The Flying Wing.

The German-built Flying Wing aircraft was part of the Nazi contingent deployed to Tanis in 1936. Its experimental shape had a forward cockpit for the pilot and a tail gunner position, and some cargo space.[1]

After the Ark of the Covenant was recovered, Dietrich planned to transport the treasure back to Germany in the plane, and the plane was prepared for takeoff. However, Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood inadvertently destroyed the plane in an attempt to commandeer it, killing a mechanic and the aircraft's pilot. With the plane destroyed and Jones on the loose, Dietrich and Belloq decided to move the Ark by truck from the camp instead.[1]

Behind the scenesEdit

The Nazi Flying Wing seen in the film was not a real plane. Raiders of the Lost Ark production designer Norman Reynolds designed the plane for the film, based on historical Northrop Corporation designs and drawings by Ron Cobb of the Horten Ho-2-29. It also resembles the Lippisch Li-P.04-106, a concept fighter studied by Germany toward the end of World War II. A direct connection of the Lippisch Li-P.04-106, however, is difficult to made, as Raiders is set during 1936, three years before the beginning of WWII.

The Flying Wing was built by Vickers, and was painted in London at EMI Elstree Studios. In order to ship the unwieldy prop to Tunisia, it had to be disassembled and sent piecemeal before being reconstructed on location.[2]


Note: Scaled down and missing gun turret from back, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!.

When Marion Ravenwood gets locked in the cockpit of the Flying Wing after knocking out the pilot during Indy's fight against the mechanic, the Raiders film crew can be seen reflected in the glass.

Kenner originally planned to release a Flying Wing for their 3 3/4 Inch Raiders toyline. It never got made, however, as apparently, the third wave of figures featured a German Mechanic action figure because that would have been perfect to be included in the set in order to recreate the figth sequence from the film, but s unclear if this was the real reason behind the set's cancellation.[3] At some point during the 1990s, it was presented a Raiders playset prototype to the Galoob Micro Machines company in order to make it an actual set. The set included two sectors from the film, Peru and Egypt, with the Flying Wing appearing at the Egypt sector. The set, however, was never approved and went unproduced.[4] Hasbro had planned to release a Flying Wing for their 3 3/4" action figure line in 2009. The cancellation of the line, however, came about before a Flying Wing action set could be made.[5]

After the Flying Wing, along the tank fuel truck, was destroyed in the film in 1981, the remains of the plane sat quietly in the Tunisian desert, where parts of it were salvaged by prop collectors. In 1991, almost ten years after the production of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Flying Wing was finally bulldozed and its remains destroyed.[6]


Notes and referencesEdit

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