For aircraft enthusiasts: A Fighter pilot reacts to movies about Fighter pilots.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Blazer, May 29, 2020.

  1. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    [​IMG]

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    Ah the eighties, when you could make a movie out of everything and the fact that the planes themselves had movie star looks also played a large part in their appeal.
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    The F-16 Falcon was the star of "Iron eagle" and the F-14 Tomcat was the star of Top Gun. Here's both types flying together.

    But that those movies aren't true to life shouldn't be a surprise. If we take the premise of the "Iron Eagle" series as an example "Borrow a couple of F-16's" to go on a vigilante mission? That's not likely to EVER happen, military pilots are still soldiers and Court Martial will be the least of their problems once they put those planes down on the tarmac once more.

    And about those "MiG" planes they fight in the movie?
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    In "Iron Eagle" THIS is supposed to be a MiG-23 "Flogger"
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    And THESE are supposed to be MiG-29 "Fulcrums"

    To give you guys a reference point here's how both types actually look in real life...
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    What you're actually seeing in that movie are Israeli made K-Fir (Lion club) and McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom jets. They also betray where that movie was shot, In Israel where their air force had no trouble lending jets and crew for the production.

    So, it's all a load of BS, really...
    But what does an actual fighter pilot think of those movies?
     
  2. marshman

    marshman Poster Extraordinaire

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    My dad gave us "Aircraft Identification Playing Cards" as kids, so even before I hit basic training, I knew all the planes & choppers down pat, but no one else in my family really cares whether the plane they say it is, is accurate, so I don't mention it anymore.
     
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  3. esseff

    esseff Tele-Afflicted

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    As someone in the aviation trade, they're inaccurate and implausible, which is why I tend not to watch them. Plus they're usually full of posturing macho stereotypes and over the top effects.
     
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  4. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for sharing loved that pilot's insights. Always makes me appreciate my cerebral desk job. I wouldn’t last 2 seconds up there.
     
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  5. rghill

    rghill Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The Iron Eagle movie poster reminded me that I was an extra in Aces: Iron Eagle III. It was a straight to video feature that had all the movie tropes.

    Chappy (Louis Gossett Jr) discovers that the corrupt Air Force staff is using the base as a drug smuggling operation with a South American drug lord (Paul Freeman). Chappy and his team of Aces (Former military pilots flying WWII aircraft) take on the drug lord's personal air force to save the South American village.

    Really terrible - WWII propeller aircraft up against jets with makeshift weapons.

    The one cool thing was that in real life, the WWII aircraft were interesting:

    Lockheed P-38 Lightning
    Supermarine Spitfire
    P-51 Mustang converted to look like a ME-109.
    North American T-6 converted to look like a Mitsubishi Zero.

    Other planes used:
    Scaled Composites ARES (supposed to be a Me 263, but looks nothing like the real plane)
    Soko G-2 Galeb (the jets going up against the modified WWII fighters)

    The day I was on set, I met Louis Gossett Jr and J.E. Freeman, and my biggest "scene" was a confrontation with Freeman's character over stolen missiles on the air base.

    For being as bad as it was, the film had a lot of talent on board. Some said it was a vehicle to try to launch two time Ms Olympia Rachel McLish as a mainstream actress. The producer is her husband. Along with Ms McLish, Louis Gosset, Paul Freeman, and J.E. Freeman, the film also featured:

    Horst Buchholz
    Sonny Chiba
    Fred Thompson
    Mitchell Ryan
    and Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini

    It was filmed in Marana AZ, at the Pinal Air Park.
     
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  6. ClashCityTele

    ClashCityTele Tele-Afflicted

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    I am obsessed with WWI aircraft but some WWI aircraft movies make me cringe.

    One of the worst plots was 'The Red Baron' (2008) but at least the pilots looked young.

    In 1966, George Peppard was 38 when he played a dashing, young pilot in 'The Blue Max'. Some German squadron leaders were 19 or 20.

    You can't beat 'The Dawn Patrol' with David Niven, Basil Rathbone & Errol Flynn.
     
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  7. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Nothing can top Burgess Meredith flying an F-86 chasing Lee Majors in a dragster on an open road.
     
  8. tbp0701

    tbp0701 Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks for that. I've seen the movie. It was on late night, many years ago, and was so absurd I kept watching. I think I remember the Spitfire pilot falling out of his seat while inverted, holding onto the canopy, and one of the other planes tapped wings to flip it upright? And a final battle with the Me 263? I can't believe it's still occupying brain cells.

    I forgot Boom Boom Mancini was in it, too. Unrelated aside: I ran sound at a wedding reception for one of his friends and talked to him a bit. He was very nice (but can't sing very well when he joined the band). I mostly remember his face. He looked fine from a distance, but up close it was clear that it had taken a lot of very hard hits.
     
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  9. rghill

    rghill Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Louis Gossett Jr was very likable and friendly. He actually came over to talk to all of us lowly extras. Funniest thing was the costume guy. He obsessed and fussed over my MP Air Force uniform. J.E. Freeman was cool too. I didn't get to meet anyone else, though a few of them were walking around the set.
     
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  10. esseff

    esseff Tele-Afflicted

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    Ah, yes, The Red Baron. Appalling, I gave the DVD away right after I'd watched it. Utter tripe (a British term of disdain).The trouble with these poorly-researched/glamorised movies is that they effectively distort history because many (younger) viewers don't read true accounts. Unfortunately it's the script-writers who are often mightier than the sword these days, not the pen.
    Movies like Saving Private Ryan redeem the industry.
     
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  11. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    The other "Mig" in the Top Gun movie in Black color was an F5 trainer Jet and also used by NASA.
     
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  12. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    F-14 = Flying Tennis Court term is hilarious. The F-14 was a very large aircraft that replaced the A-7 Corsair II(another large aircraft) and was in design for production during the early 70's during the Vietnam War.

    When my brother joined the Marines back in 78, they showed him a pic of the F/A-18 and said he would be working on those. He didn't see any of those, he worked on A-4 Skyhawks and F-4 Phantoms.
     
  13. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Afflicted

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    Same here...Top Gun is the last one I watched, probably because I wasn't yet in the industry. These days i tend to steer away from those types of films.
     
  14. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    Back in the early '80s I used to go mountain bike riding at a friend's enormous (12,000 acres) ranch near Bandera, TX.
    We would see the fighter jets out of San Antonio (~40 miles away) in practice dog fights. It was great fun to watch.

    M
     
  15. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I sometimes work with a fellow, let's just say he's not of the highest integrity and his general persona is (massive understatement coming) somewhat painful. His cell phone's ring tone is "Danger Zone". When I asked him wtf, he said that "it's the greatest song from the greatest soundtrack of all time, which is from the greatest movie of all time" . I suggested in a very polite way that he should get out more often, maybe expand his musical exposure a bit. I know this may sound a bit harsh of me; I could tell you many stories about this person, most are cringeworthy, but all of them are true, and he's currently under investigation from the powers up above for some recent nasty online activity.

    Anyway, I'd love to show him the OP's post and clip.

    Do I sound a bit narky?
     
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  16. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Nope, the Tomcat was designed to be an air superiority fighter, interceptor, the Corsair was a ground attack plane, two very different roles. AND the Tomcat and the Corsair served alongside each other well into the nineties.
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    The Corsair was eventually replaced by the F/A-18A Hornet and the Tomcat made way for the F-18E Super Hornet.
     
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  17. Rufus

    Rufus Tele-Afflicted

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    The absolute WORST was that piece of trash FLYBOYS, from a few years ago, about the Lafayette Escadrille. I have never seen it in its entirety, because the bits and pieces I have seen had horrendous CGI, with 90 hp engines defying the laws of physics with their unlimited vertical climbs and maneuvering.

    At least in most other movies, they use real aircraft. The flying and Fokker Triplane replicas (and Ursula Andress :twisted:) overcome George Peppard's age in the Blue Max. In fact, many of the other actors were older than historically correct.

    The flying and actual WWI aircraft used in Dawn Patrol make it watchable...the WWI aviation stereotypes viewed from 1938 are completely predictable, but not a bad movie.
     
  18. Rufus

    Rufus Tele-Afflicted

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    Technically true...but many aircraft are designed to be multi-role. The Hornet is designated F-18, but at least 50% of its usage is dropping bombs...at least in the Marine Corps.
    The Navy is more centered around carrier and fleet protection.

    When the F-14 was on its way out, during Desert Storm, after the Iraqi Air Force was eliminated prior to the start of the ground war, the Navy was trying to use the F-14's to drop bombs...at the time, we jokingly referred to them as "Bombcats".
     
  19. Rufus

    Rufus Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes...that and the fact that they would have run out of fuel before they even got there if they weren't aerial refuelled.

    But hey...I suppose one of the other talented 14 year olds could have stolen an aerial tanker.
     
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  20. Rufus

    Rufus Tele-Afflicted

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    That is a key point...there is a distinct difference between what we think of as "fighters" and "interceptors", though many don't understand the difference.

    Both the F-4 Phantom and F-14 Tomcat were designed to be high speed aerial interceptors, to flyout long distances from the carrier or airbase and launch air to air missles against incoming aircraft when they were 20-40 miles out, then turn around and drink beer at the O'club.. They were never designed to be maneuvering dogfighters...hell, the early F-4's didn't even have a gun, since it was believed that air to air missles made guns obsolete. After the Korean War, most air forces devoted little time to air to air training.

    However...the Rules of Engagement (our own rules of how we will fight) dictated that we must POSITIVELY visually identify an aircraft as a hostile enemy...so the advantage of launching missles from MILES AWAY was completely thrown away.

    Also, the early technology didn't work so well as planned. Take an AIM-9 heat seeking missle...When you take off from groundlevel and its 95 degrees and 90% humidity at a Vietnamese airbase and then minutes later you're in subzero temperatures above 30,000 feet, the failure rate of the missles were high. The moisture inside the seeker head could freeze at altitude and obscure the seeker head, things like that.

    The US had forgotten the aerial fighting lessons of WWII and Korea...SO... the Navy Top Gun and Air Force Red Flag programs were created in the late 1960's, to once again teach pilots how to fight air to air. The fact that US pilots had a high success rate using Interceptors in air to air combat against the smaller and more maneuverable Soviet supplied MiGs of North Vietnam was a testament to their abilities and fighting spirit.

    The Air Force got it right with the F-16...that IS AN AIRCRAFT DESIGNED FOR AERIAL COMBAT, while still having the ability to drop a few bombs.
     
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