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.
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.
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.
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.