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        Air Travel for the Masses: The 747

        Learn about the origins of the Boeing 747, at the time the largest and most complex passenger aircraft ever built, and the engineer who built it, in this video from WGBH and The Documentary Group. Responding to a challenge set by Juan Trippe, founder of Pan American World Airways, Boeing engineer Joe Sutter led a program to develop a passenger jet that would seat twice as many passengers as any other airplane at the time could carry. Sutter’s team designed a widebody plane that had two aisles instead of one. To accommodate a freight-loading door at the front of the plane, the cockpit was positioned above the nose, giving the 747 its characteristic hump. Developed in just 39 months, the 747 flew for the first time on February 9, 1969. This resource is part of the Aerospace Engineering collection.

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