In R. A. “BOB” HOOVER: FLYING THE FEATHERED EDGE, Bob Hoover tells his own story joined by friends and colleagues Harrison Ford, Dick and Burt Rutan, Carroll Shelby, Gene Cernan, and Medal of Honor winner Col. Bud Day, among others.

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A legend of the greatest generation, Robert A. “Bob” Hoover is demonstrably the most beloved figure in aviation today.  Considered “The Guru” “An Icon” and “A God” by many of his peers, this humble 92 year old has received honorary Doctorates from both the Navy and Air Force Test Pilot schools. Largely unknown outside aviation circles, Bob dreamed of being a fighter pilot but was too tall, with poor eyesight and a bad case of air sickness.  With determination and outside the box thinking, this WWII veteran escaped Stalag I by stealing an enemy aircraft and went on to become an accomplished experimental test pilot, participant in breaking the speed of sound and launching the world into the Jet Age.

As of January 2014 this film has locked picture and Bob has signed off for historical accuracy, with two enthusiastic thumbs up.  We are in the final stages of scoring, mixing, and polishing this VERY special documentary.

Please sign up for our mailing list so we may keep in touch and keep you up to date on our  release plans.

Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and help spread the word on R. A. “BOB” HOOVER: FLYING THE FEATHERED EDGE.   (Links below!)

Blue skies!

- THE BOB HOOVER PROJECT Team

Flying the Feathered Edge links:
YouTube! http://www.youtube.com/thepilotspilot
Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/TheBobHooverProject
Twitter! http://twitter.com/FlyngFethrdEdge

38 Responses to

  1. Acetopgun says:

    Happy 92nd Birthday tomorrow (24th) Bob!…

    Not sure picture will come over.. I can email it out…

    old-timer.jpg

  2. Acetopgun says:

    Ive grown up in So. Calif. watching this man.. My first experience was Reno.. Amazing.. I wrote him a number of years ago, and received a awesome autographed picture.. I would love to write him again.. With our visits to CA from AZ from time to time., I would love to treat him to a lunch and hear him in person.. Any help.. I have the address from 20 odd years ago, just not sure he is still at same address…

    Ken

    • ADMIN says:

      Thanks for the post, Acetopgun. Great you have an autographed photo and the memories of his incomparable flying.

      If you have his address from 20 years ago, it is the same.

      THE BOB HOOVER PROJECT Team 2013

      • Acetopgun says:

        Errr.. Actually I only have an address on Imperial Highway, Suite 546, on south side of LAX…Must be an old business address…

        Would love to do Lunch sometime.. You can give him my info and he can email/contact me? we visit CA 2-4 times/year.. Have Family in Castaic and Simi Valley… Was a VNY’s Airport Geek..

  3. Cindy_k says:

    This is wonderful! I have been privileged to see Mr. Hoover fly I think four times – the first when I was very young – Dad would take us to the air show at Selfridge AFB…. There is a picture of me somewhere sitting in the seat of a F-80 (was P-80) with the helmet on my head – which was many times too large (or my head and body too small) in any case Mr. Hoover is one of the main reasons that I became hooked on aviation and eventually soloed and got my ticket. I stood mouth agape looking up at this amazing man, – at the top of the loop, you heard the power to zero and the props feather – then down the backside, on a very short final, finally kissing one wheel then the other, till rolling to a dead stick stop. I remember too an article that was in Flying Magazine many years ago about people who flew the routine as observers in the Shrike – it was entitled “Hoovers Heavers” :) Mr. Hoover – is as much an aviation treasure as Lindbergh and Hughes – Only Mr. Hoover would have outflown them both. When I think of Mr. Hoover, I think of an old poem that I learned – familiar to most everyone in Aviation:
    High Flight
    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
    I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air….

    Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
    I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
    Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
    And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    – Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

    Thank you Mr. Hoover, thank you.

  4. Flyinglady2005 says:

    You need to contact Frederick A Johnson at the AFTC Museum at Edwards Air Force Base was also one of the historians at Edwards and Dryden so he can obtain photos of Bobs days at Muroc/Edwards. One year at Abbottsford, Bob had Fred shoot a bunch of photos for use in his press kit. Fred also can provide a photo of Bob flying DH-83 Fox Moth ZK-ASP then owned by the late Myles Robertson of NZ. The Museum of Flight has the late Peter M Bowers photo collection. (Pete was my mentor), in Pete’s collection there will be some Hoover photos including one of Bob flying Pete’s 1947 Bullock/Curtiss Pusher. If you get it I can fill you in with the story as related to me by Pete. I am looking for Skyfire Vhs or DVD of Bob flying during his Evergreen Days, I never had the opportunity to see him fly the T-28 or Sabreliner routine.

  5. Linda says:

    Very excited for this long overdue biography to come out!
    First saw Mr Hoover at air shows in late 70′s early ’80′s in Colorado
    Later saw him again as we started our yearly attendance at Reno each fall
    Always the consummate gentleman, made himself very accessible to all his fans as much as humanly possible – We used to stop a couple times every year just to chat, and we’d always drop off a few sweet Green River Ut. melons we picked up on our trip to the races. (Not a lit of heavy eating at the show) His was an act that always brought quiet respect from everyone in the stands time after time year after year. To this day just to watch him walk out on the tarmac and speak a few words always brings a tightness to my throat and smile to my face. Always brings our section in the stands to our feet! I know we have miles of Mini Dv tapes of him in the Shrike and Ole Yeller that we need to convert! My husband could have been his back up announcer knowing the whole routine by heart! He will fly forever through our hearts, dreams and memories! So looking forward to seeing him at the Reno 50th!

  6. JR Hafer says:

    Bob Hoover is most assuredly a National Treasure and certanly a world class hero but more than that he is certanly an intricate and important piece of the development of 20th century aviation. It is difficult to imagine history being written without Bob Hoover who set the bar so high that all had to stretch and few could reach…
    Just like the Day I met Arthur Godfrey and Captain Eddie on that cold ramp, changed my life. We must keep these historical treasures alive any way we can. I applaud these efforts.
    Great Trailer, I will most deffinately advertise the Bob Hoover project on our website JRHaferAviationBlog.com … JR Hafer, aviation writer

  7. brent says:

    Cannot wait for this !

    I fondly remember going to the Reading PA airshow about 35 years ago. We parked in a lot off the end of the runway and about 20 feet below the runway grade. We were just out of the car and had walked about 50 feet when there was this amazing noise. Nothing could be seen until Bob and the Rockwell P-51 appeared doing a hesitation roll off the end of the runway. I remember thinking, “oh my god, this is going to be good!”

    And it was.

    Regards,
    Brent

  8. tz138 says:

    I hope to see something on Bob’s test flight of Nervenklau (the He-162), and other captured enemy aircraft in your documentary… Nervenklau is currently part of the Planes of Fame museum display in Chino, California…

  9. Frank Guest says:

    I first met Mr. Hoover at the Oshkosh Airshow around 1982. I just finished watching his air routine in the Shrike Commander. After he landed he taxied and parked with the other air show aircraft. After a few minutes I made my way to where his aircraft was on display. I saw that he was standing by his plane and talking to many people around him. He was covered up in spectators. I never tried to approach him because of the people. I was about 25 feet away and was attempted to try to catch a photo of him next to his airplane. He looked up and saw me trying to take the picture. He said to me, why don’t you get in the picture with me. I couldn’t believe it. He treated me like life long friends who hadn’t seen each other in awhile. I got my picture , me and Bob Hoover in front of his airplane. I’ll never forget it. I wish American had a million more like him.

  10. toppickerusa says:

    I’ve uncovered some video footage from North American Aviation titled, “Bob Hoover Flies the Tough Bird” Narration and Effects 1st Ans. Print Interneg. Length 288′; Time 8 minutes; color. I have not viewed it and I acquired it from a clean out. Should this be in a museum or what? Any suggestions

  11. mustangdave says:

    Was stationed as USAF plant rep at NAA and delivered the 1st saberliner to Andrews AFB with Bob , flying with Bob makes you want to take your wings off… Was later TDY to Cavilier when Bobs yellow bird came thru for rebuild , delivered the last p51s to bolivia under project “Peace Condor” Maj USAF Ret

  12. chuckwho says:

    As a student pilot on a long cross country I was told to stop at Meadows Field and get my logbook signed at the FSS . I was cleared to land behind a Saber Liner with “EVERGREEN” on its side.I couldn’t wait to see who got out of it(hoping it was Mr. Hoover) He took the time to talk to me and encourage my pursuit and wrote a note in my logbook and signed it! I will treasure that for the rest of my life. What a thoughtfull, generous man..God bless one of the last true heroes

  13. planefxr says:

    I was born in Torrance CA. I lived a few blocks east of the Torrance airport in Lomita.
    I would ride my Stingray bike to the airport often to see the airplanes. One afternoon I followed the yellow p-51 as it flew over my house to the hangar where it was just pushed in. I walked into the hangar like I owned the place to look at this beautiful plane, that I new nothing about.
    After a few minutes two men came form the rear of the hangar, one of them stopped in his tracks as he spotted me. I thought I was in trouble. He put down the bag he was carrying and asked if I would like to see inside the airplane. I won’t bore you with all the details because all of you already know. After just a couple of minutes of show and tell
    he said “This is not to big for you, anyone can do it”. As I learned later it was Bob Hoover. I am 58 now. A few years back I read Bob’s book “Forever Flying”, I cried when I read that he would ride his bike to the airfield where he learned to fly.
    P.S. I have never left the airport I worked at Torrance as a mechanic, I am in San Diego now at Montgomery Field working on and flying airplanes nearly every day.
    God Bless R.A.(Bob) Hoover.

  14. Jaguar12 says:

    Bob Hoover has been an inspiration to many pilots, including myself over the years.
    He demonstrated what could be done with an airplane, if not mismanaged out of ignorance, false bravado, or innatention.
    Years ago, he said (something to this effect) “Never give up” and “Fly the pieces”, which has stuck with me through several successful emergencies over my 43 years and over 20,000 hours of flying.
    Thank you, and God Bless you, Bob!

  15. Edward Trudeau says:

    As a young 1st Lt flying the F86H, I had the opportunity to watch Bob demonstrate the aircraft at Otis AFB in Mass. After the demonstration he gave us a briefing. The first words out his mouth were “don’t try any of the maneuvers”. My very next flight in the H, I tried his “Dirty Roll”. (Gear & flaps down, at 12,000 feet). Wow, it worked. After I became a flight instructor in the H, I demonstrated it to new students in the Bird, show them what the bird could do. Thanks Bob

  16. Whiskey Bravo says:

    Some years back, Bob and I were guests of a mutual friend at his fly-in ranch in Nevada. Bob knew I had owned and flown Aero Commanders, so he invited me to ride along in his Shrike that afternoon as he put on one of his world famous aerial demonstrations for the enjoyment of our host and the other guests.

    I was, of course, thrilled beyond words and readily accepted. But as I started to settle into the co-pilot’s seat, Bob said, “No, no, no, I want you in the back.” Bob had to be absolutely certain nothing would get in his way when he started reaching for those ovehead switches while we were inverted, dead-stick, and barely off the deck!

    I have to confess, though, I usually get a little green around the gills in smaller planes if I’m not up front. To be in back during one of Bob’s customary routines with all its aerobatics no doubt would have triggered an embarrassment, so to this day I regret having to make the difficult decision to ground myself. I did enjoy yet another amazing Hooveresque performance that day, but not as the participant I had hoped to be. It would have been a memorable experience, to be sure.

    Congratulations to all hands involved in the Bob Hoover film. It’s a great idea and a wonderful, well-deserved tribute to a true American icon, a master airman who is also the consummate gentleman in the very best sense of that word!

  17. Lee Hessler says:

    Re rolling a 707 over, Tex Johnston, Boeing’s chief test pilot then, did a 360 degree roll of the prototype 367-80 (which became the platform for the KC135 and basis for the 707) above Lake Washington with 100,000 people watching during Sea Fair in Seattle. It was the only one Boeing had completed to that point and was unannounced and unauthorized. CEO Bill Allen was livid and almost (and probably should have) fired Johnson on the spot.

    • polzin says:

      Have no idea what this has to do with Bob Hoover. However,Tex told me that contrary to popular opinion, Mr. Allen was very calm when he asked him Monday morning what he was doing the day before and told him not to do it again. From one of the Boeing pilots I have been assured that ALL Boeing aircraft have been rolled.

  18. Santa Paula Mel says:

    Finally!
    I have been waiting for such a project or production for nearly 50 years…

    Yes, I have met Bob…seen his many versions of “THE ACT”…
    Feel that our FAA and their minon’s are a bunch of Putz puddles!
    Bob took the only avenue open to him and did it in style – his usual STYLE…
    Left-seat AIRLINE pilot vs the FAA….guess who blinked…wasn’t Bob “The Man”…

    Even “Brady” from ERA copters liked him…that’s saying a bunch, eh?..

    Keep the project going and keep us ‘ol pilots from out west advised…
    We’d love to have a “Grand Showing” some place BIG enough to hold us all…
    Or, maybe just a “really -really” BIG hanger Party, eh?… Maybe Edwards AFB some Spring month…with all the toys set out for viewing..and maybe some “booms” ??
    (Better weather than OR any day, eh?..and, the “neighbors” won’t beef about the noise)..

    God be with all on this quest…

    de’ Dewey, Cleat, Mira, Sammy & Tony, AJ, Dave, Grady, Brownie, Don/Marshall/Ralph, Cag, Wally, etc, etc…etal… Round engines forever.

  19. My wife, son and I had the pleasure of watching Mr. Hoover do his power off demonstration in his Shrike Commander at an air show in West Palm Beach, Florida years ago. Mr. Hoover departed in his P-51 after the air show was over. We had our scanner on listening to the departure frequency when Mr. Hoover announced that he was returning to the field because of a mechanical problem. We happened to be near his plane after he landed. My son, then about 11 years old asked him for his autograph. He was very gracious and accommodating. I was impressed that after an amazing air show and dealing with a mechanical issue with his plane he took time to sign an autograph for my son.

  20. Kurt says:

    I was blessed to ride shotgun (right seat) with Bob Hoover in a corporate
    Sabreliner 60 departing from North American Aviation’s facility at LAX in 1971 as he took us up to 50,500 ft (although only certified to 45,000 ft) and watched him as he walked the 60 on its rudder to keep the nose from falling off to the side. I found him to be a very gracious individual and know that he was a huge success in selling the Sabreliner program and aircraft to many corporate CEOs.

    As this project goes forward, see if you can acquire stories about his days at Muroc Lake and “Pancho Barnes Happy Bottom Riding Club”.

    Kurt O.

  21. Sweezeys kid says:

    Back in the mid-70′s, my dad and I chatted with Bob Hoover at a local air show. Daddy invited Hoover to a dinner party honoring a friend who had just made Captain with Eastern Air Lines. Much to our amazement, Hoover accepted. The thing my parents always remembered, in addition to the thrill of having Bob Hoover as a dinner guest, is that Hoover deferred to our friend as the Guest of Honor, never took over the conversation, and you would’ve thought this man was just another one of Daddy’s pilot friends. I remember only the hours of fascinating conversations about flying. Bob Hoover is a god among pilots. I can’t wait for this documentary to come out. I will be buying the DVD. (Oh, and those schmucks from the FAA who claimed Hoover was no longer airworthy? Gosh, I hope they’ve had miserable lives and die slow and painful deaths.)

  22. mackeyg says:

    I had the privilege of working with Fred Burke in Flight Test, 1966 – 1969. Fred had been the crew chief of the XF-86 and he would regale me with stories about Bob Hoover. I had seen Hoover do his P-51 show at Wright-Patt in 1961 so was really receptive to stories about him. I saw him do his P-51 show again at Dulles in 1972. I treasure my copy of “Forever Flying.”

  23. 777PIC says:

    Bob Hoover is not only a world class hero, he is a National Treasure!
    He is a pilot’s pilot. I am so happy he finally gets the recognition he truly deserves.
    Bob, thank you for setting the upper limit most of us strived to reach.
    Captain Ross “Rusty” Aimer
    UAL Ret.
    CEO
    Aero Consulting Experts

  24. Proflyer says:

    During the summer of 1969, there was an airshow / flight exposition held at KIAD (Dulles International Airport, Dulles, VA) on the west side of the airport. I watched Bob Hoover perform his routine in the Shrike Commander, P-51 Mustang, T-28 Trojan, F-86 Sabre, NA-265 (T-39) Sabreliner and an OV-10 Bronco. I think he may have flown an AT-6 Texan and an F-100 Super Sabre in addition to the other aircraft, but I’m not certain. When Bob would complete his demonstration in one aircraft, his ground crew would have the next airplane ready for Bob to strap in and awe the crowd. I had previously watched Bob do his flight demo in the P-51 & Shrike Commander at the Reading (PA) Airshows in the mid to late 1960′s, but his Dulles show was superb and the only time I’m aware of that he used so many different aircraft for one show. He is the master!

  25. sabreson says:

    I remember some of my uncle’s squadron mates, who flew F-86 Sabres in Korea, telling me about Bob Hoover’s exploits over there. I think he and another North American Aviation representative went over to Korea to demonstrate dive bombing in the F-86. These young pilots were amazed at the skills this civilian had.

  26. Bob Wagner says:

    I worked as an A&P mechanic at North American LAX. I worked many times on Bob Hoovers P-51 Mustang from 1960 until 1965. It was a great time in my career. I was able to see Bob Hoover do his air shows in the P 51, the F 86 and the Shrike Commander. I think Bob was the greatest pilot of all time. Bob Wagner

  27. Fred says:

    In 1977, when my dear friend and instructor, Daniel Héligoin of the French Connection Airshow, broke a prop taxiing at the Cleveland Airshow, I drove through the night to deliver him a replacement. My reward was to park my little Honda Accord on the flightline, surrounded by The French Connection, Thunderbirds, and Bob’s Shrike Commander! See http://frobbi.org/cap_fr/Cleveland1977-030w.jpg
    After the show one day, Bob opened the trunk of his car and became the bartender and served me my requested gin and tonic!

  28. bloodhound84 says:

    Let’s cut to the short final here-ok? We are talking about a genuine American Hero. We sure as hell need more of these guys that we can all look up to as shining examples of passion and hard work fulfilling DREAMS. This is a Sierra Hotel topped with a great Bravo Zulu!

  29. Bob says:

    Just received my issue of, “Sabre Jet Classics” and you have me kicking myself that I did not get to the last reunion this April. Thought all my old frineds from the 67th, 356th and 386th were no longer mobile….! The teaser looks terrific and I look forward to viewing the finished product. I also have fond memories of my first contact with Bob Hoover. I was a new replacement pilot in Korea at K55 in the spring of 1953 when he put on his demo of what the 86 Sabre could fo in the hands of the,”Master”.
    Looking back on it, it was interesting to see the response of the guys with 30 plus missions, change from, “What can this civilian teach us” to “How can he do that..!”
    For the rest of his stay I don’t think he could pay for one drink at the “O”club…!
    Bob K.

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