Chain Lightning

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Chain Lightning movie poster.

Movie (1950)
French title : Pilote du diable

Humphrey Bogart (Lt. Col. Matthew "Matt" Brennan)
Eleanor Parker (Joan "Jo" Holloway)
Raymond Massey (Leland Willis)
Richard Whorf (Carl Troxell)

Matt, a former B-17 captain, is now instructor in his own flying school. But a student breaks his only plane. Then, he meets Jo, a former WAAF he loved in England in 1944; as secretary of the CEO of the Willis Aircraft Corporation, she gives him the chance to become the test pilot of the newest rocket plane.

Willis JA-3 (fictional aircraft)

Fictional rocket plane seen through a model...

ChainLightning JA-3 flying.jpg

or through non flyable mock (built from a P-39).

The undercarriage is clearly that of a P-39.
ChainLightning JA-3 43mn35.JPG
ChainLightning JA-3 drag-chute.JPG

This fictional aircraft has an escape crew capsule, something rarely seen in aviation (and never at the time of the movie).

Ejection seen during a test in the wind tunnel.

North American F-86 Sabre

Seen from the soil and playing the flying JA-3.

ChainLightning F-86.JPG

Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress

Serial 41-9125, named Prowler.

ChainLightning B-17F.JPG
"Prowler" name visible on the nose.

Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress

Serial 42-3360, c/n 8296. Carried civil registration N67974 and was painted with Naughty Nellie nose art for the film. Same aircraft in other works at IMPDb: Frequently Seen Aircraft (Military Fixed-Wing).

ChainLightning B-17F 4mn32.JPG
ChainLightning B-17 NaughtyNellie 4mn55.JPG

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

A mix of real stock footage of B-17s in flight and shots of models.


Messerschmitt Bf 109

A glimpse showing an exploding Bf 109.

ChainLightning Bf-109 9mn05.JPG

Supermarine Spitfire

Same aircraft in other movies at IMPDb: Frequently Seen Aircraft.

ChainLightning Spitfire 9mn09.JPG

Unidentified Aircraft

VideoScreenshot--HBO-undefined-9’09” (1).jpg

Focke-Wulfe Fw 190A

Fw 190 A of JG1 'Oesau'.

Messerschmitt Me 163 B-1 Komet

Several scenes displaying glimpses of the german rocket fighter.

ChainLightning Me-163 9mn20.JPG
ChainLightning Me-163 9mn28.JPG
ChainLightning Me-163 9mn32.JPG
ChainLightning Me-163 9mn33.JPG
A model B-17 put in front of a camera gun footage?

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

Stock footage of a B-17 emergency landing with the right gear not deployed.


Hawker Hurricane

On the wall, a poster of Churchill with the slogan: let us go forward together.
This displaying tanks and Hawker Hurricanes.

ChainLightning Churchill-Hurricane 17mn.jpg

Boeing TB-40 Flying Fortress

Boneyard at Ontario Army Air Field (scene taken from the 1946 movie The Best Years of Our Lives). Serial 42-5833. Crew trainer for the YB-40 gunship. Tail number U-43, the U-xx format was used by YB-40s based in Yuma, Arizona.


Further in the background is another Flying Fortress with 5275 on the nose. Maybe B-17F serial 42-5275.


Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

More Flying Fortresses at Ontario Army Air Field (scene taken from the 1946 movie The Best Years of Our Lives).

ChainLightning B-17 graveyard 20mn24.JPG

Stinson 108-2

Registration NC907D, c/n 108-2907 built in 1947.

ChainLightning Stinson 21mn04.JPG
ChainLightning Stinson 21mn14.JPG

Douglas C-47 Skytrain

ChainLightning C-47 21mn34.JPG

Lockheed F-80C Shooting Star

Buzz number FT-527, serial 49-527.

F-80C-10-LO buzz number FT-527 (s/n 49-527).

F-80C-10-LO serial 49-552. Written off on 11 May 1951, either crashed on takeoff in South Korea or shot down over North Korea.
Further behind might be FT-546, s/n 49-546.

F-80C-10-LO buzz number FT-552 (s/n 49-552).

Buzz number FT-544, serial 49-544.

F-80C-10-LO buzz number FT-544 (s/n 49-544).

Tail at left. Buzz number FT-510, serial 49-510. Crashed on 9 October 1950 near Indian Springs, Nevada, killing the pilot.

F-80C-10-LO buzz number FT-510 (s/n 49-510).

Buzz number FT-500, serial 49-500. Ditched into the sea off North Korea after being damaged on 24 August 1951, pilot killed.

F-80C-10-LO buzz number FT-500 (s/n 49-500).
F-80C-10-LO buzz number FT-500 (s/n 49-500).

Buzz number FT-508, serial 49-508. Crashed 25 February 1955 off of Daytona Beach, Florida, pilot killed.

F-80C-10-LO buzz number FT-508 (s/n 49-508).
F-80C-10-LO buzz number FT-508 (s/n 49-508).

Douglas DC-6

In the background, a Douglas DC-6 of American Airlines.

Douglas DC-6 of American Airlines.

Lockheed L-649 Constellation

And now, a Lockheed Constellation of Eastern Air Lines, then should be a L-649.

Lockheed L-649 Constellation of Eastern Air Lines.

Martin M-130

A desk model.

ChainLightning Sikorsky VS44.jpg

Unidentified Douglas Airliner

Very likely a DC-4, 6, or 7 on the poster, at left.

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.

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