World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Joe Sutter

Article Id: WHEBN0008898956
Reproduction Date:

Title: Joe Sutter  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Boeing Dreamlifter, Boeing 747, JALways, Boeing 707, March 21
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Joe Sutter

Joe Sutter
Joe Sutter
Born (1921-03-21) 21 March 1921
Seattle, Washington
Education Aeronautical engineering
Alma mater University of Washington
Employer Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Known for Chief engineer for the development of the Boeing 747
Notable work(s) 747: Creating the World's First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation
Spouse(s) Nancy French [1]
Children Gabrielle, Jonathan, Adrienne
Parents Franc Suhadolc (father), Rosa (mother)
Awards United States Medal of Technology (1985)
Daniel Guggenheim Medal (1990)
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Aircraft Award
Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy[2]

Joseph F. "Joe" Sutter (born March 21, 1921 in Seattle, Washington) is a former engineer for the Boeing Airplane Company and manager of the design team for the Boeing 747 under Malcolm T. Stamper, the head of the 747 project.[3] Smithsonian Air and Space Magazine has described Sutter as "The father of the 747".[4]

Early life

Sutter was born in Seattle, Washington and grew up in the vicinity of Boeing's Seattle plant. He is of Slovenian descent — his father, Franc Suhadolc (1879–1945) from Dobrova, Slovenia, came to America because of gold fever. Sutter attended the University of Washington and graduated with a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering in 1943.[5]


In 1940, Sutter took a summer job at Boeing Plant 2 while studying aeronautical engineering at the University of Washington. He eventually ended up becoming the "father of the 747".[6] Aside from his work at Boeing, Sutter served the destroyer escort USS Edward H. Allen (DE-531) in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Later life

Sutter served on the Rogers Commission, investigating the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. He was also selected as a recipient of The International Air Cargo Association's 2002 Hall of Fame Award and is now an engineering sales consultant.[7][8] As of July 2010, he is a member of the Boeing Senior Advisory Group which is studying a clean sheet replacement of the Boeing 737 or to re-engine the current design.[9] For decades, he has resided in West Seattle. In 2011, on his 90th birthday, Boeing's 40-87 building in Everett, WA, the main engineering building for Boeing Commercial Airplanes division, was renamed the Joe Sutter building.


Aviation author and historian Jay Spenser worked closely with Sutter for 18 months to write his autobiography, entitled 747: Creating the World's First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation (ISBN 0-06-088241-7). It was published by Smithsonian Books/HarperCollins as a hardcover in 2006 and as a paperback in 2007. This book tells of Sutter's childhood and describes his life and 40-year career at Boeing.

The book details Sutter's tenure as chief engineer of the development of the 747 and elaborates on its design, manufacturing, testing, certification, and delivery to the world's airlines. The book also describes subsequent models of the 747 and the two major-derivative updates to the type, the 747-400 of 1989, and the 747-8.[10]


For his contributions to the development of commercial jet aircraft, he was awarded the United States Medal of Technology in 1985.[11]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Seattle times article
  4. ^
  5. ^ Ronald Reagan Presidential Library: Appointment of Joseph F. Sutter as a Member of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident
  6. ^ Tibbits, George (September 14, 2010). "Boeing tearing down plant 2, factory where Seattle became a high tech town".  
  7. ^ TIACA profile
  8. ^ An engineer's perspective on the air transportation industry
  9. ^ 737 replacement timing depends on engines
  10. ^ Sutter, Joe and Spenser, Jay. 747: Creating the World's First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation, University of Washington Press, 2006. ISBN 0-06-088241-7.
  11. ^ US Government list: The National Medal Of Technology Recipients

External links

  • Related reading
  • Picture
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.