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"Favorite Aerial Dogfight in a movie? Battle of Britain!" Topic


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10 Jun 2019 4:41 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian10 Jun 2019 4:40 p.m. PST

You were asked – TMP link

What is your favorite aerial dogfight in a movie?

In the final round:

35% said "Battle of Britain"
32% said "Blue Max"
13% said "Star Wars IV: A New Hope"

14Bore10 Jun 2019 5:28 p.m. PST

Just watched it June 6th, still the best.

21eRegt10 Jun 2019 8:18 p.m. PST

When those 109s came in at the beginning, hopping a fence, I knew it was going to be a classic.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2019 2:07 p.m. PST

Dunkirk.

PK Guy Brent11 Jun 2019 4:13 p.m. PST

The Eternal Zero had several incredible scenes.

King Cobra12 Jun 2019 5:11 a.m. PST

Dark Blue World

Ghostrunner12 Jun 2019 11:53 a.m. PST

Funny that Top Gun never got mentioned in the discussions…

Mark 112 Jun 2019 3:46 p.m. PST

When those 109s came in at the beginning, hopping a fence, I knew it was going to be a classic.

Assume you mean this scene: YouTube link

Agree it's quite impressive. Very well done. Some attention to detail, too, as it was all Hurricanes on their French airbase -- no Spits to be seen. I'm sure I'm not the only one on this forum who appreciates that level of attention in a war film.

One funny flaw in that scene, though. Watch the second view of strafing runs, from about 0:45 to 0:55.

Someone didn't get the effects of the bullet strikes aligned properly with the flight pattern of the planes. We clearly see a plane fly in to the camera "shooting". Then we see a plane fly across the camera "shooting", at which time (about 0:52) we see the bullet strikes coming in to the camera from a plane that flew over us several seconds before.

Whether the planes flew the cross in the wrong sequence, or the effects guy set off the poppers in the wrong sequence, it's clear that the sequence we see is:
- Plane A strafes
- Then Plane B strafes and we see bullet strikes for Plane B
- Then we see bullet strikes for Plane A

As I understand it this was observed in production … maybe in the editing process, maybe even on the day of filming. But it would have been too expensive to re-take the scene, so they just sucked it up and hoped no one would notice.

Not intended as a serious criticism … just offering it as a fun bit of trivia to those who haven't noticed (or had it pointed out) before.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Sailor Steve12 Jul 2019 10:18 p.m. PST

A side note: I would hope that most of you are familiar with the name Louis Strange, the early aviation pioneer who developed bombing methods and other airborne weaponry during World War 1. He was a personal friend of Lanoe Hawker, and Hawker was best man at Strange's wedding. Strange was most famous for falling out of his Martinsyde Scout while trying to change the drum on the Lewis gun attached to the top wing with a mounting of his own design. he saved himself by hanging on to the drum while swinging back into the cockpit. The story is much longer and better, but it can be looked up.

So what does this have to do with World War 2 and the Battle of Britain? In the Second World War Louis Strange was too old to fly in combat, so he was made an airfield director. He was actually in France when the abandonment of the airfields pictured in the movie took place. He had one pilot left at his field and two Hurricanes. Strange took the second plane and they took off for Britain. He ended up being chased by a couple of Bf-109s, across the French countryside and then out over the channel. At that point a vic of Spitfires showed up and he made it home safely.

Just one of many misadventures with one of the original "hard-luck" pilots.

ScoutJock20 Jul 2019 3:05 p.m. PST

My favorite is Tomcats vs Zeros in The Final Countdown.

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