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WW1 Top Gun


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#1 Moonraker

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:05 AM

The title makes me wince, but "WW1 Top Gun" at 2000 on Channel 5, tomorrow, Tuesday looks "at the birth of the fighter plane between 1914 and 1918, tracing how a band of engineers and designers turned an eccentric novelty into a deadly weapon" - or so reads the blurb in the Sunday Times TV listings.

Cue for debate as to whether the "fighter plane" had been "born" before 1914?


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#2 PMHart

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:21 AM

They interviewed me, ignored everything I said, didn't pay me at all and never let me see the finished script despite promises. I won't be watching and if you've any sense you won't bother either!

The worst form of exploitative crap....

Pete

#3 George Armstrong Custer

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:01 AM

A bit of post hoc disassociation going on here, I reckon - or, as my alter ego might put it, the rats deserting the sinking ship before anyone knows its in trouble.......I shall be watching with interest and taking notes for future reference on those who were so easily seduced into taking part by the production Tristrams. For a percentage, I may be able to send the best bits in to Harry Hill and get you £200 to make up for your lack of a fee for this tosh, though.....

Swifty Lazar

#4 PMHart

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:03 AM

I presume they've cut my bits out - too much glare from the lights on my bald bonce !

Rat Pete

#5 George Armstrong Custer

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:12 AM

I presume they've cut my bits out - too much glare from the lights on my bald bonce !

Rat Pete


You should be so lucky!

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#6 truthergw

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:24 AM

I presume they've cut my bits out - too much glare from the lights on my bald bonce !

Rat Pete


I bet that nipped a bit!

#7 George Armstrong Custer

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:29 AM

I bet that nipped a bit!


Those fortunate few who don't know what he looks like will be able to recognise him by the falsetto voice now......

#8 Mark Hone

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:37 AM

Pete- did they think that you were a veteran? You are 97 years old, after all.

#9 Jim Strawbridge

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:05 PM

Is this the same programme that is currently being advertised as to how the RAF won the First World War? When I saw that I decided that it was not for me. Pete, you are better out of it. I think that the content may be for sensationalism and sales rather than factual content.

#10 brucehubbard

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:22 PM

Those fortunate few who don't know what he looks like will be able to recognise him by the falsetto voice now......


There is a body of music written for castrati....

Bruce

#11 Steven Broomfield

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:24 PM

I think that the content may be for sensationalism and sales rather than factual content.

Yet they cut Pete's contribution out ...

#12 truthergw

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:47 PM

Yet they cut Pete's contribution out ...



Yes, well...there are limits you know.

#13 J.R.

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:39 PM

I'll probably watch it to get annoyed at the no-doubt sloppy research and massive generalisations. Mind you, might be helpful for my dissertation as it would cover modern-day perceptions of aerial combat etc in that period (as opposed to the reality of ww1 air fighting etc).

#14 seadog

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 03:46 PM

Channel 5 documentry.......nothing more to say really.

Norman

#15 Trevor Henshaw

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 08:16 PM

I'll probably watch it to get annoyed at the no-doubt sloppy research and massive generalisations. Mind you, might be helpful for my dissertation as it would cover modern-day perceptions of aerial combat etc in that period (as opposed to the reality of ww1 air fighting etc).


I was asked to be involved in this program, and for a number of reasons I accepted.

Regarding the above J.R., you and I should have a chat about what you've written – in around 30 years time – when you've studied and written about the first air war for as long as I have.

I've no idea what they will include of what I filmed with them. I know there will be extensive and stunning film of WW1 aircraft replicas and part re-builds being constructed and flown in N.Z. – more than has ever been seen before from that source.

But what drew me to the production was a repeated impression I got that they wanted to tell the story of the two-seater airmen, and in particular, therefore, the air elements which served the British Army directly. Not just the fighter element.

If I get just two minutes' air time to bring some remembrance of the men involved to the screen, and to a wider audience, then I'll be happy.

We'll see.. But give it a chance! And if there's any cringing to do – leave that to me!

Regards,

Trevor
(who did it for free)

#16 Jonathan Saunders

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 08:40 PM

I know there will be extensive and stunning film of WW1 aircraft replicas and part re-builds being constructed and flown in N.Z. more than has ever been seen before from that source.


With the exception of Trevor's contribution I am not that concerned about the narrative. I am far too excited about the film coverage of the aircraft. They have built several replicas in NZ of types that you wont see flying anywhere else.

I'll be watching intently.

Although I do have the advantage of having either read Pete's significant contribution to the Air War or heard it direct from the Great Man himself, sometimes at great expense but worth every penny.

#17 PMHart

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 08:50 PM

Hi chums,

A dignified and heartfelt response from Trevor who along with Alex Revell is the very finest of our air historians of the Great War. His contributions to the programme will of course be excellent. I have since enjoyed a sharp e-mail exchange with the producer who assures me that it will indeed reflect the two-seater element and that the concentration on the cheap and tawdry 'fighter' and 'Top Gun' themes from the blurb and TV-ad are not reflected in the same manner in the film itself. And the film from New Zealand is indeed supposed to be great fun. I didn't get a chance to see the script as promised because of a premature baby (!!!) and general chaos in the late edits demanded by the TV bigwigs. So 'events' not malicious - hey ho! Apparently though I was 'the' or 'a' historical consultant!!! Hmmmm!

I am therefore willing to suspend my scepticism, but due to my short-fuse I'm still not going to watch it!

Pete

#18 Frank_East

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 08:54 PM

After all what has been said and done,the best insight to air warfare through the ages from when the RFC first sent four sqaudrons to France was written by AVM Johnnies Johnson as "Full Circle.The story of air fighting".He penned it while he was in Aden in 1964.

It covers the fighter's progress and development in the Great War,the tremendous strides made in the Second World War and finishes with the introduction of the jet fighter in Korea.

Aptly Chapter 2 is entitled "The Flying Gun" and the involvement of Fokker in German Air Service aviation engineering and his part in revolutionising air warfare is clearly outlined.

#19 PMHart

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:01 PM

I liked Full Circle when I was a kid, but now I'm very old I recognise it as a bit of (probably) ghosted hack journalism trawling through the same old sources to very poor effect! Part of the all-embracing cult of the fighter as opposed to the army cooperation role that is the real heart of the RFC role in the Great War.

But each to their own....

Pete

#20 Keith Roberts

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:16 PM

I look forward to assessing the impact on the documentary of Peter "Top Gun" Hart.

Keith

#21 IanA

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:20 PM

Is there an iceberg in it?

#22 PMHart

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:28 PM

Sigh!
Pete

#23 IanA

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:52 PM

Sigh!
Pete

Is that a soupir d'amour?

Rab Noolas II

#24 Frank_East

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:37 PM

I liked Full Circle when I was a kid, but now I'm very old I recognise it as a bit of (probably) ghosted hack journalism trawling through the same old sources to very poor effect! Part of the all-embracing cult of the fighter as opposed to the army cooperation role that is the real heart of the RFC role in the Great War.

But each to their own....

Pete



Ah but the documentary is relating to the so called "top guns",the development of the fighter and pilot as a unit performing as a killing machine.

Ground cooperation did not produce "aces",kills did..Army cooporation was the result of exploring the extended use of the role of aircraft accompanied by the teamwork required between air and ground to achieve military advantages.

#25 PMHart

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:26 AM

Frank,

I can assure you that the documentary now known as 'Top Gun My ****' was originally centred on the role of army cooperation aircraft and their crews in the Great War and it has mutated through many scripts and formats at the whim of TV executives. The form it had taken when I last worked on it in very early February 2012 was to examine the role of aircraft engineers and scientists in developing the technology to create aircraft as a vital part of the 'all arms battle' i.e. the development of aircraft alongside and as part of the whole package of photo reconnaissance, artillery observation techniques, bombing and of course the scout aircraft to protect them/interfere with them.

Aces are the very least important aspect of war in the air. The development of easily understood fighter tactics coupled with the sheer press of numbers reduced their personal effectiveness in 1918 once their admittedly inspirational 'pathfinder' role had been completed by the end of 1917. One crappy old BE2 C crew with a wireless flying on one artillery observation mission - even in early 1917 when totally obsolescent - could (and did) kill far more men in half an hour than Richthofen or Mannock ever managed in the whole war!

Pete