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Cruising Speed Mach 5 - Firefox, A Movie By Clint Eastwood

Updated on January 12, 2015

A Supersonic Aircraft - Russian Built - Capable Of A Speed Of Five Times The Speed Of Sound - A Movie By Clint Eastwood

Firefox, the movie, drew a lot of attention among action movie fans when it was first released. This is a story written by Craig Thomas about an ultra supersonic aircraft built by the Russians.

This Russian built jet is capable of a cruising speed of mach 5, which is five times the speed of sound. Clint Eastwood made a movie out of it. He produced, directed and even starred in it. Naturally it was a very big hit.

This film was made in 1982, in the pre computer era, and thus did not have the fancy graphics that present day films are loaded with. Nevertheless the movie was really fantastic. I watched Firefox several times on the big screen!

Clint Eastwood plays the lead role too, the role of Major Mitchell Gant, a former Air Force test pilot now retired.

The Movie - Firefox - Featuring Clint Eastwood
The Movie - Firefox - Featuring Clint Eastwood

The opening scenes show Gant doing his daily jog in the woods in some part of Alaska. This is where Gant dwells in retirement. He is being sought by high ranking officials for a top secret assignment.

An assignment for which Gant and only Gant qualifies by virtue of his experience, his skills, and his courage in having faced situations very much similar to the ones that this secret assignment is most likely to expose him to.

Mitchell Gant had been an automatic choice for this mission and also was the only option available, classifying him as unique and one of a kind.

Russian technology has produced a new generation Mig fighter jet, a supersonic aircraft highly advanced and capable of a maximum speed of mach six which means six times faster than the speed of sound.

Code named Firefox, Gant's mission is to get into Russian territory, locate the aircraft and bring it back to the USA.

Supersonic Aircraft

Sukhoi SU47

The Movie - Firefox

Think In Russian

Another unique and very important feature about Firefox is that in addition to manual control, the pilot's thoughts can convey certain commands to the computer system of the aircraft, triggering off the required action.

The aircraft's system follows the pilot's thought waves to such an extent that when he senses an oncoming object to be a threat, a missile is automatically launched to the source of the threat. Of course the pilot has to think in Russian.

On this count too Gant qualifies, as his mother was of Russian origin, which enables him fluency in the language. He agrees to undertake this dangerous mission.

The events which follow see him inside Russian territory, and aided by some contacts he is able to locate the Mig. This is the actual beginning of the exciting adventure.

To some, the more interesting part of the film would be the sequence of events which starts with Major Gant entering the area of the top secret hangar, facing the dangers involved, and defeating obstacles by virtue of the general design of the plan.

The director's skill involved in presenting the very first view of the supersonic aircraft is such that a clear message is conveyed to the viewers that all's well so far.

Planned out to perfection indeed. A thing like this need to have zero error margin, otherwise the entire thing blows up.

It certainly is not a gamble. It is a plan, just like the moon landing. Every precise detail examined a dozen or more times and rehearsed with all options included. A life is at stake, and this is very important. The mission should be a success.

Like in all good movies and tales, the events which precede the turning point, succeed in generating enough and more suspense.

By virtue of the immense skills of the director, these points in the film succeed in generating more suspense than what would be expected prior to the closing stages of many an adventure movie.

Airwolf Versus Firefox

Gant Boarding The Firefox

The Dogfight - Sealing The Success Of The Mission

Part One Of The Mission

Just before this dramatic and breathtaking scene which heralds the first part of the success of the mission, there is wild confusion within the hangar.

This confusion was designed by the inside contacts, as a source of distraction, an advantage which Gant has to grab in order to access the flying machine.

Gant is already clad in the uniform typical of an authorised fighter pilot, complete with a helmet which protects his identity. It is normally not unusual for a pilot to board an aircraft that is parked in the hangar, and Gant's cool walk from the changing room straight to the Mig was hardly worth a glance.

However, some irregularity in the sequence is suddenly noticed and the alert signs are activated.

Gant was already anchored in the cockpit and the machine is now moving.

Firefox slowly emerging from the hangar, with Mitchell Gant at the controls, confirms the success of the first phase of the mission.

Just a fraction of a second before the doors of the hangar are forced shut, there is machine gun fire wildly directed, which is triggered off by the confusion this unexpected incident had caused.

However, by this time Gant had already brought the machine on to the path of the main runway.

The most exiting part of the movie is the scene in which the Mig is seen accelerating down the runway and slowly lifting off with its supersonic engines blazing like hell in the darkness.

Gant, on a homeward bound track, brings upon relief and of course that sense of victory. Major Mitchell Gant has done it!

Comrade Captain, Radar Screwed Up!

"Tavareeshch kapitan!" yells the excited co-pilot of an Aeroflot Illyushin passenger aircraft, as an object comes into sight for a fleeting second, and then whizzes across the flight path of the passenger jetliner, "radar neechyevo nye pakazyvayet!" "shto zhe?"

No warning coming from the radar of the passenger aircraft causes great concern, confusion, and anxiety amongst the pilot and co-pilot. What on earth is going on?

It was definitely a supersonic aircraft that whizzed across our path, but how come we received no prior warning from the authorities?

Subsequently ground control warns them of the stolen Mig and it's invulnerability to radar.

Yuri Voskov - Hero Of The Soviet Union

Just minutes after it was discovered and confirmed that the Firefox has been stolen, the Russian authorities make the decision to go after Gant.

A prototype of the stolen supersonic aircraft is conveniently available for that purpose.

Yuri Voskov, a pilot who had test flown both the Firefox and it's prototype is given the assignment.

Meanwhile re-fueling has been arranged for the Firefox which has Gant at the controls, at some point in the arctic.

This too, is not an easy task, but totally successful thanks to the brilliant planning involved.

Minutes after taking off with a filled up tank, the prototype piloted by Yuri Voskov appears in close range of the Firefox as the time taken for re-fuelling is sufficient for the second Mig to catch up. Now the chase begins.

Who will fire the first shot? Gant or Voskov? Gant skillfully steers the Firefox through valleys, and over the seas, and keeps altering course to deceive the pursuer.

The waters of the ocean gush upwards due to the drag caused by the supersonic jets, although hundreds of meters above the surface.

Firefox - The Movie

Mission Accomplished!

Yuri Voskov unaware that Gant can also think in Russian, makes certain maneuvers which are advantageous to Gant and totally disastrous to Voskov. Totally!

A blinding flash lights up the sky and a thundering explosion follows. Gant sees the flash but does not hear anything. He's too fast for the sound!

So that's it! That was the end of the prototype of that magnificent supersonic aircraft.

Yuri Voskov, hero of the Soviet Union enters the history books as a hero, a much bigger hero than he was. He will be awarded the highest honors.

For Major Mitchell Gant the mission is a total success. Great honors await him as well.

He is now steering his way home well in control of the prize that he has captured, the Firefox.

... concluded


© 2008 quicksand


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    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 8 years ago

      Thanks Dona! I appreciate your comment! :)

    • Dona Rosa profile image

      Dona Rosa 8 years ago from Tennessee

      Eastwood fan, interesting hub!

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 8 years ago

      It certainly was impressive, Bbudoyono. I watched it several times! Thanks for commenting! :)

    • Bbudoyono profile image

      Bbudoyono 8 years ago

      Yes I remember the movie. It was impressive.