Monday, August 25, 2008

Jean Boulet 1920-2011

Jean Boulet was born on the 16th November 1920 in Brunoy. He graduated from the French "Ecole polytechnique" and trained as a fighter pilot in the United States . After serving in the French Air Force, he joined the French national company SNCASE in 1946 as engineer-pilot responsible for helicopter programs, a sector the company was planning to develop. Jean Boulet had never piloted a helicopter before, and after training – once again in the United States – he was issued French Helicopter Pilot License No. 8. He then served as a helicopter test pilot and, in 1953, was appointed Head of Helicopter Flight Testing – a position he was to hold for the next 22 years.until his retirement in 1975. During his time with SNCASE (later Aerospatiale) he was involved in all of their helicopter designs, and performed the maiden flights of most.They include the followingSE3101, SE3000 Alouette, SE3130 Alouette II, SE3150 Lama, SA3210 Super Frelon, SA330 PumaOn 6 June 1955, he reached an altitude of 8209 meters at the controls of the Alouette 2. Almost three years later on 5 June 1958, he smashed this record by achieving 9853 meters. Just eight days later, in yet another record attempt, he broke through the 10,000 meter mark to reach 10,984 meters in 17 minutes and 43 seconds. But this was not the end of the story. On 17 March 1969, the Aerospatiale SA315 Lama made its maiden flight. The Lama was a winning combination of an Alouette II airframe and a Turbomeca Artouste IIIC engine, and was tailor-made for aerial work over mountainous terrain. On 21 June 1972, Jean Boulet spectacularly demonstrated the performance of the Lama by taking it up to an altitude of 12,440 meters

He gained 17 international records between 1952 and 1972,regaining the altitude record in 1972. He has flown over 9000hours of which 8000 are on helicopters.