About the Print
CO-SIGNED BY BOB HOOVER! This is the third print Sam has produced that features a Bob Hoover airplane and signature. Most aviation people would recognize Bob’s North American P-51 Mustang Fighter and the setting of the National Championship Air Races and Air Show in Reno. From the first Air Races, and then for the next 35 years, Bob and “Ole Yeller” started the event as the official pace and safety plane. Bob also performed in his famous, brightly colored plane on the air show circuit for many years. Two other planes are circling the pylon in the background.
About Bob Hoover
Hoover learned to fly at Berry Field in Nashville, Tennessee. He worked at a local grocery store to pay for the flight training. He enlisted in the Tennessee National Guard, then was sent for pilot training with the United States Army.
During World War II, Hoover was sent to Casablanca. His first major assignment was flight testing the assembled aircraft ready for service. He was later assigned to a Fighter Group in Sicily. On February 9, 1944, his malfunctioning Mark V Spitfire was shot down off the coast of Southern France. He was taken prisoner. He spent 16 months at a German prisoner-of-war camp in Germany, then escaped near the end of WWII.
During the 1950s, Hoover visited many active-duty, reserve, and Air National Guard units. He demonstrated the capabilities of various aircraft to their pilots. Hoover flew flight tests on the North American FJ-2 Fury, F-86 Sabre, and the North American F-100 Super Sabre.
About “Ole Yeller”
Hoover was best known for his civil air show career. This started when he was hired to demonstrate the capabilities of Aero Commander’s Shrike Commander. The Shrike Commander was a twin piston-engine business aircraft that had developed a boring reputation due to its bulky shape. Hoover showed the capabilities of the aircraft as he put it through rolls, loops and other maneuvers. Most people would not expect that performance from executive aircraft. He was also known for creating the stunt of successfully pouring a cup of tea while performing a 1G barrel roll.
In the early 1960s, Hoover began flying a North American P-51 Mustang Fighter at air shows around the country. The Hoover Mustang was purchased by North American Aviation from Dave Lindsay’s Cavalier Aircraft Corp. in 1962. A second Mustang (N51RH), later named “Ole Yeller”, was purchased by North American Rockwell from Cavalier in 1971 to replace the earlier aircraft. The previous aircraft had been destroyed in a ground accident when an oxygen bottle exploded after being overfilled. Hoover demonstrated the Mustang and later an Aero Commander at hundreds of air shows until his retirement in the 1990s. In 1997, Hoover sold “Ole Yeller” to his good friend John Bagley of Rexburg, Idaho. “Ole Yeller” still flies frequently and is based at the Legacy Flight Museum in Rexburg.
The 18” x 22.5” prints are available in a special Limited Edition size of 300 Signed & Numbered and 30 Artist Proofs.