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Obit - Col. John Boyd, Nellis AFB

From: Dave B 
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 1997 12:30:15 -0600
Subject: Obit - Col. John Boyd, Nellis AFB

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Col. John R. Boyd, an Air Force
fighter pilot whose belief that quicker is better than faster
became the basis of a theory that revolutionized military strategy,
died of cancer Sunday. He was 70.

Boyd flew only a few combat missions in Korea. But after
wondering why the comparatively slow U.S. F-86's almost totally
dominated the superior MiG-15 fighter, he figured out the F-86's
advantages: better visibility and a faster roll rate.

Boyd theorized that the key to victory was not a plane that
could climb faster or higher, but one that could begin climbing or
change course quicker.

From 1954 to 1960, Boyd, who helped establish the Fighter
Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, had a standing
offer to pilots: take a position on his tail, and after 40 seconds
of twists and turns he would have the challenger in his sights or
pay $40.

He never lost the bet.

He was assigned to the Pentagon in 1964. Boyd's design ideas
helped give the F-15 a big, high-visibility canopy. But his major
triumph was the F-16, which is far more agile and costs half as

During his years at the Pentagon, Boyd became known as the
``ghetto colonel'' because he lived in a basement apartment.

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