The person that led the team that created one of the aviation industry’s workhorses, the Boeing 747, is on-site at Farnborough still enjoying the scene even after 40 years. Joe Sutter’s career trajectory at Boeing is the stuff of legends – at least in aerospace circles. He’s credited with leading the development of the ubiquitous 747. So, if you happen to see Joe as you’re making your away around the grounds at Farnborough, be sure to say hello and thank him for his contributions to the way we’ve all become accustomed to traveling these days.
Sutter started his career at Boeing in 1946 as an aerodynamics specialist working on the Boeing 377, Dash-80, 707, 727 and 737. He became chief project engineer of the new 747 in 1965.
Since the 747 began flying in 1970, over 1,400 have been delivered. Many of them are still in use transporting millions of passengers every year. The 747-8, the latest version of the jet, is now in flight testing.
Photo courtesy: Boeing -- The 747-8 Freighter first flight
According to Sutter, "The best airplane is merely the expression of human thinking and dreaming. People are always the story, and I've been truly fortunate to know and work with countless individuals whose creativity, energy and vision have helped create the ultra-reliable commercial airplanes and systems the world relies on today." Sutter is still working with Boeing. He serves on a panel of former company executives that provides insight and guidance to current Boeing Commercial Airplanes leaders on product strategy and development