Movies where pilots change planes mid-flight

I’ve just been watching a WWII flick called Flat Top. For one attack, the pilots climbed into Corsair cockpits, took off in what I think were Douglas Dauntlesses, cruised to the target in Corsairs again, dive bombed in Curtis Helldivers, and landed in Corsairs, Hellcats, and Avengers. Maybe this fictional squadron flew multiple types (which I don’t think the navy did then), but it was the same pilots we followed through all the planes.

Oh yeah, and the first scene of the WWII movie was a jet landing on the flight deck.

How many other movies does this happen in? I know I’ve seen it elsewhere, but this movie seems particularly egregious about it.

Well, there’s Airport 1975, where Charlton Heston takes off in a helicopter and then lands a 747, but maybe that’s not quite what you had in mind.

You left out the best part: Academy Award nomination for Best Film Editing!

Which reminds me of Executive Decision, where Kurt Russell and a whole special ops team take off in a stealth fighter as passengers (no to mention that there’s no room for them), and then lands as a pilot of a … 747?

I had no idea. Somebody was blowing somebody in a back room to get that nomination.

And starring Steven Seagal in the best role he ever played. :wink:

Really, it should’ve been called Dead in 15 Minutes.

The opening scene is set during the Korean War. The WWII scenes are flashbacks.

Well, that makes more sense. I must have missed whatever narrative explained that.

Midway does this a few times. Charlton Heston takes off in a F4F Wildcat and lands an F6F Hellcat.

IIRC he also crashes a SB2C Helldiver in place of the TBF Avenger he took off in (which transforms into an F9F Panther (jet) just before impact). The Hunt For Red October used the same F9F crash footage, only this time an F-14 Tomcat takes part in the magic trick. :slight_smile:

Changing planes several times in mid-flight was all part of a clever deception plan to fool the Japanese.

It happens all the time in almost any pre-CGI war flick with airplanes. You would think that CGI had eliminated the problem once and for all, but I continue to spot such discrepancies in shows like Dogfights.

The only movie I can think of that was more or less consistent was The Bridges at Toko-Ri with William Holden et al (flying F9Fs), though it’s been many years since I last saw it.

You might also want to listen to Airplane! where, every time the jet is pictured, you hear a piston-engine rumble, particularly when they turn the autopilot off and the plane goes into a dive.

they are paying homage to the plane to plane transfers done by wing walkers.

Enemy pilots do it all the time. Johnny Ace, crack American Fighter Pilot will be diving in on his implacable enemy Baron von Nazi, who is flying a Fw-190. Johnny cuts loose with his fifties, and the gun camera footage shows a Mitsubishi A6M wheeling away in flames. :smiley:

It’s a rare movie that doesn’t do this if real planes are involved.

I don’t recall seeing any Avengers in that movie but I do recall seeing Devastators as torpedo bombers (historical role) and dive bombers.

Footage of Devastators in battle exists?!? :eek: I need to watch Midway again.

Midway uses plenty of actual WWII battle footage, but it also includes a lot of (used and unused) aviation footage filmed in the late '60s for Tora,Tora,Tora.

Yeah, most of this stuff happened during the era of those big cheesy WWII ‘epics’ like Midway, where historical footage was used for financial reasons. There’s only so much quality footage around, and so you have to go with whatever planes were in them.

I remember “Black Sheep Squadron” on TV also used a lot of stock WWII footage. Usually they managed to keep the planes as Corsairs, because they were so iconic and different in design that the audience would notice instantly. But the Japanese planes would sometimes be Zeroes, then Kates, then something else. Whatever footage was available. And as I recall, some of the Japanese planes were just AT-6 Texans in Japanese paint.

Black Sheep Squadron did do a lot of their own flying scenes with the Corsairs, though. The production had six of them for air-to-air and ground footage. That was cool, and still is. There are less than a hundred F4U’s still flying today.