21 March 1921 |
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Washington, B.S. 1943|
|Employer||Boeing Commercial Airplanes|
|Known for||Chief engineer for the development of the Boeing 747|
|Notable work||747: Creating the World's First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation|
|Spouse(s)||Nancy French |
|Children||Gabrielle, Jonathan, Adrienne|
|Parent(s)||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
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. Smithsonian Air and Space Magazine has described Sutter as "The father of the 747".
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.
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". Aside from his work at Boeing, Sutter served as a junior officer aboard the destroyer escort USS Edward H. Allen (DE-531) in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
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. 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. 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.
- Seattle times article
- Ronald Reagan Presidential Library: Appointment of Joseph F. Sutter as a Member of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident
- Tibbits, George (September 14, 2010). "Boeing tearing down plant 2, factory where Seattle became a high tech town". Associated Press, reprinted by FoxNews.com. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- TIACA profile
- An engineer's perspective on the air transportation industry
- 737 replacement timing depends on engines
- 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.
- US Government list: The National Medal Of Technology Recipients