Monday, May 08, 2017

Boeing remembers historic 787 fuselage delivery from North Charleston

A decade has passed since Vought Aircraft Industries in North Charleston delivered the first aft-fuselage section for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

Well, that was fast.

It was 10 years ago to the day that a corporate predecessor to what is now Boeing South Carolina delivered the first major structure for the first 787 Dreamliner.

The aft-fuselage section, manufactured in North Charleston by Dallas-based Vought Aircraft Industries, was packed up and sent off on a 747 Dreamlifter cargo jet bound for Everett, Wash., on May 8, 2007.

A neighboring plant operated by Global Aeronautica, which modified 787 midbody sections made in Italy, delivered its first part exactly one week later.

The Chicago-based planemaker noted the dual May milestones last week on Twitter.  

“Every amazing journey has a starting point, and Boeing South Carolina’s is no different,” the company said.

That journey — along with South Carolina's economy — took a big turn in 2009, when the aerospace giant bought the two local suppliers to gain control over their problem-plagued production lines.

That same year, Boeing announced it would build an East Coast 787 assembly plant in North Charleston. It remains the company’s only commercial airplane factory outside of Washington state. The Palmetto State has never been quite the same.

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