BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne woman arrested in Eileen St. shooting following arrest in Van Wert County Full Story
BREAKING NEWS : Coroner identifies Fort Wayne man killed in crash on Paulding Road Full Story

First look at folding wings on Boeing's 777X jetliner

So you want a plane with huge lift capability and the wingspan to match, but you also need it to fit through...

Posted: Oct 7, 2018 10:43 PM
Updated: Oct 7, 2018 10:43 PM

So you want a plane with huge lift capability and the wingspan to match, but you also need it to fit through regular airport gates.

What do you do? If you're Boeing and the craft is the new 777X, you switch up the game by adding folding wings.

Aircraft

Aviation and aerospace industry

Boeing Co

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Companies

The world got its first glance at this unique innovation on October 3, during a live webcast from Boeing's factory floor in Everett, Washington, where the first flight-test 777X is being built.

The aircraft is the 777-9X variant, the first of its next-generation 777s, and when it takes to the air it will be the world's biggest twin-engine jetliner.

It's a wing thing

Once completed, the 777-9X is to have the widest wingspan of any aircraft in the company's 102-year history: 235 feet, five inches.

Its hinged wingtips alone measure 12 feet, with locking pins to prevent them from folding during flight.

The wings give the jetliner extra lift, similar to that of a giant sailplane glider, helping the plane to save an overall 12% more fuel than the Airbus A350, according to Boeing.

Now, you might have seen something similar on military aircraft -- such as the F/A-18 fighters which need to squeeze onto US aircraft carriers -- but when it comes to commercial planes this wing thing is the first of its kind.

In fact, the US Federal Aviation Administration had to draft new regulations just for the 777-9X and its sister craft, the 777-8X.

While its wingspan is pretty epic, it's not the biggest out there.

It's a little smaller than an Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger airliner, which has a span of 261 feet, five inches.

And it's a good bit less than the 385-foot span of the upcoming Stratolaunch, which will be used to launch rockets and space planes into orbit. When that flies, it will be the world's largest airplane.

Static test plane

October's wing reveal follows on the heels of the "fully assembled" static 777-9X test plane being rolled out at the Everett facility in September.

While it will never take to the skies, the static aircraft is to undergo almost a year of testing on the ground to verify the structural strength and accuracy of the design.

Although the airframe is largely complete, it's missing some components, such as engines and an avionics system.

Structure and load-bearing

"Static test is our opportunity to verify the design of the structure and load-bearing components of the airplane, ensuring the final product is safe for our customers and the flying public," says Doreen Bingo, Boeing Test and Evaluation 777X Test Program manager.

"Using a full-scale airplane, we'll run various load conditions on the wings, gears, the struts and the fuselage."

The wings have been tested at one-and-a-half-times the designated load during previous static tests, resulting in a wing flexing more than 26 feet.

Engineering revolution

The jet's fuselage is made of aluminum, like most airliners, but the wings are made of super-strong, light weight carbon fiber, which helps it to save fuel. (That's why the wings are so flexible.) A special process is required to make the wings, including a huge, custom pressurized oven to bake the carbon fiber material.

Seating 350 to 425 passengers, the airliner is due to debut in 2020, with test flights beginning next year.

Boeing says its operating costs will work out 10% lower than that of the A350-1000.

The plane's range is expected to reach more than 14,000 kilometers (8,699 miles) -- about the distance between Dubai and Panama City.

Several airlines have already placed orders, including Emirates, All Nippon Airways and Lufthansa.

Boeing's new X family comes as part of an engineering revolution allowing jetliners with only two engines to take on many of the same global routes as larger, fuel-guzzling four-engine airliners such as the 747 and Airbus's A340 and A380 Super Jumbo.

Initial versions of the 777 have been flying for two decades. The X family will come with its own newly designed engine: General Electric's GE9X, which is currently in testing.

The 777-8X, which will have a longer range but a smaller capacity, is also in the works.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751526

Reported Deaths: 13799
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033281788
Lake557151010
Allen41710692
St. Joseph36998565
Hamilton36604417
Elkhart29413461
Tippecanoe22914227
Vanderburgh22559400
Porter19359326
Johnson18477389
Hendricks17689317
Clark13228195
Madison13158344
Vigo12625253
LaPorte12420221
Monroe12211176
Delaware10968198
Howard10337225
Kosciusko9630121
Hancock8577147
Bartholomew8172157
Warrick7860156
Floyd7812180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6972103
Morgan6765141
Dubois6221118
Marshall6211116
Cass6017110
Henry5902110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509176
Shelby501796
Lawrence4745122
Gibson445094
Clinton442755
Harrison441775
DeKalb439885
Montgomery438490
Whitley406643
Huntington403181
Steuben400259
Miami395269
Jasper388654
Knox376391
Putnam373260
Wabash362383
Ripley347270
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332253
Daviess3033100
Wells295381
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273172
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246136
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234631
Starke228058
Fountain221048
Sullivan214643
Owen212158
Fulton203042
Jay200932
Carroll193720
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion174844
Franklin170335
Tipton166446
Parke149616
Pike138134
Blackford136232
Pulaski120747
Newton114336
Brown104243
Crawford102516
Benton101914
Martin91715
Warren84015
Switzerland8148
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1109025

Reported Deaths: 20166
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1287651467
Cuyahoga1158292211
Hamilton814131250
Montgomery525601043
Summit484401001
Lucas43364820
Butler39021606
Stark33339929
Lorain25679505
Warren24600303
Mahoning22378603
Lake21213388
Clermont20125253
Delaware18860136
Licking16664222
Fairfield16577204
Trumbull16555482
Medina15613271
Greene15284248
Clark14237306
Wood13293200
Portage13251215
Allen11914239
Richland11608211
Miami10850225
Wayne9147223
Columbiana9036230
Muskingum8907135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8651250
Marion8646138
Erie8057165
Ashtabula7162179
Hancock6999132
Ross6946161
Geauga6841151
Scioto6536106
Belmont6159174
Union584649
Lawrence5734102
Jefferson5680158
Huron5547122
Sandusky5443126
Darke5420129
Seneca5349128
Washington5320109
Athens524360
Auglaize502287
Mercer487385
Shelby476895
Knox4572112
Madison444466
Ashland435797
Putnam4336103
Defiance432399
Fulton432174
Crawford4040110
Brown402461
Logan387677
Preble3856105
Clinton379166
Ottawa373681
Highland359865
Williams348278
Champaign344859
Guernsey325153
Jackson318254
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285550
Hardin275465
Henry273467
Holmes2703101
Coshocton269060
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240850
Wyandot234756
Hocking220563
Carroll197348
Paulding176542
Meigs148540
Monroe136344
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 59°
Angola
Mostly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 57°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 55°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 59°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 59°
Cool conditions are expected through the middle of the work week.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events