747s In The Movies

From:         etech@deltanet.com (Eric Chevalier)
Organization: Delta Internet Services, Anaheim, CA
Date:         12 Oct 96 22:13:07 
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Some interesting activities involving 747s seem to be going on at LAX
right now.

First, for the last two days a Tower Air 747 has been participating in
the filming of a movie or TV show.  There seem to be two basic setups
involved in the production.  In one setup, a self-propelled stairway is
running along the front of the port side of the 747 as it is taxiing.
In this setup, the airstair is on the far side of the 747 from my point
of view, so I don't know more about the stunt involved.  The second
setup has the same airstair running along behind the 747 as it taxis.
As the airstair catches up to the 747, a stuntman climbs to the top of
the airstair and appears to try and do something to tail of the
aircraft.  (I can't quite tell if the stuntman is actually trying to
climb into the 747.)

Watching this filmmaking activity brings a couple of questions to mind:
first, what's the ballpark cost of renting a 747 for a day?  The 747 is
running on its own power (it's not being towed), so there are fuel costs
involved, as well as a crew to operate the plane.  My second question
involves the crew:  any thoughts on whether a pilot would be operating
the 747 for this type of operation?  My guess would be the answer is
"yes", and might even involve someone with stunt-flying background, like
a Frank Tallman or a Clay Lacey.  Obviously, you want to start out with
someone who knows how to operate a 747.  This could include mechanics as
well as flight crew.  However, we're talking about coordinating the
movement of the 747 with ground vehicles (the airstair and one or two
camera trucks) that are running alongside in very close proximity to the
747.  A stunt pilot would be familiar with this kind of coordination,
which might prove useful even though no flying seems to be involved.

So much for Tower Air.

It looks like Kalitta/American International Airways has a 747 (N703CK)
painted up as a replica of the VC-25A used as Air Force One.  This plane
arrived late this afternoon (Wednesday).  At first, I thought it really
was AF-1, but as it came closer to my vantage point, the N-number
registration and the "Connie" callsign sort of gave it away.  When it
finally ended up at the Imperial Cargo Center and started discharging
containers, I thought that was a dead giveaway :).

But I'm very impressed by the paint job on N703CK.  It looks like the
real thing (even down to the 28000 tail number).  I'm guessing that the
plane is involved in another movie or TV shoot.  What's a ballpark
figure for the cost of painting a 747?

etech@deltanet.com           Eric Chevalier       Compu$erve: 76010,2463
etech@netcom.com         ---------------------          Prodigy: GCXJ11A