Aviation | 1970 | Sound | Colour
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A film about the state of affairs in aviation technology at the beginning of the 1970's, and plans for its future.
It relates in particular to the work of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in encouraging the growth of aviation technology in developing countries. A comparison is made between conditions in Afghanistan and conditions in the U.S.A. and in Britain.
A red circle appears on screen against a black backdrop, as the camera focuses the circle is defined as a light on an airport runway, with more lights visible; the camera pans up as an aircraft, with red and white lights blazing, approaches. The moon is shown, and the aeroplane passes in front, touching down on the runway. Against the backdrop of a dawn sky, a jumbo jet comes in to land at London's Heathrow Airport. At the end of the runway, an aircraft passes overhead as it comes in to land. The wheels touch down on the runway. In the terminal building, the camera tracks across the busy scene, focusing in particular on one man with glasses, and a young couple. An airport worker directs the plane as it taxis with two indicator paddles; he motions the plane backwards, and the camera focuses on the plane's nose.
'Crew Briefing' is written on a transparent glass office door; a pilot, with two companions, enters, and speaks to a man inside. Passengers travel on a travelator. The pilot's name is Hugh Braugh (?), and he is preparing to fly to New York; he continues in conversation with two other men. A baggage carrier approaches a jumbo jet. Luggage can be seen being loaded onto the jet. The pedestrian walkways are removed from the side of the plane. The tails of two red-and-white planes can be seen; one has the initials 'JAL' with a swallow's head upon it, the other the initials 'TWA' (Trans-World Airlines). The taxi-ing vehicle is attached by a worker to the plane. The plane taxis to its left in front of the terminal building.
Within the control tower, a bearded man speaks into an earpiece . A close-up shot of his monitors. At the top of the tower, a group of men with headsets gather round a monitor. As men continue to work in the control tower, a plane can be seen through the windows moving along the runway. Three airborne planes can be seen, each giving off a jetstream from their rear. Above a congested city street, an aircraft flies. A shot of cars either stationary or slowly edging forward; the contrast is apparent. A plane is shown coming in to land, the shot pans right and two more aircraft can be discerned above the terminal building. Within the tower, the camera pans from one group of controllers to another. The arms of three men can be seen moving model planes to reflect altering aircraft locations, upon a green radar screen. A close-up of the nose of the TWA craft, as the plane taxis to its right. Three controllers can be seen conversing. Over the pilot's head, a shot out the cockpit window shows the runway below as the plane moves forward. The TWA flight begins to take off. Close-up of one controller. Return to cockpit shot; the plane begins top take off. Exterior shot of the craft lifting off; the camera follows it through the sky. Second close-up of the controller; in the background, a colleague can be discerned to be speaking. Rear view of the aircraft.
An illustration of the British Isles and northern France; the distribution of radio beacons in this area is shown. Image of the beacons in operation. The screen is divided in two; on the right hand side is an illustration of the plane receiving a radio message via a receiver on its roof. Return to the beacon map, plane images illustrate the limit to how many craft can cross a beacon crossing-point. A second illustration of the beacon/ aircraft activity. Image of aircraft sending signals to the ground in order to plot its position. Illustration of a plane changing its course, with the appropriate readings on its instruments. A cartoon image of the night sky; overlaid is an illustration of the 'Inertial Navigation System', a product of the space age, which will revolutionise aircraft navigation. Illustration of 'Gyroscopic Stratified (?) Equipment, which can measure location from the plane in three dimensions, independent of the world outside. Illustration of an aircraft's position, and how it appears on the pilot's instruments.
The TWA aircraft flies against a backdrop of clouds. A shot of the three pilots. One flicks a switch from 'RADIO' to 'INS'. 'Autopilot' is switched on. The Captain hands a colleague the craft’s position on a piece of paper, he radios the position to air traffic control.
An illustration of VHF ( Very High Frequency ) radio waves limited to the extent of sight; image shows that, on account of the earth's spherical shape, most of the Atlantic Ocean is inaccessible to VHF waves from Britain or the U.S; therefore, HF (High Frequency) waves are required, as illustrated here; an illustration of the potential for the disruption of HF waves by, for example, cloud cover. Pictures of the launch of the first communications satellite. Illustration of its orbit; 40 per cent of the world can be seen at any one time from it by sight; three satellites can see the whole world (excluding the two poles), as illustrated here.
A man types in a coded message; these are cheaper and quicker to communicate by satellite than a voice message. The machine, complete with flashing bulbs, is shown in action. The plane ascends. View from the cockpit at high altitude, cloud cover visible below. The pilot reaches forward to an instrument. A weather radar indicator is shown. The Captain instructs his colleague to ask permission to alter course, since a storm has been identified ahead. Two meteorologists collect weather data and refer to numerous large maps. A close-up of one map. A forecaster's face is shown. He draws the line of a weather front over northern Europe. One individual pulls a satellite image from a fax machine. A close-up of the facsimile. A close-up of the meteorologist. Another view of the satellite image. The plane ascends. The Captain asks his colleague to request a lower altitude. A radio beacon near New York (U.S.A.) is shown. The camera follows a technician as he approaches a piece of equipment, and he alters two gauges upon it. The camera pans to follow a plane as it lands at a large airport. A side-on view of several air-traffic controllers in a central control room. Close-up of a radar screen.
Close-up of a globe pulls out to show a room full of international delegates sat round a circular desk, with a clutch of flags behind; it is a meeting of the ICAO; the camera pans to the left to show more delegates. Close-up of the President; the Organisation gives aid to developing countries trying to keep pace with developments in civil aviation. An outside shot of the Civil Aviation Safety Centre in Beirut, Lebanon. Atop the building is the Lebanese flag and the ICAO emblem. A classroom is shown; in front of at least ten students, a lecturer points to an Overhead Projector. Close-up of the projection; a diagram of a jet engine. Close-up of a student taking notes. The camera pans across a piece of aviation machinery. At a distance, it can be seen that a student is operating the machinery, with the assistance of a lecturer. Technicians examine a large monitor. Three pilots sit in the mock-up of a cockpit. Close-up of Captain Hameed of Afghan Ariana Airlines. Two pilots observe him under instruction in the simulator. A second close-up of Hameed.
A blue-and-white Ariana aircraft comes in to land at a smaller, more spartan airport. Exterior shot of Kabul (capital of Afghanistan) airport. Internal shot of a small, yet busy, terminal. Close-up of a group of men in traditional Afghan dress. The camera pans across a busy market scene; goods are sold amidst modest wooden shacks. A group of horsemen ride across the desert against a mountainous backdrop. Men with camels head towards the mountains. A man takes a measurement in the sand, while three workmen work behind. A fifth man operates a camera; he beckons the workmen to move left. A shot from distance shows that they are attempting to make a straight alignment in the sand, in preparation for a new airfield; in 1969, the Afghan government asked for assistance from the United Nations and the ICAO in establishing an internal airline to connect remote areas. A tractor continues the preparation. In the midst of a barren landscape, a crowd of children have gathered to watch. A wing propeller is detached from a small aircraft by three workmen. A lecturer teaches Afghans English, the international language of aviation. A close-up of the lecturer. He operates a tape-recorder. A return to ther lecture-room shot, panning down to show a student with translation equipment. Close-up of a student, deep in concentration. A second student recites in English "I can fly an airplane". The same small aircraft is flying against a mountainous backdrop. Inside the cockpit, an ICAO pilot examines an Afghan colleague; the craft is a 'twin arthar' (sic.), chosen since it is the most suitable vehicle for the terrain because of its short landing and take-off capabilities. Shot of a wing propeller. The plane soars above. An individual operates Morse Code. The camera pans to show a number of students translating it.
On possibly the same airfield, a group of people watch the plane as it lands; the field is basic in the extreme. The camera pans to show people watching the aircraft and approaching it as it lands; their sense of anticipation is apparent. One man dismounts, and, smiling, shakes the hand of a meber of the crowd. Men continue to admire the craft. Close up of one crowd member. As three men place wooden packs on their backs, a plane passes behind; voice-over: "(the plane) can replace the camel and donkey as a beast of burden". A nurse talks to a group of people gathered round her. Two boys smile. She injects a needle into one boy's arm. The nurse smiles and speaks to him. The boy smiles back; the voive-over has stated that developments in aviation technology have improved access to education and healthcare provision. A panning view of the Bamiyan Valley, a major tourist attraction once an eight hour drive from Kabul, is now only 45 minutes away by air. A close-up of a group of tourists; one of their number wields a video camera. The Bamiyan Buddha statue. Close-up of an ancient tomb in the valley, indicative of the draw of tourism in this area. A tracking shot of Kabul Airport. One individual is shown at work in the control room. An airport worker directs an Afghan plane as it taxis. The controller clears the aircraft for take-off. Panning view of the plane as it takes off.
Aerial view of Kennedy Airport, New York. Interior shot of a modern-looking terminal building. A second shot shows a grandiose glass frontage, whilst a people-carrier passes in front. A third shot, this time from above. Aerial view of Kennedy Airport's 'Fingertip' terminal (so called because of its shape), designed specifically to cater for Jumbo Jets. A telescopic pier approaches the door of the aircraft. A shot from distance gives another perspective of the process. Passengers descend an escalator. Passengers pass through Customs; the camera follows a suited man as his pasport is checked by an official. Baggage containers are shown being taken off the plane. An electronic airport baggage indicator is shown. Baggage rotates on a carousel; the camera pans up to show passengers awaiting their luggage. A man reaches for a case. A second man reaches for a bag. The nose of the aircraft is shown through the terminal building's windows. Because of cost, aircraft must be turned round as quickly as possible; the camera shows a refueller's equipment on the runway tarmac before panning to show the refueller at work, preparing the plane for its next flight. The refueller stands on top of a BP wagon. A new Jumbo Jet fueller pulls alongside the aircraft. A side-on view shows that it, too, has a BP logo emblazoned on its side; meanwhile the aircraft behind carries a Romanian flag, and the name 'Salvena'. Behind a smoky scene, a plane can be seen taking off; the voice-over states that pollution is one of the problems which airports face; a second aircraft passes noisily behind. A plane belches out smoke. Above the cocpit of a stationary aircraft can be seen a second plane taxi-ing. Three pilots are shown; the Captain instructs his colleague. The camera pans from the cockpit down to the wheels of the plane, which, as Flight TW700 is preparing to leave New York for London. Close-up of the Captain. The plane takes off, and the camera pans to follow it. The aircraft soars as the sun sets behind it. The pilot radios weather details to his passengers. The co-pilot adjusts a gauge. A second gauge is shown. A third gauge is shown. The two pilots continue their work.
The camera pans, with great detail, across a microchip. The camera pans upwards and focuses, showing a multitude of circuits. Soldering irons approach a circuit-board. A technician examines the piece through a microscope. Reverts to shot of soldering irons. A man places a circuit-board in position. A smaller circuit-board is placed in a box of circuits; the camera pans to show two more boards. A circuit-board is inserted. A man operates a large piece of machinery. A typewriter, with the date 19-11-70, types details on to paper. The technician rips the sheet off. A technician can be seen examining a piece of equipment through a hole in the object; the camera pans away to show two men, with white surgical aprons, at work; the camera follows one technician as he walks past two colleagues; he reaches an identical piece of equipment and examines it.
An illustration of the estimated doubling of transatlantic flights over the next ten years, to 1000 crossings a day. An image of the separation of aeroplane flight paths by a 'box formation'; 120 miles laterally, 2000 feet vertically, and 15 miles apart. A composite formation, as illustrated, would increase capacity without compromising safety standards. An illustration of satellites allowing air traffic control to interrogate each aircraft, and to determine its position. The screen divides to show a system of two satellites identify an aircraft's exact location, allowing separations, and thereby congestion, to be reduced.
A pilot contacts the control centre. From a dark room, a controller responds. Close-up of a controller. Close-up of his radar screen. He refers to a flight detail board. From the other side, flight details are written on the board. A controller at Jacksonville (?) watches his radar, and contacts a pilot. Close-up of the radar screen. Close-up of the controller. Detail of the radar; it gives altitude height and the aircraft name.
A panning view of london air traffic control centre. Close-up of its own detailed radar screen. Controllers refer to flight details and flight progress slips, printed rather than hand-written; a controller speaks to a pilot. Close-up of a touchwire computer screen. A distant shot of a controller operating the screen. A return to the previous shot of the Captain; the co-pilot speaks to control. A view out of the cockpit, though nothing is visible.
An illustration of the landing pattern of an aircraft making an automatic landing; it makes a normal approach until it picks up the automatic landing system beams, 10 miles from touchdown; a close-up of the landing image.
A plane comes in to land. A view from the cockpit overlooking the runway. The co-pilot tells the Captain that the runway is in sight. The Captain pulls a lever down. The plane descends. The runway is clearly visible from the cockpit. The pilots converse. The cockpit shot resumes as the runway comes ever closer. A shot from beneath the plane. The cockpit shot resumes, now at the end of the runway. The co-pilot congratulates the Captain on his landing as the wheels touch down. The cockpit shoe resumes with the plane now grounded. The aircraft taxis to its left. The view from the cockpit is now of the terminal building, from different angles as the plane turns, and of a telescopic pier. Close-up of the wheels slowing down. Side-on view of the nose of the aircraft as it creeps forward. The camera pans to show passengers disembarking into Heathrow's terminal building. On overhead view of the terminal.
The Afghan plane is seen taking off. An eastern plane takes off.
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