Flyboys tells the story of the Lafayette Escadrille, young Americans who volunteered for the French military before the U.S. entered World War I, and became the country’s first fighter pilots. The movie’s depiction of air-to-air combat uses MANY CGI effects to make a visually exciting movie (though the plot is a bit dull, IMHO). However these exciting combat scenes bring up a few questions:
- What happens to all the bullets? Were the civilians of France routinely injured by falling lead?
- Powered flight was still in its infancy at this point. Were aircraft really as maneuverable as depicted in the movie? It seems like these rather flimsy airframes would fall apart under the stress of the violent maneuvers these pilots make.
- At one point, the arch nemesis in the movie pulls his plane up next to the dying hero’s plane (both planes are in flight). Much to the nemesis’ surprise, the hero pulls his sidearm and fires, hitting the bad guy. Would this work? The bullet is fired 90 degrees from the planes’ direction of travel. Once the bullet left the barrel, wouldn’t it start falling behind the speeding aircraft? In order to hit the dastardly German, our hero would have had to lead the target, yet the scene does not seem to show this. Could one make a fatally accurate shot this way?