Delivery ceremony held in Wash. for 1st Boeing 787

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - September 26, 2011

Hundreds of people took cover from the rain under the wings of two giant 787s. The actual first ANA plane is at Boeing Field in Seattle for a Monday night VIP reception.

ANA signed delivery documents on Sunday and plans to fly its first plane away Tuesday. It goes into service in November in Japan.

Boeing Executive Vice President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Jim Albaugh told workers in the crowd the day was one of the most significant in the history of commercial aviation.

"You have no idea what you've achieved," he said. "It's not often in a career or a lifetime we have a chance to do something like this."

Albaught then handed the aircraft's key to Shinichiro Ito, president and CEO of ANA.

"Please take good care of it," Albaugh said. "We're very proud."

The crowd cheered.

"I know the road that led to today was full of great difficulties," Ito said through an interpreter. "Yet all of those challenges were overcome."

"I say to each and every one of you, you have my utmost respect and deepest gratitude."

Ito promised the plane would be carefully and lovingly taken to Japan, where people were eager to see it. He was to be on the flight.

It's a long-awaited milestone for Boeing after three years of delays.

Boeing said a high-tech plastic fuselage makes the plane lighter than aircraft it will replace, saving airlines fuel. It promises passengers more comfort with features such as bigger windows and larger luggage bins.

Boeing has more than 800 orders for the wide-body plane that will compete with the Airbus A350.

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