Dobyns, Russell Martin Sr.

Russell Martin Dobyns Sr., USAF
July 02, 1921 – August 17, 2007

Russell Martin Dobyns, 86, of Atlanta, died Friday, August 17, 2007.

Russell was preceded in death by a son, Russell M. Dobyns, Jr.; and a brother, Daniel Dobyns. Russell is survived by his wife, of 62 years, Ada H. Dobyns; son, James R. Dobyns and brother, Samuel Dobyns.

Russell had a full life having been born July 2, 1921 in Norton, Virginia to Bridie Witten Dobyns and Zollie Martin Dobyns. Russell had a career in the United States Air Force as an officer pilot and set a helicopter World Speed and Altitude Record in 1954; Russell served in WWII and the Korean War.

Then in 1964 Russell started another career with Lockheed-Martin in Marietta, GA, as an aeronautical engineer until his retirement.

Russell was cremated and his remains will be interred at the Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs, GA, in the family burial plot.


Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Aug. 19, 2007

This day in aviation history

2 September 1953: At the Dayton Air Show, Captain Russell Martin Dobyns, United States Air Force, flew a Piasecki YH-21-PH Work-Horse tandem rotor helicopter to an altitude of 6,739 meters (22,110 feet), setting an Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record for Altitude Without Payload for reciprocating-engine helicopters.¹ This record still stands.

Two days later, Captain Dobyns flew his H-21 over a 3-kilometer course. Making four passes, two in each direction, he averaged 236.19 kilometers per hour (146.76 miles per hour). This established a second FAI world record.

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