American F-100 Super Sabre
F-100D s/n 56-2931
1 JUN 60
north of Nellis AFB NV
I first learned of this crash
while reading the book Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed
the Art of War by Robert Coram.
As an instructor at the Fighter Weapons School out of
Nellis AFB, John Boyd earned the
nick name “40 second Boyd. He had a 40 dollar standing bet that
he could get to the tail of any opponent within 40 seconds from
a starting position where the opponent was on Boyd’s tail.
He never had to pay. Boyd wrote a 150 page paper called the
"Aerial Attack Study" which became the fighter tactics manual
in the 1960s and is still in use today by many air forces around
the world. He is considered the father of the F-15, F-16, and
F-18 because his energy management theory had profound effects
on the design of these aircraft; in particular the F-16. He went on to write "Patterns of
Conflict" which is considered to be one of the most important writings
on conflict, in business or war, since Sun-Tzu’s “The Art of
War.” Boyd's theories were widely used in the Gulf War.
His detractors tried to use this
particular crash as a
means of having Boyd removed from the Air Force, but Boyd was able to
prove the crash was due to a design flaw. Had his detractors succeeded in
removing Boyd from the Air Force he would not have had the
influence he did on aircraft design or warfare he has had today.
As a result, this is a significant and historic crash site.
I highly recommend reading
Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War by Robert Coram.