History of aviation – October 17, 1954. Not far from 7,500 meters, this is the altitude that an American aviator managed to reach on this Sunday, October 17, 1954. The latter being none other than the military pilot Billy I. Wester, who signed on this day thanks to this performance the new record of the discipline on a world scale.
Billy I. Wester thus pushed his aircraft from the company Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation to no less than 7,467 meters of altitude, namely an XH-39 helicopter equipped with a French Artouste II Turbomeca turbine. The XH-39 model proved to be a device of choice for aviators in search of trophies: in fact, it was with this device that the speed record, i.e. 251.067 kilometers per hour, was also established.
Unfortunately for Billy I. Wester, he did not keep this altitude record for long, being surpassed on June 6, 1955 by a Frenchman. Jean Boulet managed on this date to climb to a height of 8,209 meters in Buc, installed at the controls of an Alouette II with a Turbomeca Artouste II turbine.