Paul Boudier was the first pilot to break the sound barrier on an armed airplane (Mystère II) and completed various maiden flights (Etendard IV M, Communauté, Spirale).
Born in 1919 in Lyons, Paul Boudier went to the Air School in 1937 and was granted his military pilot’s license aged 20. Posted to the II/5 “La Fayette” in 1940 he won 4 air combats during the France Campaign. Then he fought with the Lafayette Squadron in North Africa from 1942, under the command of Kostia Rozanoff – who will also become a test pilot for Dassault.
After numerous campaigns, at the end of the war, he became second in command of the “Auvergne” group.
Then he chose to become a test pilot and got into the 3rd class of the Epner in 1948. He then became a test pilot for the CEV (Flight Test Center) where he flew with the Ouragan 01 on its 16th flight. In March 1951, he was recruited by Marcel Dassault to test the Mystère II pre-series in Villaroche. In August 1953, he was the first pilot to break the sound barrier on an armed airplane (Mystère II). After Rozanoff’s death, he became chief test pilot. He broke Mach 1 in horizontal flight on March 3, 1955 on Super Mystère B1 01 during its first flights.
He then dedicated himself to the flight tests of the Etendard II 01 which he took on its first flight on July 23, 1956. In September 1957, he took part to the OTAN competition for a tactical support and fighter aircraft and performed the first flight of the pre-production Etendard IV M for the Navy, on December 21, 1958. He also ensured the first flights of the Communauté and Spirale and became civil aircraft chief test pilot.
In 1962, he joined Air Inter where he was in charge of the new aircraft, including the Caravelle XII and the Mercure – during the program’s development, he was the client’s interlocutor for Dassault. He retired in 1975.