Jean Boulet

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Jean Boulet (16 November 1920, Brunoy – 13 February 2011, Aix-en-Provence) was a French aviator. In 1957 Boulet was awarded the Médaille de l'Aéronautique; in 1983 he became one of the founding members of the French Académie de l'air et de l'espace. He died at the age of 90.

History[edit]

Born on 16 November 1920 in Brunoy, near Paris, Jean Boulet was first hired in 1947 by the SNCASE, which would become Sud Aviation and then later the Division Hélicoptères of the Société Nationale Industrielle Aérospatiale. Having been trained in the USA earlier in his life to become a military pilot with the French Air Force, he was one of the first foreign pilots to fly a helicopter in the U.S. Air Force. Over the years he would fast become one of the greatest pioneers in the history of rotorcraft flight testing.[1]

Boulet has set several rotorcraft records[2][3] for distance,[4] altitude[5][6][7] and speed.[8]

On the 21st of June, 1972 Boulet set a world record for the highest altitude reached by a helicopter, when he piloted an Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama to an altitude of 40,820 feet (12,442 meters),[9] still valid As of 2014.[7] When he reduced power and began to descend, because of the extreme cold, the engine flamed out, and Boulet performed the highest ever, power off, full touch down autorotation, landing with absolutely no power.[10] This high altitude autorotation also set a new world record.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Guhl, Jean-Michel. "Famous French test pilot Jean Boulet fades away". Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  2. ^ "FAI Record ID #749 - Time to climb to a height of 9 000 m. Class E-1b (Helicopters: take off weight 500 to 1000 kg) " Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Retrieved: 21 September 2014.
  3. ^ "History of Rotorcraft World Records, Sub-class:E-1 (Helicopters), Category:General, Group 2:turbine". Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Retrieved 3 November 2010.
  4. ^ "FAI Record ID #977 - Distance over a closed circuit without landing. Class E-1 (Helicopters), piston" FAI Record ID #982 - subclass Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Retrieved: 21 September 2014.
  5. ^ "FAI Record ID #9876 - Altitude without payload. Class E-1 (Helicopters), turbine" Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Retrieved: 21 September 2014.
  6. ^ "FAI Record ID #9874 - Altitude without payload. Class E-1 (Helicopters), turbine" Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Retrieved: 21 September 2014.
  7. ^ a b "FAI Record ID #754 - Altitude without payload. Class E-1 (Helicopters), turbine" FAI Record ID #753 - subclass Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Retrieved: 21 September 2014.
  8. ^ "FAI Record ID #981 - Speed over a closed circuit of 1 000 km without payload. Class E-1c (Helicopters: take off weight 1000 to 1750 kg), piston" Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Retrieved: 21 September 2014.
  9. ^ a b Ruffin, Steven A (2005). Aviation’s Most Wanted: The Top 10 book of Winged Wonders, Lucky Landings and Other Aerial Oddities. Washington D.C.: Potomac Books. p. 320. ISBN 1574886746. 
  10. ^ Swopes, Bryan R. "21 June 1972". http://www.thisdayinaviation.com. Retrieved 26 June 2014.