Born on 13 April 1923 in Paris, he entered the Ecole Centrale de Paris in 1947, and was hired by SNCASO the following year. As a flight test engineer at the French test centre CEV, he took part in the LEDUC programme. He joined Nord Aviation in 1957 and, after the merger of Nord and Sud Aviation, became a test pilot at Aerospatiale, continuing his career at Reims Aviation from 1982 to 1991.
One major contribution of Jean Caillard is his participation in research on the Hirsch-Gardan experimental aircraft with gust absorption: he is the only pilot to have flown on the H-100, GH-8O and TBH-20. He was also responsible for the first flights of the SN 600 Corvette, with Robert Briot, and those of the Transall.
After retiring to Saint Malo, he continued to take an interest in aviation and was an active participant in the MAPICA association in La Baule, which restored old planes, including the GY-80 Horizon, now on display at Angers-Marcé.
Jean Caillard logged 11,800 flight hours on 200 different aircraft types.
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