By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
Boeing's next commercial twinjet, the 777X, might come with folding wings to ease maneuvering around jetways, according to a story this week in the Seattle Times. The longer wings, with a span of about 233 feet, would allow for a more fuel-efficient design, and would fold upward about 10 feet from the wingtip, an unnamed Boeing engineer told the Times. Boeing would not officially confirm the story, but the company has considered the use of folding wings in the past. The original model of the 777 offered a folding wing hinged about 21 feet from the wingtip as an option, but there were no takers.
The 777X, a larger, updated version of the 777 with new fuel-efficient engines, has been in the works for a couple of years, and the official design launch is expected to be at least a year or so away. The company said in August the new airplane should start deliveries around the end of this decade.