Tony Wilkins gets back to his aviation roots as he counts down his top 5 fictional aircraft.
5. MiG-31 Firefox (Firefox)
The movie might have been a slower experience than being made to watch Twilight continuosuly from start to finish but the plane wasn’t. Inspired by reports from Russian pilot who defected in 1975 about a new MiG the Firefox was capable of flying up to Mach 5 and had both forward and rearward firing missiles. Perhaps its most sci-fi feature was a device that read the pilot’s mind although it was only calibrated for Russian thoughts.
4. FFR-31 Super Sylph (Battle Fairey Yukikaze)
More than just a fighter aircraft the Super Sylph has its own AI which views the pilot through a HAL-9000 style webcam. While its primary role was to observe the battle from a very high altitude it is a capable dogfighter in its own right. Even better is the fact that if the pilot is about to get killed the AI will take over and save the day.
3. MB-52 Megafortress (Flight of the Old Dog)
A B-52 bomber on steroids? Nope. Far more than that. This aircraft really was a flying fortress able to perform a wide range of missions but more importantly could cloak itself from radar thanks to its stealthy improvements and ability to jam the enemy. If that failed however it had an awesome array of firepower to call upon to deal with the threat.
2. Airwolf (Airwolf)
“It’s a mean looking S.O.B. I’ll give you that.” So goes the line of the annoying senator in the TV movie and Airwolf really was. Airwolf looked like a flying shark and had the perfect balance of speed, firepower and agility often getting th better of the various MiGs and helicopters that it went up against over 4 years. A little known fact is that much of the technology that went in to the original Airwolf was based on real weapons and equipment used by the US military to the point where McDonnell Douglas (a major military contractor) threatened to sue!
Ok let’s ignore the movie as it is quite a contentious subject. The truth is the F/A-37 Talon was epic. It looked the business and with a full scale mock up it had an element of realism that a lot of sci-fi fighter planes didn’t have. So real in fact that when pictures of it on the deck of an aircraft carrier appeared on the internet during filming the internet was abuzz with news that the US Navy was testing a highly advanced fighter!
Thanks for reading…