Produced by Howard Hughes and directed by Josef von Sternberg, Jet Pilot (1957) starred John Wayne and Janet Leigh and told the story of an Air Force fighter pilot tasked with escorting a defecting Soviet pilot (Leigh) back to the US. Typical Cold War fluff (the pair inevitably fell in love), but the aerial photography is stunning and still ranks as some of the best ever. Rather than watch all the tedious scenes with Wayne and Leigh, Hollywood editor Vashi Nedomansky has spliced together eight minutes of truly extraordinary aerial footage featuring Cold War favorites like the North American F-86 Sabre, Lockheed F-94 Starfire, Convair B-36B Peacemaker, Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, North American B-45 Tornado, Northrop F-89 Scorpion, Boeing B-50, and even the Bell X-1. Some of the aerobatic flying in the film was done by Chuck Yeager himself. Most of the Sabres are from the 94th Fighter Sqn, the famous Hat in the Ring group that boasts Eddie Rickenbacker, America’s highest scoring ace of WWI, among its former members . This video, with background music featuring Mars: The Bringer of War from Gustav Holst’s The Planets (no, it’s not John Williams), is just a taste. The whole video can be viewed on Nedomansky’s blog.


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