Is it bolloCks?
Film Buff investigates the facts behind outlandish movie plots.
Dunkirk’s Spitfire beach landing – doable?
THIS MONTH FARRIER’S SANDY SPITFIRE LANDING
QIn Dunkirk, Tom Hardy’s RAF pilot Farrier glides his WW2 bird onto the titular beach. Possible or poppycock? A DAN FRIEDKIN SPITFIRE PILOT IN DUNKIRK WWW.PURSUITAVIATION.COM
Spitfires did land on the beaches during the war and I flew and landed the Spitfire you see in the movie on the closest beach to the village of Dunkirk. We had several practice approaches, but I only landed once. Once was enough! The primary consideration was tide – we needed it to be low enough to give me enough space. We also needed something close to a headwind as the landing space wasn’t long. But, if it was very windy, it created ridges in the sand that would make it more challenging.
At some point we just decided to go for it. I got an amazing amount of support from Emma [Thomas, producer] and Chris [Nolan], who never made me feel any pressure to do anything that wasn’t safe. [Stunt
coordinator] Tom Struthers and his crew gave me a lot of reassurance that every precaution was being taken and that made the whole experience a lot more enjoyable. There were no changes made to the plane – it was a stock Mk1 Spitfire configured as it was during the war. It was thrilling once I made it to a stop. Prior to that, it was a lot of focus. You’re just in the moment and wanting to do it without embarrassing yourself!