plant. More than 5,900 people -- mostly employees but including some contractors -- now work at Boeing's campus at Charleston International Airport.
Boeing plans to assemble three 787s a month at the site.
Reach Brendan Kearney at 937-5906 and follow him at Twitter a @tkearney_brendan.