Open main menu

Albert G Boyd (November 22, 1906 – September 18, 1976) was a pioneering test pilot for the United States Air Force (USAF). During his 30-year career, he logged more than 23,000 hours of flight time in 723 military aircraft (though this number of the total number flown includes variants and sub variants of some types, and is not 723 distinct types). When he retired in 1957, he had flown every aircraft type operated by the USAF, including attack, cargo, trainer, fighter, experimental, bomber, mission trainer, liaison, observation, and general aviation planes and helicopters.

Albert Boyd
Major General Albert Boyd USAF.jpg
Major General Albert Boyd
(USAF Photo)
Born(1906-11-22)November 22, 1906
Rankin, Tennessee, U.S.
DiedSeptember 18, 1976(1976-09-18) (aged 69)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branchSeal of the United States Department of the Air Force.svg United States Air Force
Years of service1927 - 1957
RankUS-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Commands heldChief of Flight Section, Wright-Patterson AFB
Commander, Experimental Test Pilot School
Commander, USAF Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB
Commander, Wright Air Development Center
Deputy Commander, Weapons System Headquarters, ARDC
AwardsLegion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished Service Medal

From 1947 to 1957, Boyd flew and approved every aircraft type acquired by the USAF. When he retired, he was praised as the "Father of Modern Flight Testing," "World's Number One Test Pilot," "Dean of American Test Pilots" and "Father of USAF Test Pilots."

His assignments included:

Commanding General of Edwards AFB

The prototype Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star, modified as a racer and designated P-80R,[1] was piloted by Colonel Boyd to 623.73 mph (1,004.2 km/h) on 19 June 1947. This was recognised as an official air speed record, although this speed had already been exceeded by the Me 163 and Me 262 in 1944.[2]

Boyd led the newly-formed Air Force's X-1 supersonic flight program and made the selection of Chuck Yeager to pilot the plane.[3]:98 Yeager described Boyd as a strict disciplinarian who would enforce (often with a very loud voice) USAF uniform regulations. He remarked that "You might be his star pilot, but Lord help you if you came before him in his office with an un-shined belt buckle". Boyd was highly respected by his subordinates.

Boyd died on September 18, 1976.



  1. ^ "P-80 Shooting Star/44-85200." Archived 2015-01-12 at the Wayback Machine National Museum of the USAF. Retrieved: 9 October 2012.
  2. ^ Francillon 1982, pp. 241-242
  3. ^ Yeager, Chuck; Janos, Leo (1985). Yeager, An Autobiography.
  4. ^ Chandler, John (September 17, 1991). "Neil Armstrong to Join Lancaster Walk of Honor". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. p. B3 – via