Construction Workers have started to put up steel columns for the first Boeing assembly plant outside of Washington State. The plant is due to be completed in the summer of 2011 with final assembly of the first 787 to begin in July 2011, 15 months from now. The first delivery of a North Charleston assembled 787 is scheduled for the first quarter of 2012, about two years from now.
Here's Boeing's Press Release:
Boeing 787 Final Assembly and Delivery, Charleston Facility Taking Shape
First steel column marks visible progress
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., April 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) took another visible step toward full 787 Dreamliner production Monday by placing the first steel column for its Charleston 787 Final Assembly and Delivery facility.
"This new facility will expand our production capability and strengthen the 787 program as we work toward rate," said Marco Cavazzoni, vice president and general manager of 787 Final Assembly and Delivery, Charleston, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "And that reflects our commitment to our customers, our team and our South Carolina community."
Today, Boeing Charleston fabricates, assembles and installs systems for 787 aft fuselage sections and joins and integrates midbody fuselage sections from other structural partners. With the new, 1.2-million-square-foot (92,903-square-meter) building, Boeing will perform final assembly and deliver 787s from North Charleston to customers around the world. Construction on the new facility is on schedule, with production due to begin in July 2011. Boeing will deliver the first 787 built in Charleston in first-quarter 2012. To date, 90 percent of the Boeing direct-contracted dollars for the project have been with South-Carolina-based companies.
The 787 Dreamliner will be more efficient, quieter and have lower emissions than other airplanes while offering passengers greater comfort and the convenience of direct, nonstop flights between more cities around the world. Fifty-seven customers around the world have ordered 866 787s since the program was launched in April 2004, making the Dreamliner the fastest-selling new commercial jetliner in history.
The steel construction should be completed in about 6 months barring any issues such as weather. A couple of the local Charleston Media outlets covered the story:
Post and Courier : Boeing's Big Expansion Advances
WCBD-TV : Big Day for Construction of Boeing Plant in North Charleston