Boeing's fuel-efficient 777X features folding wings


November 18, 2013

Boeing has launched its new 777X, 777-8X and 777-9X aircraft

Boeing has launched its new 777X, 777-8X and 777-9X aircraft

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Boeing has launched its newest airliner, the 777X, at the 2013 Dubai Airshow. The aircraft is designed with folding wing-tips that will increase wingspan and, as a result, fuel efficiency without limiting access at airports.

Boeing says the 777X will be both the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world. The wings are based on those of the 787 Dreamliner and will stretch to 233 feet (71 m) when extended. The company says that a GE9X engine, built by GE Aviation, will contribute to overall fuel savings.

"The airplane will build on the market-leading 777 and will provide superior operating economics," says Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. "The airplane will be 12 percent more fuel efficient than any competing airplane." The company has already received a reported 342 orders for the new aircraft.

The 777X was launched with two siblings – the 777-9X and the 777-8X. Boeing states that the 9X will have a range of more than 8,200 nautical miles (15,185 km) and the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial airplane, whilst the 8X will offer a range of more than 9,300 nautical miles (17,220 km). Production is due to begin in 2017, with the first deliveries in 2020.

You can view a video about the 777X below.

Source: Boeing

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds. All articles by Stu Robarts

that's really a very pretty airplane.


I wonder why they didn't use fixed winglets instead of the more complicated folding wing.


@Gadgeteer - vertical winglets reduce drag through limiting the vortexes but do not provide any lift, while horizontal tips offer both.

Hovnimrsk Prdelac

Gadgeteer, i was wondering the exact same thing until i read the first paragraph.

"The aircraft is designed with folding wing-tips that will increase wingspan and, as a result, fuel efficiency without limiting access at airports."

maybe the folding wing is to allow a large wingspan without limiting access at airports.


Folding wing allows the wider wingspan to use conventional parking spaces at airports.


Well... might have been an obvious solution, as most carrier borne aircraft have had folding wings for exactly the same reason since maybe WW2... But full credit to Boeing for actually building a plane like this...

Asoka Indrasoma

Awful big engines there....almost looks ugly.

Wejitu Geodol

Boeing developed a folding wing tip for the ORIGINAL 777 back in the early 90s, because American wanted to replace their DC-10s with 777s AND fit them into the same gate space!

The wing came in THREE OPTIONS: 1) Folding, with actuator inside wing 2) Retro-fittable, but bolted down with NO actuator 3) Bolted down solid wing

When American did not place an initial order for the folding wing tip, and no-one else was interested in the weight vs gate space equation, Boeing dropped it as an option and NONE were ever made!

Deja vu all over again!


Does it still use the same type of Li-ion battery troubling 787? I assume not, then what is the main power source for on-board electronics?

Cliff Tsay

@ Cliff Tsay The problem with the batteries seems to be solved. The latest problem was with a french made charger that would have had to been fixed even if the plane had lead acid batteries. every maintenance squawk on a 787 is treated like news Airbus taking years to make a permanent fix for wing cracks on the A380 gets crickets.


They should fix their crap airplane Dreamliner before they go to the next plane model


Winglets are used when span is limited due to space constraints or rules and don't really improve performance very much. Taking the winglets off and extending the horizontal span by the vertical span of the winglets is much more efficient. Increasing the span is the most efficient way to improve performance by reducing losses from wing tip vortexes that is why sailplanes have such long skinny wings.

In sailplane racing they use to joke about winglets being a fashion trend or simply a psychological advantage. That was some years ago I don't know what they are doing with them currently maybe they are getting some real performance gains now but I haven't been keeping track.

Next thing Boeing will do is put winglets on the folding wing tips or even better put folding wingtips on the folding wingtips.


Great idea... and there's more to come from the Boeing Skunk Works in Seattle. Keep your eyes open for the new, new B777-900MV, set for flight testing soon. This version will have AAR, JATO, IFFRT and retractable arrestor hook - allowing carrier-based operations and real extended range... Autolycus


I had the pleasure of flying on a Dreamliner recently. Very comfortable craft. CF has what? some 30 years of aviation heritage now. Let's hope that there are no more surprises yet to be discovered.

Winglets straighten out vortices while adding some directional stability on swept wings, thus reducing required rudder volume and its associated drag. Win Win. But I like the graceful lines of the Dreamliner's cranked tips better.

The engines are stunning. DOT. PERIOD.


The Achilles heel of the A380 is the need for specially constructed gates runways and taxiways to receive the airplane. This significantly restricts the number of routes the craft can fly in addition to adding big bucks to operating cost. The Triple 7 X neatly ducks this element of the life cycle cost of operating a very large aircraft.

Bob Ehresman
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