Scott Furlong Predator: Looking the part.

This superbly convincing fictional aircraft was built to take part, as a supposed VTOL prototype fighter, in the almost forgotten “The Plane Makers” BBC series (1965-69). The series was about the running and personal dramas of an aircraft factory, the Scott Furlong Ltd. A sort of British “Dallas” or “Falcon Crest” with aircraft,…. something almost unimaginable in nowadays TV.

Obviously inspired in the Fairey Delta and its bastard descendant’s VTOL variant, the Balzac V. With the  just measure of Hawker P.1127 undercarriage.  Give way, please.


“MiG-31” Firefox: “Думайте на русском языке”.

I usually like to take time in the summers to watch old movies. The latest to suffer this treatment has been Clint Eastwood’s (1982) Firefox. The first time I saw it was in a double session cinema when I was a kid….. Boy!!, I still remember how thrilled I went home. Later, in my very pedantic twenties, the movie lost a huge number of points in my esteem. Older now -but not a lot wiser-, Firefox appears to me like a flawed yet quite enjoyable movie. All in all, Clint must feel happy enough.

Very different from the original, its “MiG-31” design was certainly astonishing in the early 1980’s and has aged decently. The choice of flight gear style is a plus in this movie. Worn very tight and with that. interesting selection of colours : black for our hero / white and orange international for its foe. The helmet as usual is the icing on the cake. In this case a very literal interpretation of the USAF HGU-15/P –USN HGU-20/P — NASA LEH  “Clam Shell”.

“Think in Russian”, my friends.

Ryan NYP (replica): No coaching needed.

Just revisited again -I’ve lost count of the times- Billy Wilder’s 1957 “The Spirit of St. Louis” movie. Still bizarre to watch the then almost 50 years old James Stewart as a 25 years old Charles Lindbergh…. Anyway, the attention to the technical details in this superb movie is just mouthwatering. One thing that also gave credibility to the movie was that James Steward was an accomplished pilot and it shows.

Just look at their NYP cockpit. Skilled hands at work.

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….