A cargo plane goes down in a sandstorm in the Sahara with less than a dozen men on board. One of the passengers is an airplane designer who comes up with the idea of ripping off the undamaged wing and using it as the basis for an airplane they will build to escape before their food and water run out.Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Tallmantz Phoenix P-1 was designed by Otto Timm and built by Tallmantz Aviation, Incorporated for this movie. It had the following characteristics: Length: 45' Wingspan: 42' Engine: a like-new Pratt & Whitney R-1340 nine cylinder radial engine of 650 horsepower, taken from a T-6, as were the wheels and various other parts. Wings: wing panels taken from a T-11 (civilian conversion of an AT-11, which is a Beechcraft 18 type ) The apparent wing, tail, and undercarriage wire bracing was made out of clothesline, and was intentionally made to look flimsy. The fuselage and empennage were all hand-built from scratch, plywood over a wood frame. The cockpit was shallow and makeshift. The pilot sat down. Another person stood behind the pilot, and was strapped to a stringer. See more »
Clouds suddenly appear in the sky when Frank sits down, after Dr. Renaud says, "Watching each other die could be even harder." See more »
I've lost five men, Lew. Gabriel in there, he's on the way, that'll be six. Are you asking me to try to kill the rest of them trying to get a deathtrap off the ground. I don't know... I don't know, Lew. It won't work... it just can't work.
All right, then, it can't. Maybe it can't and we'll all be killed. But if there's just one chance in a thousand that he's got something, boy, I'd rather take it than just sit around here waiting to die.
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Closing credits epilogue: IT SHOULD BE REMEMBERED...
THAT PAUL MANTZ, A FINE MAN AND A BRILLIANT FLYER GAVE HIS LIFE IN THE MAKING OF THIS FILM... See more »
I concur with the reviews of the many others on this page who love this movie. I bet I've seen it at least two dozen times over the last 35 years--maybe more. One of the most chilling scenes for me is the one where Richard Attenborough's character begins to chuckle, then to laugh, then to belly laugh, and then the laugh evolves seamlessly into an uncontrollable maniacal sobbing/shrieking, expressing his terror and frustration at the awful situation he and the others are in. This sort of thing has been done by other actors, in other venues...but no one ever has done it better.
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