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Video of Boeing 787 Dreamliner making maiden flight

After numerous delays, a machinists' strike, technical problems and billions of dollars in write-downs, Boeing finally got its 787 Dreamliner off the the ground this afternoon for a four-hour test flight around the Seattle area.

Half of Boeing is defense contracting, the other half is selling jetliners. Given the cuts in defense spending, Boeing has banked much of its future on the Dreamliner, which, until today, seemed cursed. But Boeing has about 800 orders for the plane signed, and each (sure, you get a fleet discount) costs $166 million.

The Dreamliner's maiden flight was delayed this June, in December 2008 and one month earlier, in November of last year.

The big jet's rollout was crippled by a machinists' strike, and then, some on-ground testing revealed a concentration of stresses around one wing's connection to the fuselage. It seemed the plane was never to fly.

All along, Boeing stock has declined. Over the past two years, the S&P 500 is down 25 percent, while Boeing's stock is down about 38 percent.

Boeing reported a $1.6 billion loss in the third quarter of this year and had to take a $2.5 billion loss because of the Dreamliner's delays.

Here's video of the big jet taking off today, courtesy of CNBC, with play-by-play from CNBC's Phil Lebeau:

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  December 15, 2009; 3:23 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: 787 Dreamliner, Boeing  
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