By Jay Spenser, Joe Sutter
747 is the exciting tale in the back of "the Queen of the Skies"—the Boeing 747—as advised via Joe Sutter, probably the most celebrated engineers of the 20th century, who spearheaded its layout and building. Sutter's shiny narrative takes us again to a time while American expertise was once state-of-the-art and jet shuttle was once nonetheless glamorous and new. With wit and heat, he supplies an insider's experience of the bigger than life-size personalities—and the tensions—in the aeronautical global.
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Extra info for 747: Creating the World's First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation
Practice ground attack sorties were also undertaken, firing into the mudflats along the Thames estuary. Due to the clean lines of the Meteor I and lack of propeller drag, the relatively steep ‘Spitfire-type’ approach had to be quickly abandoned as speed built up rapidly. As the Meteor I did not have airbrakes, a much shallower approach had to be made, but this too caused problems, as there was a distinct danger of being hit by debris thrown up into the air. An early modification that had to be fitted to the Meteor’s gun-firing circuits came about as a result of tragedy, as the late Mike Cooper recalled in his book Meteor Age: Flying Officer McKenzie was taxying towards the dispersal after completing a Diver patrol.
I had no choice but to unstrap, climb down (avoiding the air intakes) unplug the lead from the starter socket, secure the cover and remove the wheel chocks. Otherwise the return flight was uneventful. On 18 April my aircraft was damaged on take-off. So far as I was concerned everything was normal, but after I retracted the wheels the aircraft settled back onto the runway again, sliding along on the two engine nacelles. The runway was quite short and the pine woods at the far end looked awfully close.
At 450 mph IAS at 6,000 ft, the ailerons appeared to lighten off and to be overbalanced over small movements. Lightening of the ailerons was also encountered at high altitude on the Meteor I. A directional oscillation was noted during dives in bumpy air, the amplitude increasing slightly with speed. It was also discovered that if a directional oscillation was deliberately induced at 25,000 ft where the atmosphere was usually smooth, the damping characteristics were worse than at low altitudes, in that the yawing tending to continue longer.
747: Creating the World's First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation by Jay Spenser, Joe Sutter