Federal Aviation Administration on Friday granted approval for Boeing’s new foldable wingtips design incorporated in its latest 777 jets.
The foldable wing-tips design incorporated into Boeing 777-8 and 777-9 models, would allow the aircraft wing-tips folded during ground operations and fit into the standard-sized airport parking space.
The wing-tips folding features 235 feet wingspan to be reduced to 212 feet upon touchdown. The wing-tips folds once the aircraft touches down and a set of locking mechanisms will make it impossible for them to fold while the aircraft is airborne.
As part of approval requirements, FAA required Boeing to have several warning systems that ensures the pilots will not attempt a takeoff with wing-tips folded and have the tips are locked in the correct position.
FAA also required Boeing to ensure that wing-tips will not rotate once the aircraft is airborne.
The FAA approval came four and a half years after the plane was announced and the 777x is scheduled for its first flight in first quarter of 2019 and anticipated to enter commercial service in December 2019.