Born: United States of America
Primarily active in: United States of America

Richard A. Balzer, Sr., of Malvern, Pennsylvania died in January 1995 in a hunting accident.  Balzer was a former test pilot for Boeing Defense & Space Group, Heli Div. for more than thirty years and over his lifetime he had amassed more than 15,000 flight hours.

He graduated from springfield College (in Massachusetts) with a degree in physical education.  As a majot in the Marine Corps he flew helicopters and the renowned "SPAD" (AD) after being released from active duty, he flew for New York Airways flying the Piasecki H-21 and V-107.

He joined Boeing in 1963.  There he was the project and demo pilot for the BO 105 and te Model 234.  In 1981 he became the Boeing project pilot for the V-22 tiltrotor logging more than 170 flight test ours.  In 192 Balzer began working with Piasecki Aircraft Corp. on the company's piloted simulation of the Vectored Thrust Combat Agility Demonstrator (VTCAD).  The project explored the compounding of the AH 64A and the AH-1W with the Piasecki Vectored Thrust Ducted Propeller (VTDP).  Balzer ten worked on the handling qualities of the Piasecki 16H7, a compound helicopter design under Navy contract for the Medium Lift Replacement.

A fellow test pilot and friend, Frank Duke, commented,"It was my pleasure to fly with him.  He was an excellent pilot and a role-model for younger pilots."


AHS Update: Vertiflite March/April 1995