Bob Hoover receives 2014 NAA Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy at Washington Aero Club gala
Tonight, December 12, 2014, at the Washington (D.C.) Hilton, the Aero Club of Washington held its 67th Annual Wright Memorial Dinner in partnership with the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). As has been the tradition for decades, the black-tie gathering was timed to memorialize the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903. Additionally, the NAA Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy was presented to an individual selected in recognition of, in part, “enduring contributions to aviation.” Previous recipients include the likes of Jimmy Doolittle (1952), Igor Sikorsky (1967), Kelly Johnson, (1975), and Neil Armstrong (2001).
Incredible as it seems, it was not until tonight’s 2014 edition of this celebration that R.A. “Bob” Hoover received this prestigious honor. A crowd of nearly 900 industry officials and aviation fans assembled to witness Gene Cernan (the 2007 recipient of the trophy) introduce his friend and hero, Bob Hoover, to accept the honor. Preceding Cernan’s heartfelt comments was a screening of a brief video comprised of segments from the recently produced Bob Hoover documentary, “Flying the Feathered Edge”, specially edited by producer/director Kim Furst, who was also in attendance. When NAA Chairman, Jim Albaugh, presented the trophy to Hoover, it elicited one of several standing ovations from the crowd for the beloved aviation legend, who no less than Doolittle himself once called the “greatest stick and rudder man who ever lived.”
The bonus for everyone was most certainly the man himself, The Hoov, taking his seat on the stage to engage in a wide-ranging, spellbinding and inspiring interview led the inimitable show host talent and aviation aficionado, David Hartman. Bravo, Aero Club of Washington, and congratulations, Mr. Hoover!