Sunday, October 22, 2006

You Get What You Pay For?

Last night at Best Buy I bought a collection of the 4 Airport movies from the 70's: Airport, Airport 75 (the best by far!), Airport 77, and Airport 79. Total price? $15!!!

I think I'll watch Airport 75 tonight. That's the one where the 747 (Columbia 409, if memory serves) gets struck in the flight deck by a private aircraft, killing the captain and first officer. A flight attendant takes over temporarily, but there's no way she can land the crippled aircraft. The powers that be then try to lower Charleton Heston (from a helicopter or another plane, I don't remember which) through the hole in the flight deck into the damaged 747 so he can land it. Now that's drama!

Airport 77 involved a 747 being 200 feet underwater in the Bermuda Triangle. Airport 79 involved the Concorde. As I recall, it was so bad that there were actually two different landings in that movie; apparently they couldn't stretch the story out long enough so that there was only one major plot. Those of you who remember this movie, did you catch my pun? Stretch? Remember, the 2nd time they had to stop the Concorde with huge rubber bands. Get it? Sometimes I slay myself.


EllenK said...

You would be much better off watching "Airplane". At least it's meant to be funny.

Darren said...

I saw Airplane too many times as a teenager for it to be funny anymore. In fact, even as a teenager it wasn't funny after the tenth time or so.

Airport 75, though, is a *classic*. Come on, they lowered Charleton Heston on a cable from one flying machine into another! Does it get any better than that?

Anonymous said...

You need to seriously get a life.

or learn to play video games...

Darren said...

This said by someone who frequents my blog??? Thank you for not having anything better to do! :-)

I just finished watching it. It *was* Columbia 409. I haven't seen that movie since the early 80s--it's amazing what you can remember! And they *did* lower Charleton Heston from a CH-53 helicopter.

My friend who watched it with me laughed the whole time. He thought the movie was incredibly cheesy. I told him he doesn't understand quality cinema, having seen too many movies where the plot consists solely of special effects.

allen said...

Wondering about a tediously technical point, is stall speed of a 747 is greater or less then the maximum speed of a CH-53?

Through the good offices of the internet:

CH-53 Maximum speed: 240.76 km/h (130 knots)
747 @ 800,000 take-off weight: 290 km/h (155 kts)
lightly loaded: 120 knots

So I guess it's possible not that impossibility would be an impediment.

Darren said...

Actually, Allen, I wondered about that too but was willing to suspend my disbelief. They addressed it, ever so slightly, by saying that a jet helicopter could get in front of the aircraft.

However, you've now completely spoiled it for me, as throughout the entire movie the 747 never got below a speed of 180. Whether it's mph, knots, or kph, and I suspect it's knots, it's still faster than what you've identified above.

Still, great drama!

MikeAT said...

“My friend who watched it with me laughed the whole time. He thought the movie was incredibly cheesy. I told him he doesn't understand quality cinema, having seen too many movies where the plot consists solely of special effects.”

I gotta ask how old is your friend? I wonder if he’ll find Star Wars or ET cheesy, with its “cheap” special effects. Your friend may not know that they dedlayed the production of Star Wars I, II, and III because George Lucas was waiting on new technology for special effects. I still say the Original Star Wars, Empire and Return were better than the “first” three.

I think I’ve told you when I went to see the Star Trek exhibit at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and I got to see the props from the original series. I first impression was “damned, how cheap”. Then think it out, 1960’s technology and a shoestring budget, but they had good stories.

EllenK said...

One of our local noncable networks is airing Star Trek Episodes. What passes for rock walls is crumpled paper and the "special effects" are pretty much straight out of what any high school these days could produce. It's much more amusing these days. Shatner always was a ham.

Chris said...

Aircraft are not watertight from the outside, and the inside is only compressed when the engines are running. The inside of the cabin would have to be pressurized to more than 84 PSI to at least equalize the outiside water pressure at a depth of 200 feet. And the maximum cabin pressure for a 747 is only 14.7 PSI. Besides that, the engines would probably be torn off apon impact with the water.

Darren said...

Chris, you obviously have much less faith in Boeing than the movie-makers and I do :-)

Darren said...

Oh, and Steven Seagall *can* take over an entire battleship on his own.

Suspend your disbelief!

EllenK said...

As I recall, a friend of ours who is an air traffic controller here in Texas made this unnerving comment regarding that plane during the movie. "Anything that costs that much and weighs that much, should be able to take a glancing blow." I try not to fly through his territory.