Inside the Workshop You Need to Build the World's Largest Composite Wings

By Jamie Condliffe on at

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’ll be made.

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 airplane will feature longer wings than most airplanes to improve its aerodynamics: the drag created at the wing tips is reduced by increasing the aspect ratio between length and depth of the wing, allowing it to be more efficient.

Only problem is that the wings will need to be so big — 34 metres and seven metres — 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 93,000 square metre is very close to where the entire airplane will ultimately be assembled.

Inside the Workshop You Need to Build the World's Largest Composite Wings

The new facility covers 93,000 sq ft.

Inside the Workshop You Need to Build the World's Largest Composite Wings

These massive autoclaves will bake the carbon fiber wings with super-heated pressure.

Inside the Workshop You Need to Build the World's Largest Composite Wings

Huge curtains are used to stop dust from moving between sections of the facility.

Inside the Workshop You Need to Build the World's Largest Composite Wings

This gantry system will support robotic heads that will build the carbon fibre wings.