I recently visited the Boeing factory outside Seattle, WA and noted in the distance a new 777x being built with, what looked like very large wingtips.
However, on closer inspection they're not - the ends of the wings are designed to fold up.
Source: aviation today
I didn't get a chance to ask our tour guide, so I was wondering if anyone here can explain why this aircraft has been designed with folding wingtips. I'm presuming this is only for ground operations, and my guess is something to do with size - but are they really so big that they need to fold up? I would have imagined that other large wide body jetliners would have similar dimensions.
Please note that I'm not asking about whether this should have winglets, or if winglets provide any benefits, I'm asking specifically why the ends of these wings fold up rather than just fixed as per previous 777 models.