Type: History
Pages: 11 | Words: 3028
Reading Time: 13 Minutes

Joe Sutter’ s book 747, has a link to the development of the aviation history. In 1960s and 1970s, Sutter headed a team, which designed and developed the 747 Jumbo Jet at Boeing. He is best known for leading the design team of the largest commercial airline. He co-authored the book with Jay Spencer in 2006. The book describes the development of Jumbo Jet 747, which has been in existence for a long period of time. Currently, it is the second largest commercial airliner in the aviation industry. Sutter was born in Seattle in 1921 and developed a lot of interest in aviation. He states that his peers all wanted to fly airplanes, but his desire was to design them. His dream was to design flying machines which would carry passengers in safety and comfort to different regions of the world. After the Second World War, the author states that he participated in the design of Boeing’s pioneering 707 and other early airplanes.1

In 1946, Sutter joined Boeing as a specialist in aerodynamics and also worked on other products, such as Boeing 377, 702, 727, as well as 737. Later, the author was assigned the role of chief project engineer of the new Boeing 747 project. This was a milestone in the development of the aviation history, since it championed the twin-aisle Widebody concept. The author also contributed to other Boeing’s developments. In the book, Sutter provides a quick description of his early life, starting from his childhood to his life in marriage. He was married to Nancy and had three children. Sutter also introduces the reader to his life in the military, which he joined as a young man. In the military, he was on a destroyer, which was involved in various adventures, but later, he found his way to Boeing after completing his studies at the University of Washington. In his book, Sutter is portrayed as a man, who had been a witness to the developments in the aviation history at various levels.2 However, his co-author, Jay Spencer assisted him in shifting his talent in engineering and releasing just a small story of his career and achievements in the aviation industry on a more personal level. This is an interesting book to read, since it elaborates on how Boing and Sutter collaborated after the Second World War. In addition, the book provides an insight on Boeing, Douglas, as well as Lockheed, who battled for the scraps of the commercial aviation and military markets. Furthermore, the book introduces the audience to the changes, which were encountered in the consumer market, along with the contribution of new technologies.

Sutter is considered a hero who assisted in the development of the aviation history, consequently, saving the world billions of dollars on ordinary commuters. The book describes the contribution of the Jumbo jet in the development of the aviation industry after four decades, and it has been regarded as a unique and radical design. Others consider the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet as beautiful and most importantly a highly efficient person as well as cargo mover.

According to Sutter and Spenser, the best airplane is merely the expression of human ideas and creativity.3 Those, who inspired him, included his team members, whom he worked with, since he claims that he has been truly fortunate to interact and work with people from all walks of life, whose creativity, energy, as well as vision vastly assisted in the creation of an ultra reliable and efficient commercial airplane and an aviation system, which benefits the world of travelers today.

The Sutter’s book explains how the swept wing design improved the fuel efficiency and performance of the airline. The author describes how this was possible through mathematical concepts, but in a manner, which may attract lay readers, who may find the subject challenging. However, the general layout of the book was written for the engineers as the targeted audience, since Sutter went into a greater detail when describing the differences that exist between the propeller and the jet powered airplanes. The book also describes how the Britons, French and Russians made efforts to design and develop a supersonic aircraft. This led to the conception of Concord, after Boing bowed out. The book explains that Boing 747 was a creation of Sutter, which emerged as an afterthought to the failed Supersonic project.4

Due to the book, the readers are able to understand the developments, which had been initiated in the aviation history. Sutter demonstrates into further details how the Jumbo jet was conceived, as well as the challenges, such as the production delays, which were experienced and caused by the inadequate staffing. Thus, the author introduces the readers to the infighting and success, which followed thereafter. The book also provides details of the developments of Boeing’s other products, such as the 727 and 737, and many discoveries, which have been found after the development of 747.

This is a highly interesting book, since the author is being rather honest in his explanation. He also explains how he met Charles Londerberg, who defined the 747 as one of the greatest airliners in the development of the aviation history. In order to make the book easy to comprehend, Sutter has used plenty of images and some diagrams of the Jumbo jet, as well as images of other aircrafts. This is a major success, since the pictures are easy to understand, as they include displays of wings coupled with other apparatus, which are associated with the design and development of the airplane.

The author argues that much has been written about the development of 747, which was developed by Boeing in 1960s, and has achieved tremendous developments in various configurations in the aviation industry. The author argues that 747 has a unique majesty, and it is cherished by its clients and staff. However, the advantages, which are associated with the airline is attributed to the benefits it presents to its clients. Most of the world’s commodities that are shipped by air fly aboard 747 freighters.5

Furthermore, the author claims that 747 has been in production for more than thirty years. The 747 family arose from the 747-400, which was an improved version that was introduced in late 1980s. The author’s main contribution in the development of 747 began in the 1960s, when Sutter led the engineering team, which designed and created the 747. The author states that he was among the pioneering team, which formed part of the team that participated in the industrial effort from its inception. The author explains that he took part in the definition, design, testing, certification, as well as debut of the project. The 1960s were a historic period in the developments in the aviation industry and the entire US history, because it was a time of creativity and innovation that led man to land on the Moon, and the same attitude inspired the development of 747.

The development of 747 is a source of vital information on the developments experienced in the aviation industry. Today, the airline connects various regions of the world, hence making Boeing achieve its goal in the design of this airplane. Sutter posits that the success of the project is based on the traditions of product excellence, technical innovation and effective leadership, which continues to define Boeing in today’s commercial aviation industry. The plane has transformed the commercial aviation because of its convenience. Its original design of the Jumbo Jet was intended to ship freight and cargo aircraft; however, this goal changed after gaining popularity in the market. This led to the creation of many 747 airplanes; and, later, the company began to design large airplanes with the capacity to handle large freight, since it was designed with a hydraulic system, which enabled it to fly.

In the book, Sutter clearly indicated that he was working with a dynamic team, which managed to develop the 747 successfully. The author explained that it were the developments of the advancements in technology that contributed towards the airplane being easily handled by the pilots. Hence, many commuters around the world can use the services provided by the 747 Jumbo Jet in order to manage their business to international markets, since Boing has developed a product, which has a high demand in the commercial aviation market.

Sutter explained that the 747 Jumbo Jet is the first twin-aisle widebody airplane, which has vastly contributed towards essential changes and revolutionized both the passenger travel and shipment of cargo around the world. Sutter observed that the Jumbo Jet has spawned a host of variants and derivatives, making it to be able to be customized for specific purposes, and managed to remain in the production of commercial airplanes today. Through this book, Sutter has managed to provide an excellent exploration into the developments, which have been experienced in the aviation history. The author has made readers to understand that the story of 747 Jumbo Jet is the central focus of his book. In addition, the book is captivating to a considerable degree, since the author has included his childhood stories, which introduces the audience to his career perspective and demonstrates his early interest in aviation engineering.

In the first chapters of the book, Sutter explains that he was raised in Seattle, at a close proximity to the Boeing’s airfields. In addition, the author explains that since he was a young boy, he has developed a love towards aviation as he observed the latest innovations and developments in the design of airplanes, experiencing the challenges, both successful and without any success, when an airplane was taking off or landing. Some of these occurrences took place literally on his doorstep, with some airplanes even crashing. The other interesting aspect of the Sutters’s book is that he introduces the readers to his experience and contribution to the Second World War, and his contribution as a young engineer on different jets, which were designed and created by Boeing, prior to the development of 747. Some of the jets, in terms of which he participated in designing, include the 707 and the 726.

Sutter also explains that due to his early experiences in the development of jets, he provided an insight on some of the critical lessons he had learnt in leadership and management skills,as well as how to overcome some of the challenges experienced in the aviation industry. In the book, Sutter explains that he was capable to manage some of the most daunting tasks of describing some of the difficult and technical challenges, which occurred in the industry, such as language barrier, which made it difficult to explain some of the technical issues in the design of airplanes. However, Sutter managed to perform well in narrating his experience on the specific development of 747, recounting all the aspects involved, such as corporate, technical, as well as personal challenges, which he encountered at a personal level. The audience is also made to understand the developments in the history of aviation by the explanations he made on some of the critical issues that came about during the development of the Jumbo Jet.

Some of the highlights which Sutter made in the book include how he settled on a decision to develop a widebody rather than the widely expected double-decker airplane. In addition, Sutter also explained the challenges he experienced in designing one of the largest airplanes in the aviation history, which later emerged to be of the most successful and most complex jets ever designed in the aviation industry. 747 was perceived to be one of the distant third priority jets at Boeing at a period, when the company was facing challenges and was at the brink of bankruptcy.

The readers are introduced to a man, Sutter, who was regarded as a brilliant engineer, together with his team members, who were highly effective. He was the leader of the team and was renowned as a problem solver, when it came to decision making and solving issues.

The book was written when the author was in his eighties. The author has applied a formal engineer style while writing the book . On the other hand, Sutter was assisted by Jay Spenser, who was accredited as a co-author of the book. However, the book would have been more appealing to the audience, in case it benefited from further editing in terms of adding more flavor to the storytelling, which was seen as a weakness of Sutter. The other advantage of editing the book would have been avoiding some of the endless repetition, which rendered the book boring at some points.

In the book, Sutter has made the story of 747 to be filled with other secondary characters, such as the head of Boeing and the Pan African Airlines, in addition to tense events, which are depicted in most sections of the book adding some kind of dryness to the narrative, which can only be understood by aviation engineers.

747 includes stories, which are an illustration of numerous aviation principles, which are demonstrated in the Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers, as well as the coming together of experiences which made Sutter to be placed at the top leadership of the Jumbo jet 747 program. All these episodes, ranging from the time he was born and the place of his birth to his experiences he encountered at the earliest Boeing Jet airliners contributed to his success after being made to be in charge of a significant achievement in the developments experienced in the aviation industry. In the book, readers are made to understand that Sutter was behind the success of the 747, an airplane, which had a positive impact on the lives of many people, including businessmen all over the world.

The book is fascinating to a considerable degree, since it enables readers to find an insight into the mindset of the space program, whereas it explains all aspects of the aviation engineering. In addition, it is even more intriguing to access an endorsement blurb by Neil Amstrong, focusing on Boeing’s employees memoir. However, 747 has managed to deliver both , due to the ratified position after being selected by the Reagan administration to serve alongside others, such as Armstrong and other heavyweights in the aviation history, in terms of serving for the Reagans’s administration commission in investigating the causes of the Challenger’s explosion.

In the aviation history, Sutter emerged as the Father of the 747 due to his massive contribution as the chief engineer of the historic project. Sutter has made his design from the ground, and it was considered the first airplane with no military progenitor. The book explains that Sutter’s monumental efforts were not limited to exceptional aviation engineering quandaries. However, it is evident that the success and the impacts of the Jumbo Jet were not considered the next big thing at Boeing, even in the area, where technology was at the center of focus.

The description of the 747 made people to view it as an interim conventional airline. This jet made Boeing a name, since it was so certain of the supersonic air transport. 747 is a thrilling book, which can be read just in a similar way, like a series of memos, which are dictated by a reflective management for transcription. Sutter’s co-author, Spencer aligned all the rough spots in the book, since it seems that Sutter was in a position of smooth wings in his entire recollections. Sutter and Spenser stated that Jack Steiner shared the patent on the 737 for the adoption of a wide cabin and changes made in the engine.6 These are significant developments in the aviation history, which were considered as novel ideas for a short-haul twin jet. The author states that they received some standard payments from Boeing for the patent. These occurrences delighted the author as he explains that it was a satisfying moment. In addition, Sutter argues that while aviation industry is not a sector that an investor may derive a lot of income, working with Boeing was quite satisfying to him, because the company values the inventiveness, as well as independent way of thinking.

Sutter observed that his attitude was not very hopeful, when he reconsidered the 747 project. The author claimed that it appeared to him that what his design team achieved had never been recognized nor fully understood or appreciated within the company. Thus, the book has a massive contribution to the history of the aviation, without which very little could have been achieved. In the book, the reader understands that Sutter was a lifelong employee of Boeing. This is a company with a deep rooted culture of a safe design policy, embracing a principal tenet of the foundation, which integrates the idea of “˜no single failure mode’. In the book, Sutter posits that airplanes shall be created in such a way that minimizes an occurrence of a catastrophe. The other key tenet is the notion of zero tolerance of uninspectable limited-life parts. According to Sutter and Spenser, if parts are not accessible, and an airplane cannot obtain it by ordering it, then it should be designed to stay for the entire life span of the airplane.7

In the book, Sutter explains that the safe design philosophy contributed to the redundancy. For instance, the Jumbo Jet was designed with four separate and independent hydraulic systems, which are in contrast to what other airliners have. Sutter headed the team, which designed 747 and gave it four separate main landing gear posts. Moreover, the Jumbo Jet was designed with inboard and outboard ailerons, upper and lower rudders, in addition to three flap parts, which were all intended to increase its flight control safety through the redundancy.

The book also states that Boeing is the main savior of NASA and the Moon project. Sutter explained that after the launch of pad fire, NASA turned to Boeing for assistance. The author states that the U.S space agency had faced a major challenge because of the lost control in the management of the Moon project.

In conclusion, the book is an outstanding one as it shows the significance of airplane design, and how it relates to the development of the aviation history with the main aim of improving the air travel, which is affordable to most people, as well as making passengers and cargo to be transported at a reasonable cost.

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