September 23, 2011
By Mike Collins
Several hundred AOPA Aviation Summit guests went to the Connecticut Science Center on Sept. 22 for an exclusive aviation double feature.
Shown in the center’s theater were Memphis Belle and Legends of Flight. As an added bonus, the trailer for the upcoming movie Red Tails—directed by George Lucas and starring Cuba Gooding Jr., who visited Summit on Thursday—also was projected on the big screen.
Released in 1990, Memphis Belle is a fictional film based on fact, about the first U.S. B-17 Flying Fortress to successfully complete 25 bombing missions over Europe. The original Memphis Belle returned to the United States and toured the country in 1943. Three years later the airplane was saved from scrapping in Oklahoma and put on display in Memphis, Tenn. In October 2005, it was moved to the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, where it is undergoing restoration. The movie is dedicated to all airmen who fought during World War II.
Legends of Flight, shown in 3-D, documents the design and construction of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the first carbon-fiber airliner. The film includes footage of a variety of other historic aircraft.
Lucas’ Red Tails will debut in theaters Jan. 20, 2012.
Mike Collins has worked for AOPA’s media network since 1994. He holds a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
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