Born in Nasville on January 24 1922 Robert (Bob) Hoover was an early aviation enthusiast working in a grocery store to pay for his flying lessons. After joining the National Guard he was then trained in the Army Air Forces as a pilot and soon acquired fame during World War II as a fighter pilot. His Spitfire was shot down during his 59th combat mission in February 1944. He subsequently was sent to a prisoner camp in Germany from where he escaped and stole a Focke Wulf 190 to flee toward the newly liberated Netherlands.
After the war he chose to remain in the Air Force and was assigned as a test pilot at Wright-Patterson Air Base and later at Edwards Air Force Base to fly the Bell X-1 rocket plane.
After leaving the Air Force in 1948, Bob Hoover started a demonstration and test pilot career with North American which lead him to train F-86 pilots during the Korean War.
In the early 1960s Bob Hoover started flying Air Shows in a P-51 Mustang and was then hired to demonstrate the qualities of the Shrike Commander which he did brillantly by performing aerobatics with the twin engine executive aircraft that had never been designed for this purpose.
Recognized as « the greatest pilot I ever saw » by general Chuck Yeager or by general Doolittle as « the greatest stick-and-rudder man that ever lived » Bob Hoover showed routinely until he reached 77 how to fly aerobatics in a passenger aircraft with two dead engines. Doing this requires exceptional skills, précision, judgement and energy management that he was probably the only pilot able to demonstrate.
Mr. Hoover died on 25 October at aged 94 after a second-to-none flying career.
Citation Longitude took to the air on Saturday 8 October for her maiden flight from Beech Field (Wichita, Kansas). The two hour and two minute flight was performed according to plans, checking controls, landing gear, flaps and pressurization system.
Citation Longitude is a super mid-size business jet powered by two Honeywell HTF7700L. It can seat up to 10 passengers, has a maximum range of 3,400 nautical miles and a maximum cruise speed of 476 knots.
Longitude is the first Cessna to be manufactured at the Beechcraft plant and the biggest Citation since the first Citation 44 years ago. Textron Aviation expect to deliver the first production aircraft next year.