Eurocopter pays tribute to its test pilot Jean Boulet, who passed away on February 15 at the age of 90
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. The courageous pilot was well known for his love of flying and derring-do, but was also widely respected for his modesty and unassuming nature.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services. The Eurocopter group employs approximately 15,600 people. In 2010, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world's No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.8 billion euros; orders for 346 new helicopters; and a 49 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the group's products account for 33 percent of the total world civil and parapublic helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 27 subsidiaries and participations on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centers. There are 11,200 Eurocopter helicopters currently in service with nearly 2,900 customers in 147 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.