Boeing is busy developing its next ultra-efficient commercial jetliner, the 777x, and one of its biggest features — quite literally — are its wings. This amazing facility is where they will be made. This gantry system will support robotic heads that will build the carbon fibre wings. (Images: AP)
The company opens the doors of its Boeing 777X Composite Wing Center in Everett, Washington, this week, and what a place it is. The facility is geared up to to manufacture the world's largest composite wings for the forthcoming aeroplane.
The wings of the 777x are notable because they're so damn long. The aeroplane will feature longer wings than most aeroplanes to improve its aerodynamics: The drag created at the wing tips is reduced by increasing the aspect ratio between the tip and the rest of the wing, allowing it to be more efficient.
The only problem is that the wings will need to be so big — 35m long and 7m wide — that they will in fact have to fold so that they can squeeze through to airport gates. Hence this cutting-edge facility.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the new 92,900 square metre centre is very close to where the entire aeroplane will ultimately be assembled.
The new facility covers 92,900 square metres.
These massive autoclaves will bake the carbon fibre wings with super-heated pressure.
Huge curtains are used to stop dust from moving between sections of the facility.
This gantry system will support robotic heads that will build the carbon fibre wings.