This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The Boeing 747 — the “Jumbo Jet” or “Queen of the Skies” — is one of the most profound and innovative aviation products of all time. Its distinctive look, capabilities and sheer size has changed the world of aviation and long-haul travel forever. Yesterday, news broke that the engineer who created the beloved Boeing 747 in the 1960s, Joe Sutter, has died at the age of 95.
Boeing released a statement remembering the “Father of the 747,” which reads:
Joe led the engineering team that developed the 747 in the mid-1960s, opening up affordable international travel and helping connect the world. His team, along with thousands of other Boeing employees involved in the project, became known as the Incredibles for producing what was then the world’s largest airplane in record time — 29 months from conception to rollout. It remains a staggering achievement and a testament to Joe’s ‘incredible’ determination.
Sutter’s staple on the aviation industry is long-lasting, not just for the 747, but he also helped in engineering the Dash 80, the 707 and the 737, as well as the 757 and the 767 in the 1980s. Sutter retired from Boeing as executive vice president in 1986 at 65 years old. At the time, he was in charge of Boeing’s airplane engineering and product development in the commercial side of the company. Even following retirement, Sutter stayed involved with Boeing into his 90s, stopping by the company’s Seattle office regularly.
The 747 took its first flight on February 9, 1969 and was introduced with Pan American World Airways on January 22, 1970. Through July 2016, there have been 1,523 deliveries of the 747, with 1,543 ordered, and JAL has taken delivery of the most 747s (108). Toward the latter part of his life, news had been circulating about the future of the 747. In March, United announced that it will retire its entire 747 fleet by 2018, and just last month, Boeing announced that it was considering ending production of its 747.
Sutter will be missed by all, and his legacy will live on in the skies forever.
What’s your favorite memory of the 747?
Featured image courtesy of Boeing.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards