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Hoover to Headline Warbird Review

By Frederick A. Johnsen

July 28, 2016 - Legendary pilot Bob Hoover is scheduled to highlight a special Warbirds in Review session Friday, July 29, at 10 a.m. on Warbird Alley. Hoover, who flew many of the great aircraft of World War II, will share the stage with a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter from Lewis Air Legends.

Bob Hoover’s presentations at AirVenture over the years are always packed by hundreds of enthusiasts who come to hear his amazing flying adventures, told in a bright and humorous style. Hoover’s courageous exploits are bolstered by his consummate grasp of aeronautics and his often self-deprecating sense of humor.

Pilot John Penney will participate in the session, describing the huge World War II P-47 Thunderbolt. This is one of only 14 airworthy P-47s in the world. Forty-eight P-47s survive worldwide; 31 in the United States, Penney said. Armed with eight .50-caliber machine guns in the wings, the heavy Thunderbolt was a formidable fighter as well as ground attacker.

Penney said the P-47 is fun to fly. “The handling characteristics are very nice,” he explained. But compared to other lighter fighters like the P-40 or P-51, “it is not as nimble.” Yet, he said, top-scoring American aces in Europe flew the P-47, including Francis “Gabby” Gabreski and Robert Johnson.
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