Among the aviation community he is known as “the Pilot’s Pilot.”, these few words best describe to Robert A. “Bob” Hoover.
Jimmy Doolittle once said that Bob Hoover was the best “stick and rudder man he has ever seen”…
The aviation world in Los Angeles will celebrate Bob’s legacy in a series of special event on February 21, 2014. Leaders, celebrities, and aviation icons will gather to recognize an aviation great. The Tribute Event will be held at the historic Paramount Studios Theater, with dinner under the iconic Paramount gate.
As the official Hoover Tribute website proclaims, “Bob has earned the respect of the entire community.
Hoover learned to fly at Nashville’s Berry Field. He worked at a grocery store to earn the money required for flight instruction. Almost immediately he began to try his hand at rolls and loops and taught himself aerobatics. The young pilot enlisted in the Tennessee National Guard and was later sent to Army Pilot Training during World War II.
During World War II, he was sent to Casablanca where his first major assignment was test flying the assembled aircraft ready for service. He was later assigned to the Spitfire-equipped 52nd Fighter Group in Sicily. In 1944, on his 59th mission, his malfunctioning Mark V Spitfire was shot down by a Focke-Wulf Fw 190 off the coast of Southern France and he was taken prisoner. He spent 16 months at the German prison camp Stalag Luft 1 in Barth, Germany.
Upon returning to the US following the war’s end in Europe, Bob was assigned to the Flight Test Division at Wright Field, where he test flew for evaluation many of the captured Japanese and German airplanes. He also flew the latest aircraft being tested for our own Air Force. In 1948 he accepted a position with General Motors as a test pilot for high altitude performance testing of Allison jet engines and the development of propellers.
In 1950 Hoover was hired by North American Aviation to do experimental flight testing on all models of the F-86 Sabrejet and the Navy FJ-2 jet fighter and later on, the famous F-100. During these early days with North American, he demonstrated safe handling and flying qualities on the F-86 and F-100 series fighters to pilots all over the world. Beyond the normal call of duty, he also flew combat dive bombing missions with Air Force squadrons in Korea, demonstrating the capabilities of the F-86 over enemy territory.
He was the first man to fly the XFJ-2 Fury Jet and the Navy’s T-28 trainer. He has also set a number of world aviation records including three climb to altitude records of a turbo prop Commander performed at the Hanover Air Show in West Germany in 1978. Another coast-to-coast record was set in a P-51 in 5 hours and 20 minutes from Los Angeles, California to Daytona Beach, Florida in 1985. Hoover also holds a number of world records in jet aircraft.
Hoover was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Soldier’s Medal, Air Medal and Purple Heart. He was presented the Aviation Pioneer Award as the world’s most notable decorated and respected living pilot by Parks College in St. Louis.
The “Bob Hoover Hall of Honor” will be a virtual “Hall” that can be accessed online 24/7 from around the world. Its mission will be to preserve Bob’s legacy and serve as a lasting tribute to his accomplishments. The “Hall” will ensure that Bob is recognized in perpetuity, along with other Aviation Greats. These honorees will be recognized for a lifetime of contributions and achievement. Their collective impact will be unparalleled in aviation history.
Please contact Lesley Poberezny at 262-409-1222 or Lesley@ellesomar.com for any questions.
The Tribute to Bob Hoover will be held in Los Angeles, CA, on Friday, February 21, 2014. It will include the premier of the documentary “Bob Hoover’s Legacy” and a series of special events, that combined, will create a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Tickets for the Friday, February 21 event at Paramount Studios will cost $950/person.
The Bob Hoover Project: Flying the Feathered Edge
– Bob Hoover – Engine Out Aerobatics
– Living Legends of Aviation – The Bob Hoover Freedom of Flight