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31 Aug 2016 - Joseph Sutter designer.of the 737 dies at 95

The father of the 737, Joe Sutter, has died today at the age of 95. Although best remembered for the 747 he said “I am more fond of the 737. That plane was a big accomplishment that is still going strong.”

Joe designed the 737 with Jack Steiner, a project which began in November 1964
His biggest input was in the overall design, it was Joe that came up with the idea of the under-wing podded engines.

Sitting at his desk one day, Sutter took some scissors and cut up a drawing of the initial design for the 737 which also had a T-tail with aft mounted engines. He began moving the engines around to find a better layout. But putting the engines on struts under the wing like the 707 would block boarding access to the main cabin door on the shorter fuselage of the 737.

“I slid the cut-out tight under the wing and felt a sudden flash of excitement. Instead of mounting the engines away from the wing on struts, why not mount them hard against the underside of the wing itself? I felt if you put the nacelle barrels right underneath the wings, and worked the air inlet and exhaust exit properly, you wouldn’t have this adverse drag impact.”

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*** Updated 14 Nov 2021 ***

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The under-wing podded engines of the 737-1/200

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