The man, better known as the "Father" of Boeing's iconic B747, has died. Joe Sutter was the head engineer in developing the world's original jumbo jet in the 1960s, died at the age of 95.
Joe Sutter was called "one of the giants of aerospace" by Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner.
"His team, along with thousands of other Boeing employees involved in the project, became known as the Incredibles for producing what was then the world's largest airplane in record time -- 29 months from conception to rollout," Conner said. "It remains a staggering achievement."
Boeing B747 - also called "the queen of skies" - was credited with opening up affordable international travel and helping connect the world. The aircraft was first released in 1970, and more than 1,500 Boeing B747 has now been delivered. It was designed to fit oversized cargos, which couldn't fit in any existing aircrafts at that time. So, B747 became a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo aircraft.
Joe Sutter, the father of Boeing 747, was also involved in other major Boeing projects like the Dash 80, B707 and the B737 according to the company. But Boeing B747 was the gigantic project that secured his place in history of Boeings. After retiring, he continued to work as a consultant to Boeing. "By then, his hair was white and he moved a little slower, but he always had a twinkle in his eye, a sharp mind and an unwavering devotion to aerospace innovation," Conner said.
Sutter's death comes at an uncertain time for the Boeing 747's future. Boeing announced last month that they could stop producing jets if orders don't pick up, because interest in B747 has decreased in recent years as airlines tend to choose smaller, two-engined aircraft in order to save on fuel costs. The production of Boeing B747 will be reduced from 12 per month to just 6 aircrafts starting from September.