Bob Hoover and filmmaker Kim Furst max out the Air Force Museum giant screen theatre - twice
Drawing all the attention of a rock star, Robert A. “Bob” Hoover returned to Dayton, Ohio – site of Wright Field and many of his early test-flights triumphs and near-tragedies - to join filmmaker Kim Furst in two special presentations of her new documentary, “Flying the Feathered Edge: The Bob Hoover Project.” On Friday night, April 9th, the Air Force Museum Theatre audience was treated to Kim’s intro of the film, and a lengthy Q&A session with Bob afterward. Promoted as one of the Air Force Museum Foundation’s “Living History Film Series,” the 400 seats had sold out more than a week earlier.
The audience came from across the U.S. to witness the first-ever screening of the film on an 80-foot wide, six story tall giant screen. The night concluded with the 93-years-young aviation legend cheerfully autographing DVD copies of the outstanding documentary and his memoir, “Forever Flying”, for hundreds of adoring fans. Each one seemingly had their own personal Hoover story, and among them were a dozen or so retired North American employees and pilots who worked with Bob at the Columbus plant during his long tenure with the company. Though Bob’s wife, Colleen, was unable to attend, Bob shared that he first met her – a pretty nurse from Van Wert, Ohio - while stationed post-WWII at Wright Field, half-joking it was where various test-flight mishaps often found him in need of medical attention.
The following afternoon, April 10th, Kim and Bob again screened the film in the Air Force Museum Theatre, this time for a capacity crowd of Super Sabre Society (SSS) members gathering in Dayton for their four day reunion. Portions of the documentary feature interviews with SSS members like retired Lt. General “Chick” Cleveland, Dick Rutan, and the late Bud Day, filmed at the organization’s 2011 reunion. Bob remains revered for his legendary role in the test and demonstration history of the fabled North American F-100 Super Sabre, as “Feathered Edge” features among its rare vintage test-flight footage. After a post-screening group photo with Bob, guest of honor, front and center, it was on to the Modern Flight Gallery of the museum for the SSS awards dinner.
Bob's return to The Birthplace of Aviation was a fitting homecoming by one of aviation’s brightest stars and arguably the best pilot ever. Filmmaker Kim Furst earned kudos from Bob’s peers, many who could claim “I was there,” for so spectacularly documenting Bob Hoover’s life in the sky for generations to come. Bob Hoover and Kim Furst's Dayton visit and film screenings truly put the capital “L” and “H” in the Force Museum Theatre’s “Living History Film Series.”