The Flight of the Phoenix

 
The Ultimate C-82 Movie!

Just as the Avro Lancaster was made cinematically famous by
The Dam Busters (1954) and the F-14 Tomcat by Top Gun (1986),
the same could not be more true for the C-82 Packet as featured
in the motion picture The Flight of the Phoenix (1965).
This film did more for the memory of the C-82 Packet than anything
else in the
aircraft's ten year military and subsequent civilian career.
The C-82 was introduced to audiences worldwide in 1966 and since then
has always been strongly associated with the film in almost every context.

Four C-82 aircraft were provided for filming, one flyable and three derelict,
all of which are outlined below. They were all registered to New Frontier
Airlift Corp. but were serviced and handled by Steward-Davis Inc.


When English author Elleston Trevor wrote the novel in 1964, he states
the aircraft as being a twin-boom Salmon-Rees Skytruck Mk. IV, a
fictional British conversion of the Fairchild C-82A Packet. The novel
states the owner / operator as the British Sahara Air-Freight Company,
also a fictional creation by the author. For the film, the term Skytruck
remained but the company was renamed as the Arabco Oil Co. to
help enhance the North-African setting.

Elleston Trevor's use of the term Skytruck might be generic but might
also be a direct reference to the C-82 conversion of the same name, at
the time being developed and marketed in the US by Steward-Davis Inc.

For the sake of completeness, the three
Phoenix aircraft
are also included in the list below.

Country: USA
Studio: 20th Century Fox Film Corp.
Production Company: The Associates & Aldrich Company
Principal Photography: April 26, 1965 - August 13, 1965
Release Date: December 15, 1965
Running Time: 136 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85
Color: DeLuxe
Director: Robert Aldrich
Cast:
James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Peter Finch, Hardy Kruger, Ernest Borgnine,
Ian Bannen, Ronal Fraser, Christian Marquand, Dan Duryea, George Kennedy,
Gabriele Tinti, Alex Montoya, Peter Bravos, William Aldrich, Barrie Chase
Synopsis:
A Skytruck cargo plane crashes in the Sahara Desert where upon the survivors attempt
to create a new aeroplane - the Phoenix - from the wreckage in order to fly out. Based
on the bestselling 1964 novel by English author Elleston Trevor.

Aviation Companies:
Tallmantz Aviation Inc., Orange County, California - Aerial logistics / flying Phoenix.
Steward-Davis Inc., Long Beach, California - Four Fairchild C-82A aircraft.
Allied Aircraft Sales, Tucson, Arizona - Fairchild R4Q-1 for wreck scenes.
Mercury Helicopters - Aerial photography.
The Air Museum, Claremont, California
- North American O-47 Phoenix re-shoot.
 


JP Trevor of the UK has for sale his Father's original shooting script used
by Elleston Trevor himself while on location in Yuma, AZ. during 1965.
It includes large, autographed portraits of cast members along with many
other snap-shots taken by Elleston Trevor on the set. If you are interested in
this once in a lifetime opportunity, please contact website owner Simon Beck at:
sdbeck AT caverock DOT net DOT nz

Heres a list of some of the unique features:
The script is red in color, leather-bound with red shot-silk inside and back, with a red leather book-marker.
The script is not signed by my father.
This is Elleston Trevor's personal shooting-script given to him by Robert Aldrich.
The script was bound by 'California Bookbinding'.
All words are gold embossed.
It is in virtually mint condition (surprising since it was used during man-made sand-storms in Buttercup Valley, Arizona
where the movie was made) but it does have a few (about six) very tiny scratches on the front and almost none on the back of the script.
The size of the script is 9 X 11 1/2 inches and 4cm thick. It has 150 pages - some pages are a different color, indicating script changes.
The front of the script has the title of the movie and below right it says: ELLESTON TREVOR as The Author.

Also included in this sale is a black simulated-leather photo album (13 X 3 inches) containing 62 mint condition black and white photos
of the cast and the making of THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX movie. My father is on the set throughout.
Sir Richard Attenborough signed his A4 photo for me in 2007 in London. This photo is now in the front of the photo album.
The photo album has 13 other signed A4 photos of the cast including Jimmy Stewart and Hardy Kruger.
I have checked Christies own sales of scripts like this one for price guidance - reserves etc.
There is only one script like it. I would like someone other than myself to own this rare script.
I can post the script and album immediately, anywhere in the world. I regret; no returns.
Payment: I accept bank-to-bank wire (in any currency) or cheque (I would post the script and album after the cheque has cleared).
There is NO charge for Royal Mail Global Priority delivery worldwide.

My father also created QUILLER under Adam Hall. I also have some QUILLER items for sale.

C-82 AIRCRAFT
Type: Fairchild C-82A-15-FA Packet
s/n / msn: 44-23015 / 10059
Civil reg. / Owner: N6887C / New Frontier Airlift Corp.
Film role: Flying aircraft seen in the opening scenes.
Remarks: The flying C-82 in this movie has quite an interesting history (see: History of N6887C in the side menu), it was delivered to the USAAF in 1946 and
was retired in 1955. Initially registered as N6989C to Steward-Davis Inc., the aircraft was one of the first Jet-Packet 1600 conversions they did. For the movie it
was given an Arabco Oil Co. livery and flew before the cameras in July, 1965. It was based out of Yuma Intl. Airport, Arizona as part of the film's Aerial Unit headed
by Paul Mantz. Also based at the airport was the scratch-built Tallmantz P-1 Phoenix (N93082) and Tallmantz B-25H camera-ship (N1203). For the air-to-air filming
of the C-82, Paul Mantz and Frank Pine flew the B-25 camera-ship while Steward-Davis pilots Earl Bellotte and Ted Whaley flew the C-82. Filming was done in early
July over Imperial Valley, Pilot Knob and the Chocolate Mountains. N6887C continued in service with Steward-Davis after filming up to around 1970 when it was
impounded in Hermosillo, Mexico for an illegal flight into that country. After much legal wrangling the airframe was gifted to the city of Hermosillo in 1983 as a
park display item. It was finally scrapped in November, 2005.
Photo (right): Andre van Loon Collection.
 
Type: Fairchild C-82A-20-FA Packet
s/n / msn: 44-23031 / 10075
Civil reg. / Owner: N4833V / New Frontier Airlift Corp.
Film role: Fuselage used for exterior location filming (day scenes).
Remarks: Delivered to the USAAF in 1946 and retired in 1954, N4833V had a succession of civil owners before being purchased by New Frontier in 1961. It flew
in steady service for a while before being stored. The fuselage was hired for the movie in early 1965 and trucked out to Buttercup Valley near Yuma, Arizona where
filming took place from early May through to late June, 1965. Afterward it was returned to Long Beach (pictured below right), where it sat out it's last days with
several other Packets before being scrapped in 1972.
Photo (right): Andre van Loon Collection.
 
Type: Fairchild C-82A-25-FA Packet
s/n / msn: 44-23036 / 10080
Civil reg. / Owner: N53228 / New Frontier Airlift Corp.
Film role: Fuselage used for soundstage filming (night scenes).
Remarks: Delivered to the USAAF in 1946 and not retired until 1957 - it had been civil registered (N53228) since 1955 and flying with Fairchild Aircraft Corp. as
a research aircraft but under the ownership of the USAF. It first served with the Master Equipment Co. before being purchased by New Frontier in 1961. The
fuselage was hired for the movie in early 1965 and trucked to a 20th Century Fox soundstage in Los Angeles where night scenes and Phoenix construction
filming took place from early July through to mid August, 1965. Its interesting to note in the photo below left that the nose section of N4833V has been attached
to N53228, probably to preserve the continuity of markings on the nose. The port side cockpit roofing was also cutaway as a removable panel for filming of
post-crash cockpit scenes. After filming it was returned to Long Beach (pictured below right), where it sat out it's last days with several other Packets before
being scrapped in 1972.
Photo (right): Andre van Loon Collection.
 
Type: Fairchild C-82A Packet
s/n / msn: Unknown
Owner: New Frontier Airlift Corp.
Film role: Fuselage cut up for aircraft interior filming.
Remarks: A single C-82 fuselage was acquired from Steward-Davis as a "disposable item" so it could be cut up to film the various angles required for aircraft
interior filming. The cockpit section was taken to 20th Century Fox Ranch in early May, 1965 for in-flight sandstorm filming (picture below right), the fuselage
section was used at Fox Studios in Los Angeles for cargo hold scenes. All aircraft parts were returned to Long Beach after filming.
Photo (right): JP Trevor Collection.
 

ADDITIONAL C-82 FILM PHOTOS


Rare still depicting three of the four C-82A aircraft used in the film, foreground
is flyer N6887C then the remains of N53228 and furthest away N4833V.
Photo: Steward-Davis Inc.


Possibly the fourth C-82A fuselage used for interior
filming. Seen here at Long Beach in 1968.
Photo: via David Legg.


C-82A derelict N53228 taken in the late 1960's at Long Beach, note the cut-away
wind-shield for camera access. C-82A aircraft in the background are
ex-Mexicana Airlines Packets XA-LOK and XA-LOJ.
Photo: James H. Farmer.

PHOENIX AIRCRAFT
Type: Fairchild R4Q-1 Packet
s/n / msn: BuNo. 126580 / 10549
Owner: 20th Century Fox Film Corp.
Film role: Non-flying Phoenix replica for wreck & construction scenes.
Remarks: R4Q-1 (126580) was delivered to the USMC in 1951 and after service in Japan, retired in 1959 to NAS Litchfield Park, Arizona before going to Allied
Aircraft of Tucson, Arizona. They provided the now derelict airframe to the film as the grounded Phoenix replica. Two main wings, including center section,
two booms and various other components were acquired for filming with the all parts able to be assembled or disassembled depending on the days shooting
requirements. Note in the film still (bottom left), the longer nacelle and covered wing air-intake distinctive of the C-119 Flying Boxcar. The actual working radial
engine was handled by James Stewart in these scenes - himself a multi-engined pilot with much radial engine experience. The still bottom right shows parts of
BuNo. 126580 set up in Yuma with the fuselage of N4833V. The two tail fins were fibreglass constructions made in Hollywood but it appears the nacelle in this
photo is in fact from a C-82A. Presumably these airframe parts were scrapped after filming.
Photo (right): JP Trevor Collection.
 
Type: Tallmantz P-1 Phoenix
msn: 1
Civil reg. / Owner: N93082 / Tallmantz Aviation Inc.
Film role: First flying Phoenix aircraft (take-off scenes).
Remarks: Of all the aircraft in this film, the actual scratch-built flying Phoenix is the most famous and not always for good reason. It was deigned and built inside
five months for the movie by Otto Timm with construction by Tallmantz Aviation Inc. of Orange County, California. Tallmantz was the main aeronautical company
contracted to the motion picture by 20th Century Fox to not only built the Phoenix but provide logistics for Aerial Unit filming on location. The P-1 Phoenix was
completed on 14 June, 1965 with the first flight recorded on 29 June by legendary Hollywood stunt pilot (and Tallmantz co-owner), Paul Mantz. The engine, engine
cowling, cockpit section, wheels and other parts were from a T-6G Texan. The outer wings came from a C-45 Expeditor and tail wheel from an L-17 Navion. Tallmantz
scratch built the inner wings, fuselage, tail section and skids. The fuselage was a tubular steel framework with wooden bracing and plywood coverings. Some shots
were filmed in Buttercup Valley on 7 July, 1965. Then, the next day on 8 July, while approaching on a fourth run past the cameras, the skids struck the ground breaking
the fuselage off behind the wing, this caused the entire forward fuselage section to nose over into the ground killing Paul Mantz (62), and injuring stuntman Bobby
Rose. Mantz was flown back to California, his funeral was held on 12 July, 1965, attended by many Hollywood celebrities.
Photo (right): James H. Farmer.
 
Type: North American O-47A
s/n / msn: 38-284 / 25-554
Civil reg. / Owner: N4725V / The Air Museum
Film role: Second flying Phoenix aircraft (oil camp scene).
Remarks: With the loss of Paul Mantz and the P-1 Phoenix, a second aircraft had to be found and converted in order to complete filming. The Air Museum's
O-47 was delivered to the USAAC in 1938 and served up to 1947. On the civil market as N4725V, it saw a string of owners (one converting it to O-47B standards),
before being acquired by Ed Maloney of The Air Museum (later Planes of Fame), Claremont, California. The museum was approached in early August, 1965 and
agreed to let their O-47 be converted into a Phoenix replica. The conversion was very basic, the canopy was removed, a modified fake tail was added along with
fake skids. The aircraft still landed on it's conventional undercarriage which folded into the wings when in flight (see photo bottom left). The oil camp fly-by was
filmed at Pilot Knob on 4 November, 1965 with pilot Wally McDonnell at the controls. The O-47 was later converted back to it's former self (picture below right),
only to crash in 1982. The remains are in storage today at Planes of Fame, Chino, California.
Photo (right): James H. Farmer.
 

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