Eurofighter Typhoon: Phew, what a Scorcher!
Poor Scorcher One. He is suffering a fairly profound crisis of identity as he tools about in his Eurofighter Typhoon whilst, apparently, ‘nothing comes close’. Or rather is it that Scorcher One won’t let others near? Apart from a VC10 of course but then, he’s only human. This perplexing film directed by Doug Fidler and produced by Impact Image first hit our screens in 2002 and Fidler asks some profound questions from the very start, not only of the nameless lonely hero, Scorcher One, but also of us, the audience, as well as EADS, the RAF, the Balkan region as a whole and cinema itself (as represented by the ever-popular promotional film for a major arms manufacturer genre).
Fidler’s film is laced with nods that should find favour with any cinematically savvy audience. The running length is, deliciously enough, 8 and a half minutes long and who but Fellini could have come up with such a psychologically and philosophically ambiguous visual treat as this? But one must remind oneself, this is Fidler, not Fellini, despite such intriguing temporal references.
The film opens on a nondescript concrete building, ‘guarded’ by three cold adolescents. ‘Danger’ announces a sign on the wall. Who is this warning for? Is it for us? Is it for them? It doesn’t look particularly dangerous. Even the Zil-131 truck outside appears to be in immaculate condition fresh from its MOT and sporting a new tax disc.
Inside are two anonymous men, played by Jonathan Hartman and James Harris. Insider rumours from the set suggest that nearly half the entire budget for this film was used to style Hartman’s eyebrows. If this is true it was money well spent.
Interestingly and not altogether plausibly, these two shady characters, have invested their hard-earned cash from a variety of baddie enterprises into the purchase of some kind of 2002 super-computer (were there even computers then?) and they have chosen to run the simulation of their chemical weapon strike mere minutes before the launch of said chemical weapon. These are spur of the moment kind of guys. Nonetheless the simulation reveals to us a massive projected death toll that warrants some kind of response.
To this end the mysterious Scorcher One must be interrupted from his busy schedule of staring into the middle distance. He is in no hurry.
The leisurely pace with which he boards his aircraft displays the confidence he has in his ability to deal with any conceivable threat. Which is lucky for, apparently, he and his Eurofighter are the only strike assets available to the entire ‘coalition’ (how prescient!). Why therefore is he ‘Scorcher One’? Why not plain old ‘Scorcher’? Perhaps there is a Scorcher Two but due to the incredible cost of the Eurofighter he is expected to achieve his objectives with a Ford Escort and a Webley revolver.
And at this point something odd becomes apparent. Despite clearly being from Guildford (or maybe Marlow) Scorcher One is flying the Italian single-seat prototype, another nod to Fellini perhaps, though one wonders why his call-sign is not therefore ‘Bruciatore Uno’ as ‘Scorcher’ must, one would think, be a fairly obscure word to most Italian air force personnel, as are the words ‘phew what a’.
As he pilots his continuity-troubled warplane through a selection of library footage and cack-handed special effects one wonders what must be going through lonely Scorcher’s mind. Luckily, we, the audience, are privileged enough to find out. Scorcher’s mind is filled with the dull orders and statements of a mysterious, god-like woman who sits in the sky in a darkened office space aboard a CGI Boeing E-3. Is this woman real or is she (as seems more likely) a product of Scorcher One’s overworked subconscious? A suggestion that all is not necessarily as it seems with Scorcher and his objectives. Anyway, the shady man and his evil eyebrows are dealt with in such an offhand fashion that Scorcher can’t even be bothered to be nearby when their bunker and clean lorry are blown to bits by his efficient weapon. It is worth remembering at this point that the ‘projected lethality’ of Eyebrows’ evil weapon was over a million. Should we not expect Scorcher One to be prepared to pilot his Eurofighter straight into any well-maintained truck and bunker complex at this point rather than swanning off to get some petrol from an obsolete airliner? Did the eyebrows and their plan ever really exist? The ease with which they are despatched, warranting not even the presence of their destroyer implies that they were a construct, a whim of Scorcher One in his little jet, to be wiped from existence as imperiously as his mind conjured them up.
But what’s this? There are other threats. Gadzooks. The angriest man IN THE WORLD has a whole nest of missiles to chuck at Scorcher. The unattainable woman in the sky is there in Scorcher’s ear to tell him of these new masculine threats with their ex-Soviet equipment. And for a moment Scorcher One appears to be in danger of being destroyed. Or has he allowed this to happen? His life is devoid of drama thus he must create it. At this point, as the façade he has created becomes more apparent we, the audience, may be feeling somewhat cheated. Where is Scorcher’s apotheosis? Aha! A mysterious unmarked Su-35 (ED: with canards?) is detected by the god-woman. An aircraft universally acknowledged as one of the world’s most formidable should prove a worthy adversary. A genuine challenger in Scorcher One’s sky ready to fight it out, Top Gun style, with skill and panache until only one remains. At last, the potential for genuine drama.
But that would be too obvious. An Su-35 appears. An Su-35 is destroyed. That is all.
And thus the unbelievable reality of Scorcher One’s crazed mind is laid bare. Like Brett Easton Ellis’s Patrick Bateman, Scorcher One must create fantastical homicidal situations to relieve the banality of his existence. That they are, at least in part, fantasies cannot be in doubt once he launches the LGB which has magically appeared on his aircraft where none was fitted before.
His latent homosexuality, with which he has neither the emotional means to deal with nor the sociological capacity to tolerate, means that the ideal woman as dictated by society remains unattainable and tortured Scorcher One is ordered, by her (ie himself), to destroy anything or anyone in which he shows an interest.
Meanwhile his paranoia requires he manufacture threats of inconceivable danger that he may destroy with a less-than-gratifying ease. That so many profound and convincing musings on the human condition be packed into this intriguingly brief film is testament to the as-yet overlooked genius of Doug Fidler.
Eurofighter Typhoon: Nothing comes close. That must be lonely.
Review by Edward Ward
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Google reveals F-35 is dangerously over-exposed
Internet giant Google revealed yesterday that the F-35 was dangerously over-exposed in terms of media coverage. A USAF spokesman commented “With over 200 articles a week published on the F-35 program, there is a very real danger that some of this rhetoric will bounce off the airframe rendering it dangerously visible to enemy radars”
The F-35’s airframe, which is shaped to reduce visibility to auditors, is 60 per cent caviar, 15 per cent mink and 25 per cent cocaine. The aircraft is even more vulnerable from detection by obsolete search engines such as Ask.com, ChaCha and Boogami which operate on a different wavelength. A US Navy think tank has been studying the so-called ‘Swarm’ effect, whereby one reputable website produces a story on the JSF and thousands of reverse-engineered drone stories follow it. The think tank noted that many of these drones were poorly produced with little regard for production quality.
The Gray Slag
The aircraft is powered by the sunk cost fallacy and with a loaded weight of 50,000 lb it is considered too big to fail. While critics suggest a unit price upwards of $170 million, Lockheed Martin have pointed out that once you deduct the cost of the engine, materials and electronics in the jet this figure goes down. This figure can further be reduced by removing other numbers. Proponents of the F-35 are keen to point out that everything is fine and it is brilliant. Meanwhile, critics of the $500 trillion project are keen to point out that everything is fucked and it’s awful. Arthur Koala, head of Public Affairs for the American taxpayer is quoted in this article as saying “The first priority for any nation is defense, and we remain committed to the defense of Lockheed Martin.”
Wonga.com, who are in charge of finalising contracts with export nations are confident in future sales. Their head of sales noted “The partner nations and export customers are of course free to walk away from the program, though they may find Hillary Clinton refusing to talk to them again. But if they are comfortable with a bad relationship with the world’s greatest super power they are free to leave…terms and conditions apply.”
The Australian Minister of Defence, Senator the Honourable David Johnston, said he shared Canada’s blind faith in the dumpy fighter and would buy it however expensive, late or ineffective it was. British Secretary of State for Defence Richard ‘The Hamster’ Hammond has fought hard to ensure that Britain has the minimum amount of F-35s at the maximum price. He noted that “By making sure our biggest defence contractor is making tail-planes for a US design we have ensured that Britain will never again be able to make a front-line military aircraft by itself. Following the rather mental Nimrod MRA.4, this is considered a good idea” .
Britain’s force of four F-35Bs will enter service in 2022 and will replace the Typhoon, A400M, Grob Tutor and take over the role of Joey in The Only Way is Essex.
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I’ve selected the richest juiciest cuts of Hush-Kit, added a huge slab of new unpublished material, and with Unbound, I want to create a beautiful coffee-table book. Pre-order your copy now right here
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From the cocaine, blood and flying scarves of World War One dogfighting to the dark arts of modern air combat, here is an enthralling ode to these brutally exciting killing machines.
The Hush-Kit Book of Warplanes is a beautifully designed, highly visual, collection of the best articles from the fascinating world of military aviation –hand-picked from the highly acclaimed Hush-kit online magazine (and mixed with a heavy punch of new exclusive material). It is packed with a feast of material, ranging from interviews with fighter pilots (including the English Electric Lightning, stealthy F-35B and Mach 3 MiG-25 ‘Foxbat’), to wicked satire, expert historical analysis, top 10s and all manner of things aeronautical, from the site described as:
“the thinking-man’s Top Gear… but for planes”.
The solid well-researched information about aeroplanes is brilliantly combined with an irreverent attitude and real insight into the dangerous romantic world of combat aircraft.
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Great video of Dion singing in an Air France Boeing 707
An Air France Boeing 707-328 and popstar Dion Di Mucci in 1962. The song is a cover of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s ‘Ruby Baby’ originally recorded by The Drifters. As an aside, there’s an amazingly fierce cover of this song by Cody Brennan featuring some great guitar playing by the young Roy Buchanan (the intro of which was re-used by The Cramps for ‘Alligator Stomp’.
Famous planes matched to songs
First there was cinema, then 3D cinema..now at long last jet-a-sound!
I’ve matched aeroplanes to appropriate songs. The aircraft have been matched to songs which sum them up. The connection may be been an obvious one or maybe something more subtle.
Please add your suggestions to comments and I’ll include them to make the ultimate aircraft mix tape! BOOM!
It’s a simple game:
1. Turn down the volume on the plane clip
2. Turn up the volume on the song clip and start playing it.
3. Watch the plane clip.
Convair B-58 Hustler
Hustler song clip
Hustler plane clip
Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet
Me 163 plane clip
Me 163 song clip
Constellation plane clip
Constellation song clip
Blohm & Voss BV 141
BV 141 Plane clip
BV 141 song clip
de Havilland Comet
Comet plane clip
Comet song clip
‘Flanker’ plane clip:
Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
The Fairey Rotodyne Calypso
All helicopters blow up: The Hollywood guide to aviation
Airliners are inhabited by lovers whose timing is all wrong – unless they never make it to the plane as they are intercepted at the airport by their other half running in at the last moment. Airliners are full of lovely family people whose lives will be savagely cut short by the crash. They are full of sweating terrorists and inexplicably awful folk to sit next to. Air hostesses may want to have sex with you, or they might just want to be heroic in an emergency. Your plane is far more likely to crash if the pilot is an excellent husband.
Fighters are flown by handsome men with unprofessional attitudes and innate skills. Their main use is to kill space ships, communists or Nazis. Wingmen die. Every fighter plot has an equally skilled nemesis and a psychological flaw. Formations are always close, pilots can be white, black or fat, occasionally female, but not East Asian. Fighter pilots celebrate surviving a dangerous mission by flying in a dangerous way. Here’s some great fictional aircraft.
All helicopters blow up, unless they are transporting the hero home at the end of the film. If so they are likely to be bathed in a gorgeous sunset. Helicopters can be shot down easily with small hand-held weapons, but the easiest way is to confuse the pilot into flying into a natural obstacle. They like landing on skyscrapers. The skids are often held onto by heroes (whose arms are often trampled on by baddies). Helicopters can also be used by repressive governments, cool American special soldiers or by thoughtful and damaged souls in Vietnam. Very hi-tech helicopters are used by really kick-ass good guys. Helicopters often stalk lone escaping blokes who hide behind rocks.
Seen the trillions spent on axed aeroplanes?
Surface-to-air missiles are used by arseholes. They can generally be defeated by hard manoeuvring, but the third is likely to be the one that downs you (or kills your wingman). They almost killed Superman and they are used by cowards, not manly enough to punch flying things out of the sky with their own fists.
Bombers are flown by brave young men, unless they’re enemy and then they’re flown by pale men in goggles. The oldest guy is the boss, and one of the aircrew has red hair. They’ve been hand-selected as they’re the best crew. Dive-bombers and ground attack aircraft are normally used by pricks or nasty regimes.
Private jets are generally flown by dickheads, usually criminals. They are used for escaping quite a bit. People who have them tend to have harems of busty women.
Transport (military cargo) aircraft have a ramp that is ideal for fighting. They tend to be in Africa and crewed by people with foreign accents. A flight rarely goes by without someone being thrown out in a punch-up (our man has a parachute). These aircraft can also contain troubled Westerners who’ve been immersed in the hell and chaos of foreign places.
Ohh, and biplanes tend to fly upside down… it is often necessary to leave the cockpit in all aircraft types and do something dangerous by crawling around on the plane, it’s OK though as this normally works.
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