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A.R. "Bud" Perl - True pioneer

A. R. "Bud" Perl

At the age of 17, Bud Perl took lessons at the Bowlus Glider School at
Lindbergh Field, San Diego, California. These lessons became the subject of an article in Popular Science in 1930 entitled "How I Learned to Fly a Glider." Bud was later hired as part of the Bowlus Glider School/Bowlus Sailplane Company and assisted Hawley Bowlus with instruction of Charles and Anne Lindbergh (among others) on gliders in San Diego (Point Loma & Lindbergh Field), Lebec, and Carmel, California. Bud received U.S. third-class glider license #34, second-class glider license #21, Class B glider license #29, and Class A glider license #41. By age 19, he had also received his U.S. Commercial glider license. Following the purchase of the Bowlus Sailplane Co. by the Van Bezel Aircraft Co., Bud became chief test pilot and instructor and continued to provide glider demonstration flights from Point Loma in Bowlus-type sailplanes in 1930-1932. With assistance from Bill Beuby and William Smilie, Bud built and flew Bowlus-type sailplanes at Torrey Pines until roughly 1936 and helped to open the current site of the Torrey Pines Gliderport concurrent with others such as Woody Brown, John Robinson, and Dick Essery. After a life in aerospace engineering, Bud Perl passed away Nov. 29, 2002 at the age of 90 and will be missed by family and friends.

Posted: 5/1/2003


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