Joe Sutter was an American aerospace engineer for the Boeing Airplane Company and also the manager of the design team for the Boeing 747. One of the popular magazines of that time has described Sutter as the “Father of the 747”. He was born in Seattle, Washington and attended the University of Washington and finally he was graduated with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering in 1943. During the second world war, Sutter served as a junior officer in the US navy and later he also became the part of the Rogers Commission, which investigated the major Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster.
On August 30th, Joe Sutter, the “Father of the 747,” passed away at the age of 95. Sutter was one of the greatest minds in the history of the world, he started his career by leading the engineering team that developed the world’s first Jumbo jet in the mid-1960. He was also involved in the major projects which lead to the development of commercial aircraft including 707 and the 737, but it was the Boeing 747 which got the limelight in the history.
Sutter and his team involved in the project which later become known as the Incredibles for producing the world’s largest airplane in record time which at that time was only 29 months from conception to rollout.
He was also involved in the major projects at Boeing which produces Dash 80 aircraft and after his retirement, he continued to work as the consultant to the Boeing Airlines Company. His projects also include the development of the wing-glove modification to increase the Mach number from 707 wing for 720B development.
As the chief engineer of the project Boeing 747, Sutter is credited with the development of the first wide-body aircraft. He also led the design of the initial concepts of full length to the very wide single deck with twin aisles in the 747. This ultimately leads to making an accommodation for at least 10 passengers on the main deck. He was mainly the designer and the supervisor of that project which made him the father of the Boeing 747.
The 747 which is basically the product of the complex, demanding collaborating design process became popular and the icon of the modern airline age. The Boeing 747 is an American wide-body commercial jet airliner and cargo aircraft which is commonly known by its nickname “Jumbo Jet or Queen of the skies” and is mainly manufactured by the Boeing’s Commercial Airplane union in the United States. It has many variants like Boeing 747SP, Boeing747-400, Boeing 747-8, Boeing VC-25 and Boeing E-4 etc.
Boeing exceeded expectations when it crossed the production of more than 1000 united in the year 1993. The most popular 747-400 variant has a speed of Mach 0.84-0.8444 with an intercontinental range of 7,259 nautical miles. It can also accommodate more than 415 passengers at a time. Its legacy still continues till now and after the arrival of the 747-400 many variants of the Boeing 747 are still developing at a faster rate. For instance, in 1996, 747-500X and -600X preliminary designs had been announced. As of August 2016, Boeing has produced 104 units of the latest variant, Boeing 747-8.
Boeing 747 journey begins from the fact that when PanAm who is the most important customer of the Boeing at that time pressed for the passenger plane and requested the company to develop the Boeing 747 which can be the twice of the previous model of the Boeing 707. At the end of 1969, Boeing developed the Boeing 747 within 28 months.
Today about 1500 have been produced and its number is increasing day by day. At a given time it is estimated about 200 Boeing 747s are in the air. Since the introduction of Airbus A-380 the future of Boeing 747 is uncertain, as of June 2016 Boeing has managed to produce 104 747-8s whereas Airbus has produced 193 A-380s.