Boeing held a ceremonial ground breaking in Everett, Washington on Tuesday as construction of the company’s new factory set to house the wing manufacturing for the new 777X commenced.
While Boeing felt the need for a ground breaking event, construction has been underway for the past four months or so and reports are the plant is already two months ahead of schedule
The new 100-acre site will feature a new “chiller building” which will provide air conditioning throughout the plant. The old chiller building will be demolished to create as much space as possible for the monstrous 777X wing factory.
In fact, the entire structural steel outline for the new chiller building is already complete and the whole site is nearly level thanks to the work of approximately 300 trucks a week transporting in new dirt 24/7.
Boeing’s 777X wing factory will span 1.3 million square feet and be divided into two main rooms. In one will go three of the largest, and possibly the longest, autoclaves in the world. An autoclave is a large oven that bakes a composite parts under pressure.
The 777X wing will be 20% larger than the current 777 and made from composite, a super strong and lightweight material made from carbon fiber and resin. The larger wing will allow for the new plane to be much more fuel efficient.
Incredibly, the longest piece of the 777X wing to fit into the autoclave will extend 104 feet. Like the current 777, Boeing will build the body of the plane out of aluminum, but will likely add larger windows and and more space inside the aircraft.