Boeing plans new 777 with folding wings

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by MSYgirl, Nov 19, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    [article]

    In 2020, Boeing says it will start deliveries of a new airplane, which is called 777x for now, that will be 12 percent more fuel efficient than its competition. That would bring huge savings to airlines in reduced fuel costs.

    The plane is based, as the name suggests, on Boeing’s large 777 airliner. To get the fuel savings, Boeing is using the new GE9X engine from GE Aviation. It will also have composite wings that are longer than the ones on the current 777. Longer wings are known to improve efficiency, but pose a problem for negotiating airports. One solution is to add vertical winglets, which has much the same effect. With the 777x, Boeing has opted for longer wings that fold up when the plane is on the ground, shortening the wingspan by just over 6 meters.

    Boeing has received 259 orders for the airplane.
     
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  2. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    I know there are planes out there currently with folding wings but none for passenger travel that I am aware of. I just don't see this being a feature in the end out of safety concerns. The plane won't be out for nearly a decade, airports will just have to plan for wider access in that time much like they did over the years leading up to the A380.
     
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  3. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    The military has had aircraft with folding wings for decades, notably those used aboard aircraft carriers where size is limited. So the technology is there and well proven. The only difference with the new civilian aircraft will be that they are made of composite materials on the wings and that will be the unproven feature with the folding wingtips. Will those thin wingtips be able to take the additional weight of the mechanicals that cause the tips to move?
     
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  4. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Boeing had folding wings as an option on the original B777 but nobody ordered them so they were never installed. As blackjack-21 points out there is nothing novel about folding wings. They've been proven safe and practical in the harshest of conditions, fighters that are based on aircraft carriers.
     
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  5. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    And, as an added bonus, the pilot can flap the wings on fly-by's, waving hello to folks on the ground.
     
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