A Salute to the man who changed air travel

The man called “the father of the 747”, Joe Sutter, passed away on August 30th. Joe was the chief engineer at Boeing assigned the task of building a brand new airplane that could hold twice as many people as the leading passenger jet at that time, the 707. Joe and his team designed and built what became the first twin aisle “jumbo jet”. Like most engineers, he toiled in the background. Like most engineers he didn’t care about fame, only doing the best possible job. And like most engineers his remarkable achievements are taken for granted by almost everyone. 

The 747 debuted in 1969 and very quickly revolutionized air travel. It made flying cheaper, safer, and could travel twice as far as any other passenger plane. The worldwide long-distance travel we all take for granted these days is due to the success of the 747. Most planes look the same and few can tell them apart, but everyone knows the iconic 747 when they see one. Its nickname  “Queen of the Skies” is  well deserved .

Not many people can claim that they changed the world. Joe Sutter changed the world for the better. We salute you Joe!