13th Annual Combs Gates Award goes to filmmaker for “Flying the Feathered Edge: The Bob Hoover Project”
Kim Furst to receive $20,000 prize from National Aviation Hall of Fame at NBAA Convention
(DAYTON, Ohio – October 20, 2015) The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) announced today that a documentary about one of its legendary enshrinees, Robert A. “Bob” Hoover, has earned its producer/writer/director, Kim Furst, of Kilo Foxtrot Productions, the 13th Annual Combs Gates Award. “Flying the Feathered Edge: The Bob Hoover Project,” tells the life story of the man many consider to be “the pilot’s pilot” and was inducted into the NAHF in 1988. Ms. Furst will be presented the $20,000 award on November 18th at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) 68th Annual Meeting & Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. Presenting the award will be representatives of the NAHF as well as several Hall of Fame enshrinees, including the film’s subject, Mr. Hoover, age 93.
The 86-minute documentary interweaves vintage still images, rare historic footage, and exclusive testimonials from other legends of aviation to vividly bring Hoover’s incredible story and variety of accomplishments to life. The gentlemanly Hoover, who began his flying career as a combat fighter pilot and test pilot, later influenced generations of pilots with his precision flying and wowed millions of spectators with awe-inspiring air show performances. “Feathered Edge” has garnered worldwide acclaim from both fans of aviation and of film since its release in 2014, and is now available in DVD and BluRay formats.
Upon learning of her selection, Ms. Furst said, “I was very moved to learn about winning this prestigious award. I’m grateful for Mr. Comb’s and the Gates Family’s commitment to preserving, researching and promoting our nation’s extraordinary air and space history. To be acknowledged by this award, from a wide jury of peers and the National Aviation Hall of Fame, is an incredible honor.”
The prestigious Combs Award, its original title, grew out of a donation to the NAHF by the late Harry Combs, a 1996 enshrinee of the Hall of Fame. As part of his generous $1.3 million gift toward the creation of a NAHF research center, Combs stipulated that the Combs Award be established to encourage and support relevant aviation history research and preservation efforts. A panel of expert judges reviews each submission based upon criteria such as historical accuracy, creativity, potential for long-term impact, and value to the Hall of Fame mission of honoring America’s outstanding air and space pioneers.
Combs was instrumental to the growth and development of business aviation. Consequently the NAHF partnered with the NBAA to host the award presentation at its annual meeting and convention, the largest purely civil aviation event in the world. The inaugural award was presented at the Opening General Session of the NBAA Meeting & Convention in 2003, the 100th anniversary of the first powered flight.
John Gates and his sister, Diane G. Wallach, are co-trustees of the Gates Frontiers Fund, created by their late parents and philanthropists, Charles C. and June S. Gates. The late Mr. Gates, who passed away in 2005 at age 84, was a partner with Combs in several aviation businesses including the Combs Gates FBO chain and Gates Learjet. This year marks the thirteenth year for the award and its tenth year with the name changed to reflect a multi-year commitment by the Gates Frontiers Fund to fund the award.
The award pays homage to Gates’ belief in the benefit of historic preservation and study, and to Combs’ own research efforts behind his acclaimed 1979 book, Kill Devil Hill: Discovering the Secrets of the Wright Brothers. Combs was inspired to write the book after close friend and fellow NAHF enshrinee, Neil Armstrong, presented him a bound collection of the Wright Brothers’ personal papers.
Combs died in December 2003 at age 90. During the inaugural award ceremony at the NBAA convention held a month before his passing, Combs remarked, “Just as Neil’s gift inspired me to discover the secrets of the Wrights, I want to motivate a new generation of historians, researchers and preservationists to continue the process of clarifying and preserving our nation’s amazing air and space history for generations to come.”
To find out more about the NAHF or to secure an application for next year’s Combs Gates Award, please contact the NAHF Harry B. Combs Research Department at (937) 256-0944, Ext. 11, or visit www.nationalaviation.org.
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Ron Kaplan TEL: (937) 256-0944 ext.16
NAHF Enshrinement Director CEL: (937) 212-8847