Robert A. "Bob" Hoover 1922-2016
The accomplishments of Bob Hoover represent five decades of Test and Aerobatic Flying. Hoover was the first to dead-stick an F-100. An Army Air Corps fighter pilot, Hoover was shot down on his 59th mission and was held as a POW for over a year during WWII.
He was employed by General Motors as test pilot for high altitude performance testing of jet engines and development of propellers. He later served as test pilot for North American Aviation, and Rockwell International.
Hoover conducted early ramjet flight test on the P-51 and P-80. He set the coast-to-coast record flying a P-51 from Daytona Beach to Los Angeles in 5 hours, 20 minutes.
He was the first to fly the XFJ-2 Fury Jet and the Navy's T-28 Trainer. He tested every type of Sabre Series Aircraft, was Captain of the U.S. Aerobatic Team in the 1966 International Competition in Moscow, and set three climb-to-altitude records at the Hannover Air Show. Hoover flew more than 300 types of aircraft and has flight tested or flown nearly every type of fighter aircraft.
He is an Honorary Member of the American Fighter Aces Association, and a Lifetime Honorary Member of the American Fighter Pilots Association. He has been inducted to the Aviation Hall of Fame and has received the International Aerobatic Pilot of the Year Award, the Wing Walker Award, Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldiers Medal, Air Medal, Purple Heart, Certificate of Appreciation from Meritorious Service to the USAF and the Aerospace Walk of Honor (1992).