North American F-100 Super Sabre
F-100D s/n 56-2931
1 JUN 60
25 miles 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.
For more information on John Boyd try:
John Boyd - USAF, The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of Air Warfare