Boeing South Carolina has moved its first Dreamliner to the next assembly position, a Boeing spokeswoman reported Monday, bringing the much-anticipated plane another step closer to delivery later this spring.
"Our airplane moved from Position 3 to Position 4," Candy Eslinger, the spokeswoman, said of the Sunday afternoon event. "Everything's still going smoothly."
That means the plane, the Dreamliner program's 46th in line, now has functioning power and hydraulic systems, as well as some of its interior features, Eslinger said. It also means the plane, which had been facing south, has made the turn down the back stretch of the U-shaped assembly line and is now facing north.
Assembly of the inaugural North Charleston-made 787 began in late summer. The plane began to roll on its own wheels in December, and it was fitted with its engines last month.
News of the latest progress at the local Dreamliner production campus near the airport comes at a good time for Boeing South Carolina and the much-delayed 787 program.
A month ago, it was revealed that 'incorrect shimming' at the campus' aft-body fuselage factory would require inspections and fixes of several — as many as 55 — Dreamliners. And Friday, Boeing announced the leader of its successful 777 program, Larry Loftis, would switch roles with Scott Fancher, who had been in charge of the 787 program.