Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mgen Albert Boyd 1906-1976

Albert Boyd logged more than 23,000 hours flight time in 723 military aircraft. At the time of his retirement in 1957, he had flown every aircraft in the USAF inventory, including attack, cargo, trainer, fighter, experimental, bomber, mission trainer, liaison, observation, and general aviation planes and helicopters. It is believed his flying experience is unequaled in the world. Boyd's 30-year military career spanned a period of the greatest advances in airplane design and performance. He developed and practiced a new philosophy of flight testing which greatly contributed to aviation progress during the first supersonic decade. From 1947-1957, the USAF did not buy a single type of airplane that he had not personally approved and flown. When he retired, he was known 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: Chief of Flight Section at Wright Patterson AFB; Commander, Experimental Test Pilot School; first Commander, USAF Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB; Commander, Wright Air Development Center; and Deputy Commander, Weapons System Headquarters, Air Research and Development Command. He received many honors: Chanute Award, Legion of merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Air Power Trophy, Schilling Award, Medaille de l'Aeronautique, Brevet Militarire de Pilote d'Avion and the Aerospace Walk of Honor (1990). Boyd died on September 18, 1976.