Jump to content

Helicopter altitude record

Recommended Posts

The highest altitude a helicopter has ever reached is 40,820 feet (12,442 meters). This was set by Jean Boulet in 1972 while piloting an Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama,  a French single-engined helicopter still in service.


Interestingly, Jean set a couple more records on that day, though they were achieved unintentionally.

When he began to descend, the engine flamed out due to the extreme cold.

This resulted in him performing the highest ever, power off, autorotation landing.

Additionally, Jean is also credited with the highest altitude flown in an autogyro due to his unpowered flight back to the ground.

An interesting sidelight to all this is he had to land within a certain distance of his departure point for the record to be official.


Boulet was also the first French pilot to escape from an aircraft by ejection seat during an actual emergency when on January 23, 1953, his SE 530 Mistral fighter  entered an unrecoverable spin.


Jean Boulet had more than 9,000 flight hours, with over 8,000 hours in helicopters. He set 24 FAI world records for speed, distance and altitude. Four of these remain unbroken.  He passed away February 15, 2011, at the age 90.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very nice, only able to be accomplished due to a turbine engine.

Compare that to 1947 and a reciprocating engine, I think over 19,000 feet is not a bad accomplishment either.


Always Aviate, then Navigate, then Communicate. And never be low on Fuel, Altitude, Airspeed, or Ideas.

phrog x 2.jpg

Laptop, Intel Core i7 CPU 1.80GHz 2.30 GHz, 8GB RAM, 64-bit, NVIDIA GeoForce MX 130, Extra large coffee-black.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...