Monday, August 25, 2008

Paul Boudier 1919-2004

Born in 1919 in Lyons, Paul Boudier went to the Air School in 1937 and was granted his military pilot's license aged 20. Posted to the II/5 "La Fayette" in 1940 he scored 4 air combat victories during the French Campaign. He then fought with the Lafayette Squadron in North Africa from 1942, under the command of Kostia Rozanoff - who become Chief test pilot for Dassault.
After numerous campaigns, at the end of the war, he became second in command of the "Auvergne" group.

He then became a test pilot and was accepted into the 3rd class of the Epner in 1948. Becoming a test pilot for the CEV (Flight Test Center) where he flew the Ouragan 01 on its 16th flight. In March 1951, he was recruited by Marcel Dassault to test the Mystère II pre-series in Villaroche. In August 1953, he was the first pilot to break the sound barrier on an armed airplane (Mystère II). After Rozanoff's death, he became chief test pilot. He broke Mach 1 in horizontal flight on March 3, 1955 on Super Mystère B1 01 during its first flights.
He was involved with the flight tests of the Etendard II 01 which he took on its first flight on July 23, 1956. In September 1957, he took part in the NATO competition for a tactical support and fighter aircraft and performed the first flight of the pre-production Etendard IV M for the Navy, on December 21, 1958. He also made the first flights of the Communauté and Spirale and became civil aircraft chief test pilot.
In 1962, he joined Air Inter where he was in charge of the new aircraft, including the Caravelle XII and the Mercure. He retired in 1975 and died in 2004.