Remembering Joe

Today’s passing of the legendary Joe Sutter has touched the entire aviation world. As we look back on the life of the Father of the 747, I wanted to share some of my personal thoughts.

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Here’s Joe posing next to the very first 747, named the “City of Everett.”

I got to know Joe very well during my time on the 747-8 program. His love for the airplane was unsurpassed, but he also cherished the people around him. He was a legend— but he never let it go to his head.

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The father of the 747 poses next to Lufthansa’s new 747-8 in May 2012.

We often joked that Joe never really retired from Boeing. While he was an ambassador for the company, you may be surprised to know that he still came into the office on a regular basis. In what would be one of my last conversations with him just a few weeks ago, we had a long discussion about product strategy.

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Here’s a picture of me and Joe at the delivery ceremony of the first 787 in September of 2011.

Joe’s legacy lives on in the countless people he inspired here at Boeing. He was a true Incredible. I’ll miss his stories, his wit and his vision. But most of all, I’ll miss the man.

One for the record books

The 777X hasn’t even started production, but it’s already helping set new records. A 3D printed wing trim tool for the airplane, developed by Boeing and researchers at the Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee, now holds the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title of the largest solid 3D printed item.

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Official measurement of the 3D printed trim tool co-developed by Oak Ridge National Lab and Boeing.

The lower cost trim tool was printed in only 30 hours using carbon fiber and ABS thermoplastic composite materials. The tool will be used to secure the 777X’s composite wing skin for drilling and machining before assembly.

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At 17.5 feet long, 5.5 feet wide and 1.5 feet tall, the 3D printed structure is comparable in length to a large sport utility vehicle and weighs about 1,650 pounds.

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Coming soon— the 777X itself.

Additively manufactured tools, which save energy, time, labor and production cost, are part of Boeing’s strategy to apply 3D printing technology in key production areas.

Thanks to the folks at Oak Ridge for helping us come up with one for the record books.

Freighter flyover

The crowd at the Boeing Classic golf tournament got quite a show on Friday. A 747-8 Freighter for Korean Air did a flyover of the course in Snoqualmie, Washington.

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Wide view of the flyover.

The video below really captures just how spectacular the flyover was.

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More than 300 Boeing employees and retirees volunteered for the annual event, which benefits the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason.

Underwater tribute

I want to give a shout out to our friends at the Seattle Aquarium for coming up with a unique way to celebrate Boeing’s centennial. As you can see in the photo below, they took the tribute underwater into their giant Window on Washington Waters exhibit.

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Inside the giant tank at the Seattle Aquarium.

It has been my pleasure to serve on the aquarium’s board of directors for the past 7 years. The work being done there is both impressive and important. I look forward to our continued partnership.

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Here’s me at the opening of the harbor seal exhibit at the Seattle Aquarium a few years ago.

50 and counting

We talk a lot about the 787 passenger experience. But here’s a stat that shows you just what the 787 means to our airline customers.

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ANA’s 50th 787. All photos by Tim Stake.

ANA took delivery of its 50th 787 today, and relayed this message to media in attendance. Compared to 767, the Dreamliner saves the airline $98 million a year in fuel. That’s an endorsement that speaks directly to any airline’s bottom line.

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ANA also says its passenger surveys show travelers most often mention the calmness of the 787 and its quiet takeoff—as well as the larger windows.

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As the launch customer of the 787, ANA has been with us all the way on what has sometimes been a very long road. We couldn’t be happier to see them take their 50th Dreamliner. Congratulations!

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