Test pilot Jean Boulet dies at age 90
The famous French helicopter test pilot passed away on 15 February. His legendary piloting skills and passion for flying established the Eurocopter Groups place in the history of rotorcraft.
First hired in 1947 by the SNCASE, which would later become Sud Aviation and then the Helicopter division of the Aerospatiale Group, Jean Boulet was one of the greatest pioneers in the history of rotorcraft flight testing.
Just a few highlights from his illustrious career include the first flights of the SE3000, the SE3101, the Alouette, Frelon, Puma, Gazelle families and the Lama. The records he established are no less impressive. Jean Boulet would set 17 world records during his career, including the record for the highest altitude. Behind the controls of a Lama, Jean Boulet reached an altitude of 12,442 meters on June 21, 1972. His record still stands today.
Jean Boulet received the prestigious "X Supaéro" engineering degree from the French aeronautics institute in Toulouse, and chalked up more than 9,000 flight hours during the course of his career—including over 8,000 in helicopters.