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Okay so there is plenty of movies with aviation themes, and TV shows. Thought it would be good to have a place to share them 


Being of a younger and internet raised generation I've been enjoying anime related to aviation. That I'm not sure how well known they would be on this forum.


Some of you may have seen "the wind rises". It was on SBS last weekend several times. And is an (heavily fictionalized) account of the designer of the Japanese zero's life. The artwork alone makes it worth watching 


The creator also does a film called "porco rosso" which with the protagonist being an ace pilot turned into a pig, and sky pirates is a bit more lighthearted.


"The princess and the pilot" along with "sky crawlers" have some of the best dogfight scenes. Shows the strength of anime, allowing worlds that couldn't be shown using western film and CGI. Immersive story telling.


For jets nothing beats "area 88" a whole series dedicated to the story of a Japanese pilot tricked by a friend to sign a contract to be a mercanary. Who's only option is to fight to earn enough to buy himself out of the contract. Wide variety of jets used. 


Special mention goes to "last exile"


Doesn't use aircraft but "vanships" (think biplanes with no wings) once again stunning art and impressive characters/story









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Oh and to get them out of the way,


Top gun (high water mark)


The aviator


Iron eagle


The red baron


Flyboys (guilty pleasure)


Red tails


Flight of the intruder


Hot shots (love the low flying down mainstreet)


Catch 22


Pearl harbor (chick flick done right!)


Stealth (almost forgot. Really should have)


Squadron 303 (Huricanes)


Is a great polish film about the battle of Britain and polish pilots involved.


Haven't found an English copy of "sky fighters" yet.



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A couple of WWII themed movies


Battle of Britain


Dark Blue World




One about Howard Hughes


The Aviator


This one's a bit corny, but fun


The right stuff


One about space


Apollo 11 (documentary)



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The two that started the whole thing:


Howard Hughes' "Hells Angels" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell's_Angels_(film)


Howard Hawk's "The Dawn Patrol" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dawn_Patrol_(1930_film)


The there was George Peppard in "The Blue Max" 



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Nah ... OME, I reckon the one that started it all was this:


Did you catch it on first release?  I'm pretty sure I did.







The astonishing tracking shot in the night club that opens this trailer is, IMHO, yet to be surpassed for cinematic invention to this day. And that's even before considering the astonishing aerial cinematography. It really shows that the great Hollywood director William Wellman had been a pilot in WWI himself.  The story of the making of this classic is amazing. 






But then there was this, made a few years before.  Hmmmm ... the less said the better.





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Caught the end of Hughes's last film, "Jet Pilot" with John Wayne,


thought it wasn't half bad for a Sunday afternoon daytime viewing


haven't seen "the great waldo pepper" yet


and we cant forget the immortal classic


"Magnificent men, and their flying machines"



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A good movie though not a lot of flying scenes. The film No Highway in the Sky (based on Neville Shute's book), was produced in Britain and released during June 1951. It was about metal fatigue.  During the same period, the de Haviland Company designed and put into service the de Haviland Comet. Life imitating art.



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Cloud Dancer sparked my love of the Pitts aircraft, pretty dodgy by modern movie standards-no CGI back then.  


At school (early 80's)we watched an old film on reels with a bunch of kids stopping bad guys with remote control spitfires- RC gear had 1 stick and as huge. I have never been


able to find out what it was called. After that I started building model aircraft.



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Shameless plug:


There is always an aviation movie on the Friday evening before the Burnett Flyers' Breakfast Fly-in(at Murgon YMRG). Coming up August 10th.


Movies seen so far:


High Road to China


Empire of the Sun


The Blue Max


Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines


The Right Stuff


The Aviator


Fly Away Home


American Made






Coming attractions:


The Great Waldo Pepper


Flying High(Airplane in the US)


The Final Countdown




Apollo 13


Top Gun


Fly Boys


Battle of Britain



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  • 11 months later...

Dark Blue World gets my vote too, top movie. Also the flying scenes in Dunkirk were brilliant - no CGI there, done with real aircraft (not always Spitfires though!)

Flight of the Intruder was good in parts too, featuring the A-6 as the name suggests.

One that was crap but enjoyable was The Rocketeer - more about a jetpack than real aircraft but it did have a Gee Bee and a Zeppelin, from memory.

To broaden it out, someone mentioned space too... who can forget the Vipers in Battlestar Galactica (the modern version), and any of the lovely Naboo ships in Star Wars, with the J-Type Diplomatic Barge bearing a startling resemblance to a Northrop YB-35.

Oh, and still in Star Wars, the Wookie Gunship looking a bit like a MIL MI-24 chopper without the rotor.

(And if we're branching into choppers, the AT-99 Scorpion from Avatar was brilliantly done, but if I was going to fly anything in that movie I'd be on the back of a Mountain Banshee!)

Also deserving of an honorable mention is Sean Connery shooting off their own rudder in one of the Indiana Jones movies. If only the special effects were a bit less clunky...

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  • 5 weeks later...

Mercy Mission rescue of flight 771.

Movie based on a true story of an American ferry pilot ferrying an Cessna 188 ag wagon from San Fransisco to Australia in December 1978  who’s navigation equipment malfunctioned and got lost between Pago Pago and Norfolk Island.

A commercial Air New Zealand 767 Jet  without onboard radar eventually found him after many hours searching for him and using many old WW2 pilot tricks to pinpoint his location from the wise old captain and the navigator.

You can watch the full movie off the net.

enjoy, I have many a time.

Edited by alf jessup
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Following a discussion with family the vote goes to "Chicken run" . About a repressed group locked up and facing certain death. Call them chicken but really brave and inventive to effect an aviation escape. Uses a bit of animation and from an engineering view about as convincing as "Flight of the phoenix" but the family liked it. 

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