Washington - Boeing released a video featuring the foldable wings of future 777X in its Everett factory, a first in civil aviation. The maiden flight of the aircraft is scheduled for next year.

After the fuselage arrived last March, it is now the turn of the wings to take shape in the assembly line of Everett. The largest twin-engine jet in the world is scheduled to make its maiden flight in 2019 before delivered to Emirates Airlines the following year.

Capable of accommodating up to 425 passengers in a standard tri-class configuration, the 777-9 will have a range of 7600 NM (14.075 km) with an operating cost per seat lower than any commercial aircraft in the world.

The largest version of the aircraft has accumulated 273 firm orders so far, against 53 of its little brother. Four prototypes will be used for the certification campaign. Its GE9X engines have already started the flight tests with a specially configured Boeing 747-400.

The certification of the new folding wingtips will be the subject of several requirements by the FAA. Some of them are as follows:

  • The assurance that the end lifting mechanism cannot be triggered in flight because of any hardware or software reasons;

  • Repeated warning messages to pilots if the mechanism does not work well before takeoff;

  • The impossibility to take off for the aircraft in case of a problem;

  • The resistance of the extremities to strong winds.

Boeing told that an extensive methodology was used in the development of the new folding-wing to ensure a robust mechanical and electrical system architecture.