Bob Hoover

While my brother and I were at the new Air and Space Museum (see posting from earlier this week) our tour guide ended by telling about this plane, flown by Bob Hoover, who would have been the first man to break the sound barrier if Chuck Yeager had fessed up to his injury. The guide said Hoover would take prospective buyers of the plane up, pour ice tea into a cup while rolling the plane without spilling a drop. Then he'd tell them they should buy the plane because IT handled so well.

When we told the guide our dad had flown in air shows with Hoover he gave my brother and I an extended tour.

When Dad saw the picture of Hoover's plane he wrote the following:

I was lucky enough to watch Hoover fly this plane several times. He was amazing, sometimes with one engine feathered and even both engines shut down he would do very low level aerobatics and at the last minute start the engines or even land and roll up to the crowd with the engines feathered. His energy management was unbelievable. I'd heard the stories of not spilling a cup while rolling. I watched him shut off both engines at several thousand feet, then make several passes rolling the plane and doing hammerhead turns at each end of the runway, then when you can't see how he can go any farther he landed on one wheel, turned off the runway, came up the taxiway across the ramp up to a line in front of the crowd and stopped. All this without restarting his engines. It was VERY impressive. Did you know he was flying chase in a P-80 when Yeager broke the sound barrier?

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