Meet The 1st Pilot & Engineer Of The 747 At Museum Of Flight Saturday

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by Mark Neuman

Tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 3rd) is your chance to attend a panel discussion with the first pilot of the Boeing 747, Brien Wygle, and the plane’s chief engineer, Joseph Sutter.

Sutter has been called “the father of the 747.”

The panel discussion, which starts at 2pm, will be in the William M. Allen Theater and is free with paid admission to the Museum.

A limited number of randomly chosen audience members will have the rare opportunity to tour the Museum’s 747 prototype – usually closed to the public – after the program.

This aircraft was the first 747 ever built – registration number 001. It first flew on February 9, 1969 over western Washington.

The growing worldwide demand for air travel during the 1960s led to the development of the 747, the first “Jumbo Jet.”

Merely recalling the early days of the 747 program “brings sweat to the palms of my hands,” Boeing’s then-president, William Allen, said years after the giant aircraft had been developed.

Aircraft Details of the first 747:

  • Manufacturer: The Boeing Company
  • Model: 747-121
  • Year: 1969
  • Power Plant: Four Pratt & Whitney JT9D, 43,500 lbs. thrust each
  • Registration: N747001
  • Serial Number: 20235
  • Length: 231ft
  • Height: 63ft
  • Span: 196ft
  • Wing Area: 5,500ft
  • Empty Weight: 370,816lbs
  • Gross Weight: 735,000lbs
  • Cruise Speed: 640mph
  • Range: 6,000 miles

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle; Exit #158 off I-5 (on Boeing Field between downtown Seattle and SeaTac Airport).

The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $13 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for active military, $7.50 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5.

For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720, or visit

(Photos courtesy The Museum of Flight. All rights reserved.)

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