Joe Clark began his revolution of business and commercial aviation in 1991 when he co-founded Seattle-based Aviation Partners, Inc. Aided by a dream team of aerospace profession- als, he developed blended winglets for a Gulfstream II business jet. This significantly reduced the airplane’s aerodynamic drag and improved its efficiency, productivity and performance. The benefits included reduced fuel consumption, increased range, increased speed and climb performance, increased payload, and a reduced carbon footprint.
In 1985, Clark and fellow pilot Clay Lacy used a G-II equipped with his winglets to shatter the world speed record between Los Angeles and Paris.
Clark then applied his patented winglet technology to other types of business jets. He eventually formed Aviation Partners Boeing and developed blended winglets for Boeing airliners and business jets. The stunningly beautiful, cost-effective winglets are now used and desired by airlines all over the world.
Joe Clark’s entrepreneurial spirit, energy, and innovative skills are hallmarks of his leadership and contribute to this remarkable success story.
Clark’s aviation career began in 1965 when he founded Jet Air, a Learjet distributor for Canada and the Pacific Northwest. In 1981 he cofounded Horizon Air, a regional airline that was purchased by Alaska Airlines seven years later. In 1987 he founded Avstar, a worldwide sales system that marketed ex-military aircraft to civilian customers. In 1988, Clark, Lacy, and Bruce McCaw co-founded the Friendship Foundation that used a Boeing 747 to break the around-the-world speed record in less than 37 hours.
A highly qualified 9,000-hour pilot, Clark learned to fly at 19 and now has an airline transport pilot certificate. He is rated to fly turbojet aircraft, helicopters, and a wide variety of warbirds.