Supermarine Spitfire: “We either stand down or blow up “.

Spitfire is a drug. I’ve just revisited, again, the ” Battle of Britain” (1969) movie. With all its defects, nothing has come near this classic; no digital effects and plenty of hardware “in action”. Well, there one thing I hate in this movie: they killed the best “pilot” and I can’t really forgive them for that. The headgear was also quite dubious.

Such a glorious line. His name is….

Reindeer Airliner: “Ass Antlers”.

Just re-visited the very decent “No Highway in the Sky” (1951) movie. James Stewart as a seriously absent minded American “boffin” working in the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE). The story goes around how a metal fatigue problem he’s discovered on a brand new airliner has gone unnoticed and his quest to prevent a catastrophe.
Apart of Stewart’s usual flawless performance the most interesting thing of this movie is, of course, the Reindeer airliner. The Reindeer looks, even then, quite dated -like something out of a sci-fi serials of the prewar years. The supposed metal fatigue problem was located in the tail and it’s there were the tour-de-force of the Reindeer design was placed: with its outrageous fishy shape and with that bizarre biplane horizontal stabilizer units.

Not sure of what James Stewart, who rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the USAF, could have been thinking here….

“MA-3 pressure helmet”: Okay, José, you’re on your way!.

Getting near Alan Shepard’s historic Freedom 7 space flight anniversary (May 5, 1961).
José Jiménez was a fictional Mexican astronaut character created and performed by comedian Bill Dana. Astronaut Jiménez caught on with the Mercury astronauts, specially with Alan Shepard: he could recite many of Dana’s Jiménez routines by heart. The character became a sort Mercury program’s unofficial mascot, and Dana was even made the “eighth astronaut”.

Looks like the conveniently startling Bill Jack Instrument MA-3 pressure served as the model for this well finished headgear prop.