No matter how anyone defines what makes a person an aviation legend, no one can deny that Bob Hoover definitely is one. In fact, he has been enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio, since 1988, certainly a credible barometer of men and women worthy of the title “aviation legend.”
North American P-51 Mustang
While the 65th Annual NBAA Convention here in Orlando is the world’s greatest gathering of modern business aircraft, it isn’t the only great aircraft collection in the area. Drive just 15 minutes west on I-4 and you’ll find Kermit Weeks’s Fantasy of Flight, home to the “The World’s Greatest Aircraft Collection.” If you are a fan of early era through post-WWII aircraft, the museum is a not-to-be-missed destination.
During World War II, from June 1943 through April 1945, they flew 1,578 missions, 15,533 sorties, destroyed 261 aircraft and earned 850 medals. They were the Tuskegee Airmen, African-Americans who were members of the U.S. Army Air Corps, championed by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt yet segregated from the rest of the troops. Trained at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Ala., they were pilots, instructors, navigators and mechanics.