Open main menu

Jean Boulet (16 November 1920, Brunoy – 13 February 2011, Aix-en-Provence) was a French aviator. In 1957, Boulet was awarded the Aeronautical Medal; in 1983, he became one of the founding members of the French National Air and Space Academy. He died at the age of 90.

HistoryEdit

Born on 16 November 1920 in Brunoy, near Paris, Jean Boulet was a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique he entered in 1940 and was first hired in 1947 by the SNCASE, which would become Sud Aviation and then later the helicopter division of Aérospatiale. Having been trained in the United States 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 United States Air Force. Over the years he would fast become one of the greatest pioneers in the history of rotorcraft flight testing.[1]

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

On 21 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 2019.[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] Because of his unpowered flight back to the ground, he is also credited with the largest altitude flown with an autogyro.

PublicationsEdit

  • L'Histoire de L'hélicoptère, Racontée Par Ses Pionniers, 1907-1956 (Editions France-Empire, 1982) OCLC 256047560
  • History Of The Helicopter: As Told By Its Pioneers, 1907-1956, Claude Dawson (translator) (Editions France-Empire, 1984) OCLC 13284968

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Guhl, Jean-Michel. "Famous French test pilot Jean Boulet fades away". Archived from the original on 2013-02-16. 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 Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine" 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". thisdayinaviation.com. Retrieved 26 June 2014.