Sunday, April 17, 2011

Richard A. Balzer 1931-1995

Richard A. Balzer, Sr., of Malvern, Pennsylvania died in January 1995 in a hunting accident. Balzer was a former test pilot for Boeing Defense & Space Group, Helicopter Div. for more than thirty years and over his lifetime he had amassed more than 15, 000 flight hours.
He graduated from Springfield College (in Massachusetts) with a degree in physical education. As a major in the Marine Corps he flew helicopters and the renowned "SPAD" (AD). After being released from active duty, he flew for New York Airways flying the Piasecki H-21 and V-107.
He joined Boeing in 1963. There he was the project and demo pilot for the BO105 and the Model 234. In 1981 he became the Boeing project pilot for the V-22 tiltrotor, conducting its first flight, and logging more than 170 flight test hours. In 1992 Balzer began working with Piasecki Aircraft Corp. on the company's piloted simulation of the Vectored Thrust Combat Agility Demonstrator (VTCAD). The project explored the compounding of the AH-64A and the AH-1W with the Piasecki Vectored Thrust Ducted Propeller (VTDP). Balzer then worked on the handling qualities of the Piasecki 16H-7, a compound helicopter design under Navy contract for the Medium Lift Replacement.