Quote of the Moment

"Beep Industries currently has no openings. This is a good thing. Any number of career paths are better than game development. Lots of jobs are more lucrative and far less work. We hear marketing and animal husbandry are filled with potential."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Aggressors in Odd Places

About a week ago, while trying to find something on TV to watch while I fed The Girl and rocked her to sleep, I came across Fire Birds on Comcast's free movies On Demand service. Since Monday night TV is a vast wasteland of drivel (at least until Ani-Monday comes on at 11), and I hadn't seen a decent aviation movie in a while, I figured I'd give it a go.

What I learned is that Fire Birds basically attempted to be Top Gun, only with Army AH-64 Apache helicopters instead of Navy F-14 Tomcats. Unfortunately, it does so in a way that makes the plot and dialog in Top Gun seem Oscar-caliber. Aside from Tommy Lee Jones, who basically plays the same grumpy old guy character that he plays in every movie, nobody seems to know what they're really doing. Still, just like in Top Gun, the actors aren't the real stars, the aircraft are. And if you're into lots of footage of Apaches doing Cool Things, this isn't a bad movie to watch.

It also, and this brings me to my real point, used the Saab J-35 Drakken, one of my favorite aircraft of all time, as the Bad Guy "aggressor" fighters.

I've always been a fan of Sweden's Saab jet fighters. Most countries Sweden's size long ago abandoned any home-grown military fighter development in favor of buying other countries' designs, but Sweden keeps on going, creating enormously capable aircraft that are designed to operate off roadways all over their country, and that can keep up with the current fighter generation.

The Drakken is one of those jets that looks fast sitting on the ground. I know there are a few in private hands here in the USA (imagine if they went after warbird owners the way they go after gun owners!) and if I had the money, this is definitely the ex-military bird I'd buy. (Anyone got a few million bucks around they'd like to donate to me?) Just watch the video below, and you'll understand.

Oh, and for a bonus, here's the Drakken's successor, the Viggen, doing a maneuver I'm pretty sure makes F-16 drivers green with envy.

Watching something like that, their "Born from Jets" car slogan actually does makes me want to buy one.