Flight of the Phoenix

The crew finishes building the new plane (Phoenix) and just as they're about to take off, the gang of bandits appear and attack. Before take off, the plane's rudder is damaged by a bullet and Elliot (Giovanni Ribisi) fixes the problem. The Phoenix takes off and flies successfully and before the end credits through a series of photos we see what became of the crew when they made it back into civilization: Towns (Dennis Quaid) and A.J. (Tyrese Gibson) start their own airline (appropriately named Phoenix), Sammi and his wife start their own restaurant (Jeremy and Rady are there to celebrate), Liddle is reunited with his wife and kids, Ian (Hugh Laurie) becomes a professional golf player, Kelly (Miranda Otto) is working at at an ocean oil rig and Elliot is on a magazine cover with the headline "the future of NASA?"

Neuman

Plot hole: This film is set in 2004. The thought that no search and rescue operations would be put in place after an aircraft disappeared from radar during a routine flight is absurd. The Chinese are paranoid about intrusion on their territory and the downed aircraft would have been located by a simple satellite search within hours of it crashing. Chinese military satellites crisscross the Gobi and they are equipped with optical cameras, microwave and infrared detectors and radar, so spotting a metal aircraft on the ground would be simple even if it was hundreds of kilometres off course. The crew would have been visited by Chinese military helicopters (and probably arrested!) as soon as the storm had died down.

PEDAUNT

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The Chinese government, for whatever reason, may have denied there was any crash at all if it suited their purposes, and the oil company that owned the plane would have little recourse. The Chinese have done this before. For the purpose of the plot, the survivors decided that they had to save themselves rather than wait for rescue and that was completely plausible.

Suggested correction: It's now 2021, and we still can't find Malaysian Airlines MH370. So this suggestion of planes always being found is laughable.

stiiggy

MH370 crashed into the ocean, and in fact some wreckage has been found. The Chinese military does not have the south Indian Ocean under satellite surveillance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, unlike the Gobi desert where a crashed plane would be spotted within hours of it going missing.

More mistakes in Flight of the Phoenix

A.J.: Listen up. We got a major problem. Looks like we have to make an emergency landing. Make sure you're strapped in, and if you believe in God, it's time to call in a favor.

More quotes from Flight of the Phoenix

Question: How realistic is Elliot's plan of building a new plane?

Answer: A flying version of the design about 1/2 scale was built and flown for the original 1965 film. It appears in several flying scenes in that movie, but tragically crashed during filming, killing stunt pilot Paul Mantz.

Answer: Completely realistic. As explained correctly in the film, the aerodynamic principles involved are valid. Given that the constructed aircraft would have oversized wing surface area and an excess of power available, it should fly. Disruption of the airflow over the top of the wing due to the passengers would be minimal. In the 1930's airshows featured multiple wing walkers atop much smaller and lower powered aircraft.

Answer: Stupidly unrealistic. The plane simply wouldn't fly with people hanging off its wings for a start.

stiiggy

There's a big difference between a single wing walker on a high lift biplane compared to 10 people hanging off the wings.

stiiggy

Search on "multiple wing walkers" and see a 160 hp biplane carrying 5 walkers. So, for the C-119 there is about 2894 square feet of wing area, call it 2000 after cut down. The PW R-4360 produces 3500 hp, but let's use only 30% of that to protect the cobbled airframe. 10 guys on the wings are going to disrupt airflow over about 12 square feet each leaving about 1880 square feet of unobstructed wing being driven by 1000 hp. 30 people on the wings would not stop it from flying.

More questions & answers from Flight of the Phoenix

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