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June 9, 2012

Plane of Note: Boeing’s First South Carolina-Built 787 Leaves Paint Hangar Wearing Air India Colors

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Air India's Boeing 787 Dreamliner, VT-ANI, outside of Boeing's Texas painting facility. (Photo by Boeing)

The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner ever produced in South Carolina emerged from a paint hangar in Texas on Thursday wearing the full colors of its soon-to-be owner, Air India.

Registered VT-ANI, the plane first rolled off Boeing’s new North Charleston, South Carolina, assembly line last month. It was the first Boeing aircraft ever produced in the state, and the first 787 built outside of Everett, Wash., where Boeing’s main factory is located.

After weeks of testing and final touches, the all white plane was flown to Fort Worth, Tex., where Leading Edge Aviation Services painted the aircraft under contract from Boeing. All 787s built in South Carolina will be painted in Texas by Leading Edge.

Air India reportedly reached a deal this week to take delivery of its first 787, an event that has repeatedly been delayed, due to production difficulties on Boeing’s end, and more recently, Air India’s financial difficulties and demands for compensation from Boeing for the delay.

Boeing reached another key milestone this week with the completion of its 66th 787, which was the first copy of the plane to not require extensive refitting after rolling off the assembly line.

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