Boeing Engineer Jim Hutton was honored yesterday by the Royal Aeronautical Society for his role in leading the design and development of a new automatic over-wing exit door that can be opened more rapidly in case of an emergency on the ground. The new door is standard on Next-Generation 737s. Hutton received the Society's B.W.O. Townshend Award in ceremonies in London, England. "I'm very honored to receive this recognition. It was a team accomplishment and everyone involved shares in this award. It's just one example of the innovative and creative solutions we come up with every day at Boeing," Hutton said.
Operation of the automatic over-wing exit is fully intuitive. Upon opening, it automatically opens outward and swings up, out of the way of passengers. The new design allowed Boeing to achieve certification from the Joint Aviation Authority for maximum passenger capacities for the Next-Generation 737.
Next-Generation 737 is the newest, most advanced design technology airplane in its market segment today. It is the fastest-selling jetliner of all time, experiencing vigorous sales in 2000.
The Royal Aeronautical Society, a worldwide organization based in the United Kingdom, presents the B.W.O. Townshend Award to individuals for their work on a paper or device contributing to the escape and survival from an aircraft and search and rescue at sea. It is among several "Specialist Awards" the Society presents annually to recognize those whose work has led to advances in specialist disciplines in the aerospace industry.
Currently, Hutton serves as project manager for a team developing the 737-700C, a freighter version of the Next-Generation 737. Hutton is a 35-year Boeing employee. He worked on the original Boeing 737 program, the national super sonic transport, the 737/757 Product Development Group, and on various military projects.