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18 comments

Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

Posted August 31, 2016 2:15 PM by wagman262

Joe Sutter, chief engineer for the Boeing-747, died August 30. Here's an article remembering some of his lifetime achievements. What's your favorite airplane and why?

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#1

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

08/31/2016 2:53 PM

The P-51 Mustang.

You shouldn't have to ask why.

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#2

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

08/31/2016 11:22 PM

SR 71 Blackbird.

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#3

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/01/2016 3:37 AM

Just one? Well..... I guess the shortlist would be the 747, because the upper cabin is brilliant; the Avro Vulcan, just an awesome, awesome thing to watch; the EE Lightning for the sheer utter inspired madness of two massive engines with a fuel tank strapped on & a pair of stick wings; the Sunderland flying boat, too gorgeous; the Canberra, frankly not sure why but it has 'something'; Saab Viggen, because who can resist a double delta? and (very weirdly) the Fokker 50, in which I spent way too many hours pottering over the countryside at what appeared to be about 3 knots, and usually cold. A near-religious experience flying in those.

Nope. Can't choose.

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#4

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/01/2016 7:14 AM

Can't pick one.

P51 Mustang
F4 Phantom
SR71 Blackbird
A10 Warthog

Why? To borrow a phrase from Harley Davidson people, "If you have to ask you won't understand".

About a year ago a C5 took off from our local air base and flew DIRECTLY overhead at about 200 feet with engines at full power. The APU was running with that unbelievable high pitch scream that they make. Our resident tobacco-chewing, airboat-driving, steroid-chomping, macho he-man jumped under the welding table for protection. I ran out the high bay door to get a good look because I thought it was really cool. Why? Same reason as above.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/01/2016 7:18 AM

Good stuff! P-51 for sure. I'm a C-47/DC-3 fan. Beautiful plane and terrific sound.

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#6

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/01/2016 8:39 AM

This is no good.... no-one's posted an aircraft you can argue about yet.

Not sure the Mustang is my absolute favourite but it's got to be right up there in any discussion, can't argue with that, it's a lovely aircraft. Blackbird, yep, an inspired machine. Oh! The Warthog! I forgot about the Warthog that's a superb piece of engineering, kudos to BruceFlorida, add that to my (expanding) list too.

OK. If someone offered you the choice of any /one/ of the aircraft listed in the discussion, for free, which one would you pick?

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#9
In reply to #6

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/01/2016 11:30 AM

de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Canada_DHC-2_Beaver

In a 40MPH headwind you can land it rolling backward. And you have to make it come down! Damn thing seems to defy gravity.

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#7

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/01/2016 9:36 AM

The most awesome sight in aviation is seeing a 747 or an equally beautiful aircraft coasting in on its glide towards landing.

Seeing several hundred tons of metal literally just floating in the air on its way to touchdown at little more than walking pace (for a plane that is) never fails to please and amaze me.

Thank you for that, Joe Sutter.

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#8

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/01/2016 10:07 AM

There's also the grandfather of the fleet, the B-52 Stratofortress.

It's almost as old as I am.

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#10

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/01/2016 12:32 PM

The CF-101B Voodoo... awesome aircraft.

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#11

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/01/2016 2:52 PM

My personal favorites military aircraft for their engineering are these:

  • B-24 Liberator mass production at its finest and scariest
  • De Havilland Mosquito you have to admire the engineering of an all wood airframe handling two Merlin engines
  • SR 71 engineering on the cutting edge for so long says it all
  • P-38 Lightning Counter-rotating propellers and engines to eliminate torque in flight
  • A-10 Is it possible to get more ordinance in one attack aircraft?
  • F-104 Starfighter Altitude and speed world records at the same time. Besides it just looks cool.

Here are a few of the Commercial aircraft that I love the engineering:

  • Boeing 747 (read the article)
  • Concorde SST Super-sonic passenger travel, neeed I say more
  • Piper & Beechcraft Without them the private aircraft market...
  • Burt Rutan
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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/01/2016 3:32 PM

The Mosquito...Wow! What a beautiful piece of work! I had forgotten about that one.

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#13

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/02/2016 11:05 PM

I'd have to say the P-51D if I was limited to only one choice. Somehow there's just something about it's look that make it attractive, as well as it's performance.

Surprised that nobody mentioned the Spitfire. that was a beautiful looking aircraft as well.

Lyn's comment about the B-52 is on the mark as well. I'd say it is the aeronautical statement of "Age before beauty."

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#14

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/03/2016 4:03 AM

Ticks for ALL the aircraft mentioned.

My personal favourite is the Beechcraft Baron that carried my father's name
for his contribution to the mining and pastoral industries around Kalgoorlie,
Western Australia, with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. It was their first twin
after the officials banned another classic, the single engined Cessna 182 that
could not fly legally at night, but did once.

My father then set about to trade in the single with a twin ... the Baron.
The name of the Cessna was aboriginal for I save life ...or WANKAROOKU
(No offence to kangaroos!) The old boy insisted that the new plane should
have a more 'understandable name. He was surprised when they
pulled back the flag ... and there was his name. (He died a year later).

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#15

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/03/2016 6:58 AM

So many great aircraft, so little time to list them all. Kudos to all those a/c listed by others, Some great choices!

I'd rather break down my favorites by era, staring with WWII.

WWII: The North American P-51D, obviously. Lockheed P-38 Lightning is runner-up.

Korean War and the 1950's: North American F-86 Sabre. Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, another of Kelly Johnson's brilliant designs!

Vietnam War: McDonnell-Douglas F-4E Phantom II, and Republic Aviation F-105D or G Wild Weasel. I included the F-105 because my late Uncle was a Weasel driver. His name is on the Vietnam Wall in DC. The SR-71/A-11/YF-12A for it's beauty and technical brilliance. The Boeing B-52 just for it's resilience, ruggedness, longevity, and that it can do any number of mission types, including ARC LIGHT strikes. Once you have seen that at night, you'll never forget it...the ground and air shook. Mustn't forget North American XB-70 Valkerie!!!! What an engineering feat, w/o equal!

1970's until the end of the Cold War: McDonnell F-15, the General Dynamics F-16, and the General Dynamics FB-111A SAC-Vark and the rest of the F-111 (TFX) Aardvark family. The Fairchild/Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II (aka, Warthog) for it's sheer ruggedness and for the fact that it saved my Troop's and my bacon during DS. Also, I cannot forget the Panavia Tornado.....it just looks like it means "business" and is a snarly beastie! The B-1B Lancer, for it's speed, beauty and deadliness as a low level strategic bomber. Lockheed C-5A/B Galaxy. JUST MASSIVE! Nothing like it being invited up to the cockpit to witness a nighttime air refueling from a KC-10A Extender over the Med. Sea, on my way home from S.A. June '91!!!!!

Post Cold War: Lockheed F-22A Raptor, hands down. Nothing in the sky can touch it!

The Boeing 747 for civilian airliners!

I could go on and on, but time limits me from doing so, plus I need another mug of hot Joe this morning and answer a ton of emails!

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#16

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/06/2016 11:25 AM

The first home built aircraft. 8 HP.

The Wright Flyer, the one that finally got things off the ground.

(who were those guys?)

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#17

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/07/2016 10:09 AM

Cessna 172 -- it's what I learned to fly in!

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Remember Joe Sutter by Naming Your Favorite Aircraft!

09/07/2016 10:21 AM

Me too. First flew one when I was 12.

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