747: Creating the World's First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation
This book is a wide ranging autobiography written by Joe Sutter, the head of the project that created the 747 aircraft design. It covers his early life, growing up in Seattle, and the rise of aviation. Sutter was interested in planes since he was a young child; his room was covered with dozens of model planes. He came to understand the dynamics of flight by watching every airplane he could. He studied aeronautical engineering in college, before joining the military for WWII. Aft ...more
Sutter was born in 1921 in Seattle and grew up seeing Boeing test planes flying about. He got an aeronautical engineering degree, did a stint in the Navy in WWII and then returned and worked for Boeing. There he worked on the Stratocruiser, a late propellor driven aircraft and then became involved in the 3 ...more
The 747 was second fiddle to the SST and Sutter’s engineers were on the second team. His account of the intense corporate (Boeing, suppliers, customers) infighting, the hot dogging personalities, and the need for Sutter to play through all of this make this a good inside story. Sutte ...more
What I enjoyed the most ...more
One additional point: Sutter is effusive ...more
It is funny to hear about PanAm as the big player who called the shots. Also, tucked at the end is a chapter on how Sutter served on the presidential commission investigating the Challenger disaster, which is interesting.
The writing is a bit stilted, but it actually rings as if an 80 y ...more
While partly an autobiography of Joe Sutter, who led the engineering team “The Incredibles”, there is a significant amount of discussion on the challenges faced when designing this beautiful aircraft.
The simple things we as passengers take for granted are highlighted as big wins as the designers determined everything from wing design to how to incorpor ...more
What could be more fun than designing airplanes? As an added bonus, the planes Joe Sutter built were not intended to kill people. Sutter oversaw the design of the 747 in the 1960s. He can't be said to be the sole designer, as there were more than a thousand engineers involved.
A now defunct airline, Pan Am, had pressed Boeing to come up with an airliner that could carry 400 passengers. As Pan Am was an important customer, Boeing took this request seriously. Sutter took the position overseeing...more
Sutter wrote the book after retiring and it is a great perspective on aerospace history as well as the issues in complex design projects with large teams of talented people. I'd highly recommend the book for those planning to visit Boeing's Everett factory, as it has pictures showing the facility in its early days. Tod ...more
This is an easy and enlightening read fo ...more
It acts as a partial autobiography for Joe Sutter, the head of engineering for the Boeing 747 program in the 1960s. Sutter paints a nice picture of a man who had a dream early in life and progressed efficiently in his life to realize it. His story also gives a nice, but brief, overview of the surprisingly accelerated evolution of ...more
What was separately surpri ...more
But the 747's development is also a source of many a fascinating story, both large in scale and small, sometimes political, sometimes personal. And perhaps surprisingly, Sutter proves to ...more
Joe Sutter was the Project lead at Boeing for the 747 airplane development program and his team created the most successful and versatile commercial Jet in aviation history, our beloved "Jumbo Jet".
A must read for every enthusiast. ...more