Boeing’s next airplane will be so large that it will need folding wings.
The FAA recently signed off on the proposed design for a new 777 that would have a wingspan of 235 feet, a size that might make it too large for some airports, Flying Mag reports. The folding wings, which would retract after landing, would allow the plane’s wingspan to be reduced to 212 feet, making it small enough to be used at terminals that were designed for older aircraft.
Instead of using aluminum, Boeing plans to make the wings from carbon fiber, which is much stronger. The larger wingspan will allow the plane to fly higher and faster with more fuel efficiency.
The new planes, called the 777X, are expected to come to market in 2020 and would be used primarily for long-haul flights.