Who's Who in Aviation
given by Bob McCaffery
Real - Hughes Helicopters
- Howard Hughes College of Engineering
Bob McCaffery - Aviation historian and
distinguished lecturer on “The Amazing Howard Hughes”, has given over two
hundred presentations and has appeared nationally on “Good Morning
America”, several History Channel segments about the famous Mr. Hughes and
countless local radio/television appearances.
In 1980, he led a successful aviation
effort to “Save the Hughes Flying Boat” when legal agreements were to be
enforced calling for the cutting up of the world’s largest airplane. With
the support of 100’s of aviation enthusiasts and forty seven Congressmen,
the aircraft, in just six months, was placed on the “National Registry of
Historic Places” that stopped the ’buzz saws’.
He served as President of the Aero Club
of Southern California, owners of the ‘Spruce Goose’ and he presided over
the annual prestigious “Howard Hughes Memorial Award Banquet” for over a
decade. The Hughes Silver Medallion Award, established in 1979, is given
to individuals whose leadership in aviation and aerospace has
significantly impacted the industry. Hughes, a test pilot and considered
the ‘father of commercial aviation’, is honored every January to
commemorate his daring, record breaking ‘around the world flight’ in
January 1938. Some notable aviation recipients of the award are Jack
Northup, Jimmy Doolittle, Chuck Yeager, Kelly Johnson, Jack Real, Ben
Rich; and Lunar Astronauts Pete Conrad and Neal Armstrong.
Hughes, a test pilot, began his ‘love
affair’ with aviation at the age of 14 which continued throughout his
lifetime until his death in an airplane in route from Mexico to his
birthplace in Houston Texas. Hughes’ ill-fated test flight crash in his
450 MPH twin engine XF-11 at a speed of 155 mph in Beverly Hills on July
7, 1946, ultimately took his life in April of 1976.
McCaffery gives a refreshing,
informative and entertaining insight into the genius of Howard Hughes,
whose centennial year is 2005 as is Las Vegas, the city he loved.