The Flight of the Phoenix

The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)

4 corrected entries

Corrected entry: In many scenes of the interior of the original aeroplane, in Flight of the Phoenix, up to three fire extinguishers can be seen. These are red fire extinguishers and would therefore have contained water. One of the main issues in the film is the lack of water; it seems strange that no one takes advantage of this source of water.

Correction: With regard to the contents of the extinguisher of the period the operation is by use of a striker at the top breaking an acid filled glass vial, this mixes with the water which is laced with bicarbonate of soda. The fizzy reaction produces the gas pressure to drive it. You wouldn't want to drink a lot of water with sodium bicarbonate in it, that would just add to your thirst.

Corrected entry: Unfortunately the whole premise of this film is flawed. You can't cut a twin engined aeroplane up and make a single-engined one out of the pieces. The torque from the second engine prevents the first from flipping the whole aircraft over, as there is no 'axis' through which to rotate. (If one engine fails, the torque from the first can become a big problem.) Without this compensating effect the Phoenix would simply flip upside down and crash as soon as the undercarriage left the ground. Single engined aircraft like the Mustang or the Spitfire have carefully weighted wings to balance the torque of the engine in flight - twin engined aircraft like the Fairchild C82 in this film have no such requirements. The stripped down, rebuilt 'Phoenix' would have no such protection and would roll as soon as it took off.

Correction: The author of the "mistake" knows nothing about aerodynamics. The "weight of the wings" has NOTHING to do with the stability of an aircraft, which the designer of flying model airplanes would know far better than a designer of full-sized aircraft. As in the movie, a model aircraft engineer has to design for a pilot-less super-stable aircraft. I'm an ex-USAF C-130 pilot of Viet Nam era and the "Beast" is much easier to fly than a 1/4th scale R/C Super Cub.

Corrected entry: When attempting to start the engine of the rebuilt plane, the propeller simply rolls to a lazy stop instead of a "lumpy" kind of stop then rocking back and forth a little like in a real aeroplance engine.

Correction: A real aeroplane engine was used thoughout the film.

Corrected entry: In the scene where the Phoenix is finally taking off you can see wheels mounted in the skis, even though it was established earlier in the film that the only way to build take-off and landing gear for the plane was with sand skis.

Correction: Not really a goof.True it is mentioned in the film that the "Phoenix" will be able to take off from the ground with skis, but it was meant that a "skit cradle" would have to be built around the wheels. If you observe the scene during where the men are pulling the left boom apart from the main fuselage, the undercarriage seems to be already designed with integrated tire within the ski itself. Sort of a "snowshoe" invention to help glide in deep sand and at the same time hard ground.

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Mistakes

Before the damaged plane is dismantled, in some shots the three propeller blades of the port side engine are a mixture of clockwise and anticlockwise type. (The twist along the length of the blade goes the opposite direction depending on the type).

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Trivia

The plane which is shown flying at the end of the movie was actually built and flown for the movie. The stunt pilot Paul Mantz was killed while flying it for the movie, which is why the plane is not shown landing in the movie's final scene.

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