14 years ago, Director and Writer Roland Emmerich brought us aliens wreaking havoc upon Earth in the movie Independence Day, and November last year, he brought havoc upon Earth but this time, it was fated.
The 2012 movie is about a major shift in the planet (similar to the Ice Age) occurring due to the rapid increase in temperature of the Earth’s core caused by the neutrinos from a massive solar flare. It was also based on the Mayan prediction that the world’s end will occur on December 21, 2012. But others are saying that the said date is just the final date recorded on the Mayan calendar.
In this disaster movie stars John Cusack as Jackson Curtis, a science-fiction writer working part-time as a Limousine driver. Curtis tries to save his family from the deadly chaos in every way he can, from flying a Cessna 340 with his ex-wife’s boyfriend to boarding his Russian billionaire boss’ Antonov 500 (a fictional plane produced through CGI and was based from the Antonov An-225 Mriya) plane. Although these planes did not endure for so long, very much like a white horse to a prince or knight, these planes still helped the film’s heroes survive to the happy ending.
The Cessna 340 is six-seat pressurized business aircraft produced by Cessna from 1971-1984. It first flew in 1970 and 1,351 Cessna 340s were built. It has a length of 34 ft 4 in, height of 12 ft 7 in, and a wingspan of 38 ft 1 in. Powered by 2 Continental TSIO-520-NB 6-cylinder piston engines, the Cessna 340 has a maximum speed of 279 mph.
The real owner of the Cessna 340 in the 2012 movie, David Giussi, shared in October 2008 to Yakima Herald that he was happy to see his plane star in a major film. Although he did not disclosed how much he was paid for the rental of his Cessna 340A, he revealed that its original white, red, gold and green paint job was modified for the film. Who says only movie stars get a makeover?
Another helpful aircraft in the movie was the Antonov 500. Although no Antonov 500 exists in real life, this CGI-produced airliner could be a design suggestion from the movie producers to the Antonov manufacturers since it was based on the An-225 Mriya and ‘Mriya’ means Dream (Inspiration) in Ukranian.
But the real Antonov An-225 Mriya is a strategic airlifter which is known to be the world’s heaviest fixed-wing aircraft. Designed by the Soviet Antonov Design Bureau, the An-225 Mriya was produced in 1988 with a length of 275.6 ft, height of 59.3 ft, and wingspan of 290 ft 2 in. Powered by 6 ZMKB Progress D-18 turbofan engines, the An-225 Mriya can fly up to a maximum speed of 530 mph.
In the movie, a cameo also was done by the famous USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) supercarrier wherein it crashed along with the aircraft it carried unto the White House upon the wake of a massive tsunami.
With many disaster movies showing people surviving due to piloting skills or pilot acquaintances, maybe it’s time we try to enroll in aircraft piloting schools or widen our social circle with pilots just in case disaster strikes?