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Wings - the TV series.

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Geoff Sleath19/12/2018 15:19:33
3069 forum posts
247 photos

Some time back someone posted a link to this series on YouTube which was aired originally, I think, in about 1978. We didn't have a TV then (still don't) and the internet didn't exist. I've been watching it in fits and starts over the past week or so and despite the poor quality images (the sound isn't much better) I'm very impressed.

The story line is good as is the acting, which sometimes disappoints in older productions. Of course the main attraction is the flying and the aeroplanes. I'm just at the point where the so-called Fokker scrouge has started with the new Eindecker with its through the prop firing machine gun.

It's interesting that modelling guru Dave Boddington is credited with the flying shots. I assume real (or replica) BE2c etc were used for the ground shots but models for the flying. I guess the flying shots were slowed down to give realistic air speed but in any case they look good to me.

Highly recommended for all sorts of reasons.



reg shaw19/12/2018 15:29:21
634 forum posts
562 photos

The Be2 was a sort of replica built using Tiger Moth parts, it still is airworthy today flown by Matthew Boddington. They built a Sopwith Pup for ground shots. A couple of mates and I restored it down at Stow Maries where it has now been joined by some other WWI aeroplanes from the Vintage Aviator in New Zealand. If you look closely you can make out a miniature Mr Poyser in the cockpit! I never did get it started!




Ray Wood 419/12/2018 16:15:42
12 forum posts

Hi Geoff

Did you progress with your Thames Sailing Barge Veronica? Nothing to do with Wings, but I'm being drawn back to the aeroplanes after 6 years of boat building 😊

Regards Ray

Edited By Ray Wood 4 on 19/12/2018 16:16:16

Geoff Sleath19/12/2018 16:24:14
3069 forum posts
247 photos

Not really, Ray. The hull is complete and decked but unpainted as far as can be done before making the rig. I've made the dummy fin but can't cast the lead until I know the all-up weight of the boat. I've built a few planes since

Actually, It looks pretty good and when I look at it I'm amazed what I succeeded in doing considering the incorrect drawings and CNC cut parts I had to contend with. Still I got a 100% refund for that so I can't grumble.


kc19/12/2018 16:56:20
5698 forum posts
164 photos

The DVD of Wings is available here

worth seeing.

Ray Wood 419/12/2018 17:18:37
12 forum posts

Hi Geoff

If you have a look at the Model Boats forum at the Thames Sailing Barge stuff thread, there are plenty of Veronica photos etc, my wing keel there is 6 lbs of lead is on the opening photo . They are great fun to race 😀

Regards Ray

I think she sails better with the wing keel rather than the deep fin & much easier to launch

Edited By Ray Wood 4 on 19/12/2018 17:20:57

Ian Jones19/12/2018 17:22:07
3213 forum posts
1397 photos

I watched the whole series (again) on YouTube last year and totally agree with OP. IIRC there are several contributors and selecting an alternative somtimes had better sound and vision.

J D 819/12/2018 18:32:42
981 forum posts
59 photos

In the 70's I visited Old Warden to view the aircraft there, some of which star in Wings, While traveling in the area I came across a field where the film set for the WW1 aerodrome in France was built. Had to have a look around.

It was in some disrepair so I think filming was done. I "liberated" a section of canvas with WD and the crows foot symbol on it. Still have it somewhere.

Nightflyer19/12/2018 20:47:34
123 forum posts

Really recommend Wings it was a good BBC production and getting the DVD set is good value. At the time DB wrote a two part article in RCM&E about the conversion of Roy Scotte Be2e models to Be2c and the Albatross and Eindekker models as well as the full size mock ups.

While trolling You Tube take a look for the Model World of Bob Symes as in it there is a few minutes where DB gives insight on filming and flying for Wings.

Tom Sharp 219/12/2018 21:47:02
3278 forum posts
17 photos

They held a competition to win one of the model planes used in the series, with David Boddington giving flying instructions to the winner.

On the day of the presentation the weather was unfit for flying so Boddington and the winner played a round of Golf.

So what happened to the model is any ones guess.

Edited By Tom Sharp 2 on 19/12/2018 21:47:46

nigel newby20/12/2018 00:40:20
154 forum posts
40 photos

Thanks for that Geoff.

I have not seen the series, so will watch it for the first time. Looks very interesting

Nigel N

Cuban820/12/2018 10:29:22
2257 forum posts
5 photos

Loved it first time round back in the day and got the DVD a while back - great entertainment and not just for aerophiles. Nicholas Jones's Captain Triggers is wonderfully OTT but not in a bad way. Quite a lot filmed at Old Warden by the look of some of the backgrounds. Can't believe it was first shown in 1977!

Noticed that 'Talking Pictures' are screening 'Danger UXB' - another good series.

Edited By Cuban8 on 20/12/2018 10:37:18

Nightflyer20/12/2018 12:33:20
123 forum posts

Quite agree with your comments Cuban8 I enjoyed it very much back in the day and was glad to see it repeated on UK Gold then to get the DVD of both series. As someone just entering into rc modelling at the time it was a great influence in my love of flying.

Notice you also liked Danger UXB, which was another great series of the time, and one my late father liked, and he remembers well the Butterfly bombs that as a boy in the war he had seen close up - and had the sense to avoid. I managed to get a copy of Danger UXB series a few years back.

supertigrefan21/12/2018 12:57:15
591 forum posts
1 photos

Reading this prompted me to start watching the series, I've watched 'The Volunteer' and 'Never turn back' but there appears to be a huge gap between the two, at first Farmer has been accepted into the RFC and starts his training with the reserve squadron living in a shared billet but the next starts with him in a twin room with the trainee Observer and Gaylion already on his way to France. Has there been a mix up with the programme sequences or is that how it was aired?

Danger UXB is next on the list, the episode with the parachute bomb was filmed directly outside my school.

Edited By supertigrefan on 21/12/2018 12:59:29

Nightflyer21/12/2018 15:07:43
123 forum posts

All this chat about Wings and Danger UXB has prompted my festive viewing to start with watching these series again!

supertigrefan24/12/2018 11:30:56
591 forum posts
1 photos

I'm over halfway through at present, enjoying it even with the naff heroics and jolly hockey sticks cheesiness.

supertigrefan29/12/2018 21:25:22
591 forum posts
1 photos

Well that's that finished, it got me interested enough to follow on with this:


Geoff Sleath30/12/2018 00:22:34
3069 forum posts
247 photos

Funnily enough I watched the last episode of Wings ths evening. Pity it didn't continue into the Pup/Camel/SE5a era but I'll watch the documentary ST links.

Being in the RFC as a piot was obviously very stressful but you can understand why the infantry thought they had a cushy number because, compared to life (and death) in the trenches, they probably did. Of course it was all horrible ... and ultimately pointless and tragic.


onetenor30/12/2018 01:54:30
1838 forum posts

The Castor oil diet didn't help either. A scarf round the face didn't help much. Many Boche pilots had leather masks covering their face to catch the oil     Did any Brit pilots have them does anyone know?

Edited By onetenor on 30/12/2018 01:56:30

Edited By onetenor on 30/12/2018 02:08:33

David Davis30/12/2018 06:34:53
3177 forum posts
531 photos

One interesting aspect of Wings is that Tim Woodward plays the part of a Sussex blacksmith who becomes an RFC pilot. Years later in "A Piece of Cake," he plays the role of of a wealthy squadron leader of a Spitfire squadron sent to France in 1939.

You can criticise both series for historical inacurracies, no Spitfire squadrons were sent to France in 1939 for example, nevertheless both series make for absorbing viewing.

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