Hélène Boucher

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Hélène Boucher as a pilot

Hélène Boucher, born 23 May 1908 in Paris; died 30 November 1934 in Guyancourt near Versailles, France, was a French pilot.


In 1934 she flew the speed record over 100 km (485 km/h on average) and thus became the "quickest woman of the world". She held the altitude record with 5,200 metres and eight other world records. She held this record for 32 years.


Boucher was pupil of Michel Detroyat.

The young stunt pilot became one of the most popular attractions on flight shows in France and abroad. The company Renault took her temporarily under contract in order to promote the new Viva Grand Sport. She died at an early age of 26 on a test flight near Versailles when the machine crashed into the woods of Guyancourt. She was the first woman to have her funeral at Les Invalides. She was buried in Yermenonville cemetery. The press and others claimed Detroyat to be responsible for her death, spurring a "young, innocent girl" to such a "dangerous sport". She was posthumously made a knight of the Légion d'honneur.


  • Antoine Rédier: Hélène Boucher, jeune fille de France, Flammarion in 1935 with a preface of general Denain (aviation minister)

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