Boeing has revealed a revolutionary new airplane that has folding wings, a first in commercial aviation history.
The wingspans of the new plane, 777X, are too big to pass through regular airport gates, so the company designed foldable wings, according to a CNN story.
The new airplane was unveiled on October 3, during a webcast from Boeing's factory in Everett.
According to CNN, “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.”
When completed, the 777-9X will have the widest wingspan of any aircraft Boeing’s 102-year history: 235 feet, five inches.
Its hinged wingtips alone span 12 feet. They are equipped with locking pins so they don’t fold during flight.
The wings are designed to give the jetliner extra lift in helping the aircraft to save an 12 percent more fuel than the Airbus A350, Boeing says.
Folding wings have been built before on military aircraft – for example, the F/A-18 fighters, which need to fit onto US aircraft carriers – but the 777-9X’s wings are the first of their kind.
In fact, the US Federal Aviation Administration had to frame new regulations just for the 777-9X and its cousin, the 777-8X.
The static aircraft is not destined for a trip through the skies, but it is set to undergo almost a year of testing on the ground to test the structural strength and precision of the design.
Boeing clearly is trying to fly high with unique design.