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Chris300s
12-30-2004, 06:33 AM
I just saw the Howard Hughes movie Aviator last weekend. I know that they used a modified Bt-13, models and some CGI for the Hughes racer (because Jim Wright was killed before principle photography). However, there is about 20 seconds of aerial footage that doesn't look CGI or like a model. The plane is flying near a mountain range and does a 180 deg. skidding turn. Does anyone know (not think) if footage of the replica was used at all? It's possible that it was a large RC model but it looked great. I'd like to hear the inside story on that.

Thanks,
Chris

AAFO_WSagar
12-30-2004, 07:17 AM
I just saw the Howard Hughes movie Aviator last weekend. I know that they used a modified Bt-13, models and some CGI for the Hughes racer (because Jim Wright was killed before principle photography). However, there is about 20 seconds of aerial footage that doesn't look CGI or like a model. The plane is flying near a mountain range and does a 180 deg. skidding turn. Does anyone know (not think) if footage of the replica was used at all? It's possible that it was a large RC model but it looked great. I'd like to hear the inside story on that.

Thanks,
ChrisI don't have any "official" details but I know there was some pretty high quality footage shot by a private party at one time, and I know the producers of the film were looking for footage and sound bites. They may well have found a bit of the stuff the guy shot as good enough for their film and gone with it.

From what I heard Jim and the crew talk about before losing him, they were pretty sure they were not going to allow Hollywood to use the airplane. They had begun to feel kind of "bitten" by the media, partly due to the fellow who did the shoot for Air & Space, who, while being an award winning photographer, was shown to be lacking in people skills. When he was asked not to shoot pictures of the damaged airplane after the landing gear incident that happened just after his shoot, he simply walked a ways away, changed to a longer lens and shot away...

There's more but I've probably already violated trust by saying as much as I have but it is a sore spot (very) with me and every time I think about it it makes my skin crawl...

I can't wait to see the movie!

I worked with a producer out of the LA area earlier this year who is doing one of those "Howard Huges The Aviator, the Real Story" sort of things. We provided him an engine start and flyby recording. From what he told me in a conversation after production started, the sound bite was to be featured in the intro for the production.. I'm hoping someone buys it and airs it.. It should be on cable once it is all said and done and he is *supposed* to let me know when and where once it's inked.. should be fun year for aviation movies and such. I hear the Spruce Goose Museum is getting a lot of attention due to this movie..!

It's a good thing when Hollywood makes movies with airplanes in them!

Wayne

Chris300s
12-30-2004, 11:47 AM
I forgot to mention that the movie was fantastic! During the first 20 minutes (the "Hells Angels" scene's) my fiance asked why my hand was sweating. She later stated that we were probably the only people in the theater that had seen the real one fly...
I can't put into words what a tragedy the loss of Jim Wright was, nor can I begin to compare seeing the H-1 at Reno vs. the movie. I can say that if you saw the real one, it'll make the movie a little cooler.
I hope that the museum sells a million tickets.
As an aside, do you know if the Wright family had any plans for Jim's drawings and tooling?

Chris

RandyGoss75
12-30-2004, 12:00 PM
I saw the movie Sunday.

I could have sworn the H-1 was changing from short wing version to long wing version during some of the scene.......hmmmmmmmm

Could have just been a reaction I was having to the butter flavored substance on my popcorn......... :dunno: RG

AAFO_WSagar
12-30-2004, 12:52 PM
As an aside, do you know if the Wright family had any plans for Jim's drawings and tooling?Chris,

The last time I visited, unfortunately, was the day of the service for Jim. At that time, of course, nobody really knew what they were going to do. I do know that the crew would have loved to continue with Jim's dream to keep building classic, rare or non-existant, repro's of historic airplanes.. The Lockheed Sirrius was to be their next project.

It would be wonderful if they did continue with this wonderful man's dreams, however, I can totally understand if his wife, Betty, did not have the stomach for it..

Jim was one of those one of a kind people you meet, totally and I mean TOTALLY unselfish, giving and caring.. The kind of guy who made an immediate and correct judgement of everyone he met. Probably in many ways, like Hughes himself. Certainly, he shared the enthusiasim for researching and developing things mechanical, both men owned and operated machine tool companies.. were innovaters, did great things for their communities, etc..

I'll always cherish my time with him as one of the rare rewards given for simply asking a question.... "do you mind if I stop by the hangar and take some pictures"...

I'll never forget what he did while I was there that first day.. they broke for lunch, HE AND THE CREW TOOK THE AIRPLANE DOWN OFF THE JACKS, OPENED THE HANGAR DOOR AND TOOK THE AIRPLANE OUTSIDE FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then they left me totally alone with the airplane with and a ladder... he TRUSTED me based on his judgement of me on the first few minutes we were together..

Bill Rogers did a similar thing one late afternoon with MAII for me... I can't tell you how good it makes you feel!

Jim also set up my air to air session with the airplane, at his expense, taking off the rear emergency exit window on his classic Bonanza and then doing test flights with it to see how it handled, prior to calling me and inviting me down for my session... Jim Wright got me into my first slot in a magazine with that shoot... I made my first dollar from his generousity...

That's the kind of guy Jim Wright was and still is.. I believe he's still flying in and out of the now named Jim Wright Airport down in his home town of Cottage Grove, Oregon..

I've spewed much more in this response than was asked for but every time I think of that man and the group that he worked with, I choke up. The only framed photo I have in my home/office at this time is one of him looking over and smiling in his Bonanza at me from his Hughes... It was an incredible moment for me, absolutely unforgetable.

As was he...

Thanks for putting up with my elongated answer.

Wayne

Chris300s
12-30-2004, 03:27 PM
The switch between long-winged and short-winged H-1's is what struck me first (could have been a model, eh?). Then the flying near the mountains got me thinking; "I wonder if that's some of the footage from the Jimmy Leeward air-to-air or if they flew with the POF B-25?"
Thanks for the response Wayne, I'd love to hear more.

Chris

AAFO_WSagar
12-31-2004, 12:36 AM
The switch between long-winged and short-winged H-1's is what struck me first (could have been a model, eh?). Then the flying near the mountains got me thinking; "I wonder if that's some of the footage from the Jimmy Leeward air-to-air or if they flew with the POF B-25?"
Thanks for the response Wayne, I'd love to hear more.

ChrisChris, for sure, I don't know everything they did with the airplane but *as far as I know* there never was any video shot air to air. From what I understood, they were going to build a non flying full size "model" for the shots where that would be needed, then, use CGI for the rest. I later read (probably the same place everyone did) that they were using the modified rear cockpit setup to film "in cockpit" flying scenes (that sould add a dash of realisim!)

The airplane did not get on film or digital nearly enough, again, as far as I know, there were only three "no glass high end camera" photo sessions with the airplane. Mine, the Air & Space guy and another guy, who has a lot of really neat shots on the Wright Tools site.

The airplane and the pilot did not live NEARLY long enough!

I'll always cherish the time I spent with both.

Can't wait to see the movie, I'm down at the coast for the weekend, if I were lucky enough for it to be playing here at Long Beach, WA, I'd give it a go... I doubt that smallsville would have it running though and I'm not yet ready to deal with large town crowds, I'll prolly have to wait a bit till the lines slim down some.

Wayne

Kummer
12-31-2004, 03:28 AM
http://www.miramax.com/aviator/aviator_site.html

Randy Haskin
12-31-2004, 06:05 AM
I am *certain* that I saw one clip of the H-1 that had a *canopy* on it, a'la Wright replica.

AAFO_WSagar
12-31-2004, 06:42 AM
I am *certain* that I saw one clip of the H-1 that had a *canopy* on it, a'la Wright replica.Randy, that'd be cool if they actually do have some footage of the replica. What do you mean by "canopy" though?

Wayne

Randy Haskin
12-31-2004, 07:25 AM
I mean that I saw a light-colored straight line between the top of the windscreen and the top of the bulkhead behind the seat -- it was a dead-ringer for the little hood that Wright added on the replica.

Can't say for 100% that's what it was...but it sure as heck looked like it!

AAFO_WSagar
12-31-2004, 07:43 AM
I mean that I saw a light-colored straight line between the top of the windscreen and the top of the bulkhead behind the seat -- it was a dead-ringer for the little hood that Wright added on the replica.

Can't say for 100% that's what it was...but it sure as heck looked like it!Wuz just reading up at the site that was linked by Kummer, they said that they used models.. They might have modeled after photos of the repro...

The original had a canopy also, essentially it would look like Jim's but the original was a two piece affair that would pull up from both sides, meeting in the middle above the pilot's head.... would this be the line you're seeing?

The Wright H-1 sn #2 was made with a one piece pull over plexi canopy, because the orignal leaked on Hughes' head and Jim did not want to share that little defect. It was one of only a few (I only know of two) things that were different. The other was the change to a tailwheel from a skid on the original..

Pic of the Wright H-1 sn#2

http://aafo.com/racing/history/hughes_racer/update-2/images/52.jpg

man, I GOTTA go see this movie! Looked all around down here and the closest is up at Aberdeen.. not really what you'd call "up the street" I"ll have to wait till I'm back in the "big city" and go next week sometime.

I've seen some clips of deCaprio <sp?> acting and he looked like he did a bang up job of depicting a very interesting and strange man.

Wayne

First time Juke
01-01-2005, 07:17 AM
I want to see the movie too. Really a shame that Jim Wright did not have the change to fly for the movie, but hey possibly they made movie after movie folks saw his HH-1 replica and loved it. He lived a dream.

Happy New Year 2005 ! :thumbsup:


best regards,

Juke T

Jeff Lee
01-01-2005, 10:45 AM
Well, I'll weigh in here. Bryan and I went to see it last week, and really enjoyed it. Scorcese just jumps right into the story right after Howard has taken control of the "family business". They really balance the story between his movie making, and aircraft design.

A fear that I had was how I was going to react during the H-1 racer scenes. I did have thoughts of Jim, but I really got wrapped up in the story. And it was only at the end of the scene that I remembered that Howard only flew the plane once.

Some reviewers complained about how the film slows down at the end, but I didn't get that. Howard was definately on his down-hill-slide, but he really comes to life for one last "battle".

It's beautifully shot, and great acting from all the leads. I'm not a huge DiCaprio fan, but he really pulls off the look. That HH scowl made me believe.

It's a great movie for aviation buffs, and just a great story (of course that's coming from a fellow Texan). See THIS ONE on the big screen. You'll enjoy it on DVD along with the "extras", but to get the full effect, see it on the Big Screen.

It get's a big thumbs up from me.

Join us next week when we review.......


Happy New Year!!!

Jeff Lee

Unregistered
01-01-2005, 01:24 PM
I'm curious as to what you mean by Howard only flew the airplane once?

Howard flew the airplane dozens of times as a short and long winged airplane. The 3KM record was flown to an unsuccessful end on the day prior to setting the record, as none of the flights acheived four timed, reversed passes as per the FAI rules. With a four pass average of 352+mph the following day the record was acheived.

Then after the belly landing, the airplane was refitted with the long wing and flown many times to get the power setting/fuel burn/airspeed data to figure out the necessary requirments to fly the transcon record successfully. Howard flew the airplane between Mt Baldy and San Jacinto (I think) peaks as landmarks of known distance for some of the testing.

Howard never flew it after the transcon record, I think Dick Palmer flew it back to CA. The airplane has about 45 hours TT.

Chris...

Jeff Lee
01-01-2005, 08:58 PM
Chris,

My mistake, I thought I'd heard someone talk about the fact that he flew it that one time, like in the movie and that was it. I stand corrected.

Jeff

AAFO_WSagar
01-02-2005, 01:10 AM
Chris,

My mistake, I thought I'd heard someone talk about the fact that he flew it that one time, like in the movie and that was it. I stand corrected.

JeffHey Jeff, pretty common mistake, I think a lot of people get the H1 flights and the HK1 *flight* mixed up in the mindset..

It'll help you feel comfortable about Jim being gone if you think about the big soaring bird that was overhead doing patterns at his service. Coincidence?? I don't think so..

Guys with Jim's spirt don't ever really go away, flying just gets a heck of a lot easier for them...

Wayne

John H
01-04-2005, 05:22 AM
Great thread here....I must admit in the weeks before the release of the movie....I was filled with many thoughts and a big sense of sadness about what happened to Jim and his beautiful airplane. And so close to the airplane being the star of the movie...It just makes me shake my head. It's one of those things, If only if only...

John

Peashooter
01-04-2005, 06:42 AM
Jim Wright's H-1B was a true masterpiece!

First time Juke
01-05-2005, 03:27 AM
It was the fastest aeroplane in 1935 I recall; a real thoroughbreed. :thumbsup:

Is the Vultee P-66 Vanguard somehow a fighter version of it ?

Mluvara
01-07-2005, 08:20 PM
I just saw the Howard Hughes movie Aviator last weekend. I know that they used a modified Bt-13, models and some CGI for the Hughes racer (because Jim Wright was killed before principle photography). However, there is about 20 seconds of aerial footage that doesn't look CGI or like a model. The plane is flying near a mountain range and does a 180 deg. skidding turn. Does anyone know (not think) if footage of the replica was used at all? It's possible that it was a large RC model but it looked great. I'd like to hear the inside story on that.

Thanks,
Chris

I'm down at one of the model conventions in southern california at the moment... Turns out the guy who was in charge of the model work for the Aviator is giving a presentation tomorow at the show (he owns Aero F/X I believe), a special effects company. Turns out that a Reno racer and well known modeler (Jason Somes, F1 - Alley Cat) was the pilot of the 340lb (yikes) Hughes H1 model for the movie filming... I was told there was a lot of CGI done in the movie. Jason also has his F1 at the show and is busy talking about air racing with visitors.

Michael

First time Juke
01-10-2005, 01:55 AM
Aviator seems to be here on 28th of Jan. 2005.

Di Caprio looks sharp....like Howard Hughes did on numerous photos of him. :thumbsup:

First time Juke
01-16-2005, 11:40 AM
Most famous finnish actor here ( don't freak out ! ):

http://www.info.uta.fi/kurssit/a9/uuno/

He is also quite sharp ! Movies started in 1973--last is appearing soon...same actor !

First time Juke
01-29-2005, 01:45 AM
I saw it last nite.

Incredible life he had.

The HH-1 racer model was awesome. Hercules was also great when roaring past the crowds.

Did he really invent cantilever wing monoplane and flushrivets ?


I took my customer to see it. While after the movie we ate Sacher cake in coffee shop I found a furball under my piece of cake...I bet that happened to Howard too...it is gross. :D She got a quite a big "presentcard" from the establishment when I complained about the incident.

rgds,

Juke

First time Juke
01-30-2005, 12:27 AM
Here is the best site for Howard Hughes and his planes:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Hughes

Going through the links you will also find the crash site of the XF-11 twinengine that crashed on her maiden flight at the Beverly Hills area.

Here are excellent photos of him.

http://retroplanet.net/3hughes.html

Rigby
01-30-2005, 10:42 AM
I also really enjoyed the movie and thought the CG graphics were great. My absolute favorite part was the HK-1 scenes. I thought that that spart was absolutely amazing and I will go see the film again just for that part.