• 747

  • Creating the World's First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation
  • By: Joe Sutter
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 07-17-13
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (477 ratings)

Regular price: $24.25

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Publisher's Summary

747 is the thrilling story behind "the Queen of the Skies" - the Boeing 747 - as told by Joe Sutter, one of the most celebrated engineers of the 20th century, who spearheaded its design and construction. Sutter's vivid narrative takes us back to a time when American technology was cutting-edge and jet travel was still glamorous and new. With wit and warmth, he gives an insider's sense of the larger than life-size personalities - and the tensions - in the aeronautical world.

©2006 Joe Sutter (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    295
  • 4 Stars
    141
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    249
  • 4 Stars
    125
  • 3 Stars
    48
  • 2 Stars
    10
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    6

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    292
  • 4 Stars
    109
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    29
  • 2 Stars
    7
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    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

What a beautiful plane

I found this book fascinating but, of course, I love airplanes. I enjoyed reading about all the details about designing and building the 747. I remember when I first saw the Constellation I thought it was one of the most beautiful planes I had seen. When I saw the 747 I knew this one was absolutely the most beautiful. Joe Sutter tells about his youth growing up near Boeing Field and his desire as a child to design planes. He also tells about his summer jobs at Boeing when he was at University of Washington then going into the U.S. Navy in WWII. The majority of the book is about the 747. I found it interesting that Juan Trippe played such a key role in the design of the plane. I had read a few years about the battles between Howard Hughes (TWA) and Juan Trippe (Pan Am) for control of commercial aviation. I wondered why Hughes did not take an active role with the design of the 747 but maybe he was too busy with Hughes Aviation. I noted Sutter frequently credited his wife’s support in helping him succeed at his job. Paul Boehmer did a good job narrating the book. If you are interested in aviation and history you will enjoy this book.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

If you are into Aviation, this is a must read.

I am a pilot, and fascinated by books on aviation. This book held my attention throughout. It is written so that even someone that isn't a pilot can understand the difficulties of designing a complex aircraft like a 747, which is still one of the most successful and popular airliners in the world, and will be for some time to come. Excellent book, by the very person that designed the 747.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story

What a great story about one of my favorite airplanes. Lots of good technical detail without being overly complicated.

In an era where Boeing is having trouble selling the 747-8, I consider myself lucky to have had a chance to fly on one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Queen of the Sky's! With book to match!

One of the best airline books I have ever read, well heard! The details, the information, the history! Truly an awesome book and goes with an awesome aircraft!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story. Narrator was hard to listen to.

What was one of the most memorable moments of 747?

In general, the formation of the engineering team from the leftovers after the SST and other programs had their fill.

Would you be willing to try another one of Paul Boehmer’s performances?

No.

Any additional comments?

It was a good story. As others have mentioned, it's a memoir based around the development of the 747, not a nuts and bolts development story. The narration was horrible. He should be narrating the autobiography of the first robot to dance on Broadway. I almost gave up on the book but found that 1.25x speed smoothed over the bizarre pauses and inflections.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A must for any aviation fan

Even if you've never flown in your life, and couldn't tell a turbine from a turbo prop, I guarantee you can recognize the 747. The first Jumbo Jet is more than a machine. It brought the far flung corners of the world within reach, made air travel affordable to the masses, and weaved its way into the fabric of modern civilization. This book tells the fascinating story of the 747 program, from doodles on a napkin all the way into the 21st century. You'll learn how it came together in the shadow of the SST, and how it nearly bankrupted the company multiple times. You'll get first hand accounts of the fierce battles that were fought between money and science, salesmen and engineers. You'll be amazed by the genius and willpower of the author as he saves the program from collapsing again and again. If I have one complaint, it's the last few chapters lose focus, meandering into and out of topics. Anyone with even a casual interest in aviation will enjoy this, but it will be an unforgettable experience for passionate fans.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Remarkable!

A topic that is endlessly fascinating! How a brand new plane, never conceived of before gets designed, developed, and readied for production! I have had the pleasure of flying on a 747, and it was every bit as remarkable as I had been led to believe! My preferred aircraft, in all fields whenever I travel by air, are always Boeings! And Joe Sutter explains why in this book! Well done, and well read!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Very interesting story about an interesting time

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, this book tells a lot about what was going on in the United States in the late '60s. Everyone should learn about history and how it affects the things that go on these days.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Learning about the childhood experiences of Joe Sutter, and how they set his career in motion.

Which scene was your favorite?

The encounter with the freight train. If his timing had been worse, there would have been no 747 as we know it. That scene demonstrates how random outcomes can be.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, this is too long a story to listen to all at once. The chapters are written so that multiple reading sessions are no prblem.

Any additional comments?

Great book, great airplane, great guy (and his team too.)

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

No disrespect to Joe Sutter. Certainly not putting him or his achievements down but if it weren't for the chapters that spoke of his early life and life after the 747, I don't think there would be enough story to call this a book. The " Other Adventures in Aviation" were quite boring and seemed like he needed to fill the book with more pages. More 747 specifics would have helped.

Narrator was awful, sounded like a robot reading the story. I found a 17 second Subaru car commercial more interesting. the third star is only out of respect for Mr. Sutter, otherwise I rate it a 2 star.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent reading of an interesting story

This book is a very interesting look at the conception, development, and life of one of the most important airliners ever made. It has a lot of interesting stories about individual challenges along the way from design to flight, but by far the most interesting part to me was diving deeper into the story. The thing is, the way the author writes his story comes off sounding like he's maybe exaggerating or embellishing a bit. Nothing over the top, but there's an awful lot of Boeing cheerleading in here. Following up to find out other viewpoints on the story was fascinating.
And that says nothing of the stellar reading of this book! The reader sounds straight out of a 60's movie. His emphasis and phrasing match the book so well, it felt 100% natural. This book is one of the most amazing matches between reader and author that I've ever heard. Highly recommended!