mirrodie
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So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:11 am

My brother just loaned me a DVD of FLight of the Phoenix (the new version) and he just asked me if I saw it yet.

I said I was halfway through.

Then he asked if I knew what was coming. I said, "yes, I saw the original" and so that was when he realized that the movie is a remake.

So then he asked me, can such an event actually occur?

I paused a moment and said yes. But i'm not a pro.

Considering the orignal film, would such an event be feasible? that it, flight from parts of a wrecked plane?
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MD11Engineer
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:17 am

AFAIK, the plane shown in the first movie was really assembled from parts of the Boxcar and flown (by a test pilot).

Jan
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OzLAME
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:34 am

Yes that is correct, it did fly as shown in the movie. I can't remember all the details now (I'm not actually sure now if I even ever heard/read all the details), but IIRC the job of actually building and flying the Phoenix was undertaken by Tallmantz Aviation, whose principals were Frank Tallman and Paul Mantz, very famous guys in Warbird and Movie aviation circles. At any rate they did build it and it did fly; one of them (I think it was Paul) was killed in a flying accident during filming, but I don't know if it was the Phoenix that crashed or another aircraft.
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WrenchBender
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Fri Jun 03, 2005 10:02 am

Aldritch the director wanted a second take of the flight, (basically a touch and go to simulate the take off) Mantz set it up again but the skid caught and the "homebuilt" cartwheeled killng Mantz and requiring scale models etc to be used for the rest of the shots.

WrenchBender
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MrChips
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Fri Jun 03, 2005 10:12 am

It would be possible to do that, but nowadays, there really is no need.

SAR techniques are good enough that you are better off to stay with the aircraft than to try and walk/fly out.

Also, with modern aviation regulatory agencies, they would have a cow if you flew a jury-rigged aircraft that is uncertified, untested and has no official paperwork into any airport with passengers aboard...I can think of at least a dozen violations attached to that scenario.  bigthumbsup 
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SlamClick
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Fri Jun 03, 2005 10:15 am

In the original the "Phoenix" in the flying scenes was a highly modified DHC-1 Chipmunk, shot from a distance. It was not easy to tell but it was much smaller than the result of mating a C-87 engine, boom and two outer wing panels.

Just my guess that it would take some ballast to make the CG fall somewhere near the wing.
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HAL
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Fri Jun 03, 2005 3:10 pm

OzLAME and WrenchBender are correct - they did build the 'frankenstein' plane for the original movie from parts of a boxcar, and they did fly it, killing Paul Manz when one of the skids caught a sand dune.

HAL
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L-188
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Fri Jun 03, 2005 3:46 pm

Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
that it, flight from parts of a wrecked plane

Yup as already mentioned the original movie was made back when movies didn't have CGI graphics, so everthing had to be done for real.

And Paul Mantz was killed during the making of the original.

Even if it wasn't, I would suggest that there is a fairly large percentage of Super Cubs, 180's and 185's up here in Alaska that are put together from three or four different wrecks.
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SlamClick
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Fri Jun 03, 2005 10:43 pm

Well, I have to retract part of what I stated in Reply #5.

An article I read in an aviation magazine at the time had it wrong. The flying version of the "Phoenix" was not a DHC-1 at all. Here is a link to a technical description of it.

http://home.earthlink.net/~eellbee/mantz2.html

Neither was it the contraption they "built" out of C-87 parts.

The problem with the prop they used for the construction "Phoenix" is that the firewall is about at the leading edge of the wing. The tail would have to be extremely light for the CG to fall within the range required by that wing. The flying version, while it superficially resembled the construction version, was quite a bit smaller and a very different airplane.
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mirrodie
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Fri Jun 03, 2005 10:53 pm

I watched the rest of the movie last night.

Thanks for reminding me, I do in fact recall that a stuntman died in the original and that the plane did indeed fly.

ONly question I want to raise is, did the original fly with the protruding parts on the top of the wing.

My mild understanding of lift, Bernoulli, etc suggests that with the handles and plexiglass shields that the people in the film put on top of the wing, flying would be more difficult.

thoughts?

thanks thus far!
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MD11Engineer
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Sat Jun 04, 2005 12:23 am

Anybody remember the story of the DC-2 1/2 ?:D

BTW, the important part of the original movie wasn´t that much the aircraft, but the interactions between the arrogant, but genial German engineer and the old warhorse American captain.
Incidentally they were played by Hardy Krüger on the German side, who spent the Nazi dictatorship in a Nazi party school for future SS leaders (He got sent there by his parents, the strict discipline in there apparently curred him from any sympathy for the Nazi cause forever. He became one of the first German actors accepted in postwar Hollywood) and James Steward, who served in WW2 flying B-24s over Germany and later B-52s over Vietnam. He became a Brigadier-General in the USAF.

Jan
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WrenchBender
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Sat Jun 04, 2005 5:35 am

MD11Eng
you mean this one http://www.douglasdc3.com/dc2half/dc2half.htm
it's a great story and does show some of the versatility in the old designs.

WrenchBender
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SlamClick
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Sat Jun 04, 2005 5:58 am

The passengers strung across the top of the wing was TWO big problems I had with the original.

First, the spoiler effect of that little windscreen they built for them. You are right in wondering about it - it surely would have killed a lot of the lift. Further, it would have killed the lift produced in the propwash, which is a significant contribution to total lift.

The biggie though was the human factor. These guys spend days, weeks in the desert with no food, very little water and some with injuries. Then we are asked to believe that they could hang onto a handle on top the wing for the flight back to civilization. Preposterous.

I'll grant, for the sake of argument, the need to keep their weight forward. I've even alluded to that because the arm from LEMAC forward to the engine is very short, but anything would have been better than having them fall off on the way home. Maybe they could have stuffed two or three of them down forward of the pilot's feet, then crammed the rest into the space on either side of him and just aft of his seat. But no - they lay them across the top of the wing!

The new one has not even captured my curiosity yet. The trailers make it look utterly ridiculuous! It looks like some kind of video game. The plane hits the sand dunes going about five hundred miles per hour and skids for ten miles. Stupid stuff!
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zvezda
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:39 pm

In the remake, the engineer/designer tells the captain that the wing will produce too much lift. Perhaps the scene continued (but was cut during editing) with one of them suggesting putting the passengers atop the wings to solve the excess lift problem.
 
SlamClick
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Mon Jun 06, 2005 11:51 pm

The only time a plane has too much lift is when you shut down the engine and still cannot de-orbit.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:50 am

If you look at it, the wing was designed to lift that huge Fairchild Packet, while being fully fueled. Now it only has to lift the pylon, some remaining fuel, the engine and the landing skid. While the windscreen in front of the passengers will act like a spoiler, it is only very close to the wing root. I think the outer wing panels will produce more than enough lift and with this engine the "plane" will IMO very overpowered.

Jan
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SlamClick
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:26 am

Oops!

I made another mistake, and thank you Jan for making me see it.

People often refer to the plane in the original as a "boxcar" when in fact it is a "packet." I called it a C-87 when, in fact, it was a C-82!

C-119:
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Aad van der Voet



C-82:
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andy Martin - AirTeamImages

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kbfispotter
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Thu Jun 09, 2005 6:40 pm

I know that for the remake they assembled a "Phoenix" that could be run, and even taxied. They were smart enough not to fly it, though.


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dl021
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Sat Jun 11, 2005 10:07 am

Here is an excerpt about the original movie. Please refer to http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059183/trivia for the rest.

The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)
The plane they leave on at the end of the film was to be a C-82 Boom. The stunt of taking off was too dangerous, so legendary stunt pilot Paul Mantz was asked to merely come in low, run his landing gear along the ground, then take off again, simulating a take-off. On the second take the plane crashed and was destroyed, killing Mantz. As all main footage had already been shot, a North American O-47A observation plane from the Air Museum was substituted for the remaining close-ups.


The Tallmantz Phoenix P-1 was designed by Otto Timm and built by Tallmantz Aviation Inc. for the film. It had the following characteristics:
Length: 45'
Wingspan: 42'
Engine: a like-new Pratt & Whitney R-1340 nine cylinder radial engine of 650 hp, taken from a T-6, as were the wheels and various other parts.
Wings: wing panels taken from a T-11 (civilian conversion of an AT-11 which is a Beechcraft 18 type )
The apparent wing, tail, and undercarriage wire bracing was made out of clothesline, and was intentionally made to look flimsy.
The fuselage and empennage were all hand-built from scratch - plywood over a wood frame.
The cockpit was shallow and makeshift. The pilot sat down. Another person stood behind the pilot and was strapped to a stringer.
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L-188
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Sat Jun 11, 2005 3:25 pm

You know now that I think of It, I do recall a picture of a nationalist Chinese DC-3during WWII that was equipped with a DC-2 wing on the left side.
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WrenchBender
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:19 am

L-188

Quoting WrenchBender (Reply 11):
MD11Eng
you mean this one http://www.douglasdc3.com/dc2half/dc2half.htm
it's a great story and does show some of the versatility in the old designs.

Right wing see this link

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L-188
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RE: So Could Flight Of Phoenix Techincally Occur?

Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:40 am

Thanks for the link Wrenchbender.

So I got the side wrong.
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