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Eric Brown: A Pilot's Story

Jones, Nicholas; Kanopy (Firm)
Format
Video; Streaming Video; Online
Summary
Captain Eric Brown is the greatest aviator alive. Now aged 96, in this film he tells the amazing story of his life - one in which he should have been the first man to break the sound barrier. It's a story that, from the 1930s, moves between Brown's native Britain and the country that has played an extraordinary role in his life - Germany. For example, Brown is the man who identified a captive Heinrich Himmler in 1945. This film adopts a linear narrative that begins with Eric's first flight age 8, sitting on his father's knee in his biplane. In 1936 his father takes him to see the Berlin Olympics and meet Ernst Udet, von Richtofen's fabled ace. In 1939, teaching English in Munich, Brown is arrested by the SS the day war begins. Yet he's freed - and becomes a Royal Navy pilot, protecting convoys and shooting down German Kuriers. As this film shows, it is traumatic when a U-boat sinks his aircraft carrier in the freezing Atlantic. But Brown's skill at landing on carriers - even when they pitch 60 feet - has been spotted. He is removed from combat to become a test pilot. And so begins a 30 year test career in which he will fly 489 different aircraft types and make 2,407 deck landings. These remain world records. In 1944 his test work enables the legendary 8th USAAF to find the best escort to stop its bombers being shot down over Germany. He's also made CO of Captured Enemy Flight, where his job is to fly all the German aircraft the Allies capture - including the Me262 and 163 rocket plane. In 1945 he enters Belsen and interrogates the vile Irma Griese. These are the sort of people one can find in a country, he says in this film. He interviews Goering - a charismatic rogue. In Britain that year he is first to land one of the new jet planes on a carrier, then deemed impossible. And in 1946, he's chosen to fly Britain's pioneer supersonic aircraft, the M.52 - and become the first pilot through the sound barrier. Yet the M.52 is mysteriously cancelled... . In the 1950s, Brown returns to Germany, to train its naval pilots so they can integrate with NATO. It can be a tricky job, especially when Karl Doenitz turns up at a funeral Brown's attending in 1957 - and is cheered by German sailors. Sadly, Brown's attempt to persuade Germany to buy a British fighter and not the Lockheed Starfighter fails. The latter plane becomes known in Germany as the widowmaker due to its terrible safety record. In 1965 Brown returns to Germany as a diplomat. He meets Adenauer and Erhart and accompanies the Queen on her state visit there. His delightful photographs of this event demonstrate why Eric Brown - A Pilot's Story is such a richly illustrated film. It tells a story both of war - and of reconciliation, as seen through the life of the 20th century's last flying legend.
Performers
Features: Captain Eric Brown RN
Release Date
2014
Language
In: English
Notes
  • In Process Record.
  • Title from title frames.
Published
[San Francisco, California, USA] : Kanopy Streaming, 2016.
Recording Info
Originally produced by MVD Entertainment Group in 2014.
Publisher no.
1161054 Kanopy
Related Resources
Cover Image
Description
1 online resource (1 video file, approximately 79 minutes) : digital, .flv file, sound
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Technical Details
  • Staff View

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    a| Captain Eric Brown is the greatest aviator alive. Now aged 96, in this film he tells the amazing story of his life - one in which he should have been the first man to break the sound barrier. It's a story that, from the 1930s, moves between Brown's native Britain and the country that has played an extraordinary role in his life - Germany. For example, Brown is the man who identified a captive Heinrich Himmler in 1945. This film adopts a linear narrative that begins with Eric's first flight age 8, sitting on his father's knee in his biplane. In 1936 his father takes him to see the Berlin Olympics and meet Ernst Udet, von Richtofen's fabled ace. In 1939, teaching English in Munich, Brown is arrested by the SS the day war begins. Yet he's freed - and becomes a Royal Navy pilot, protecting convoys and shooting down German Kuriers. As this film shows, it is traumatic when a U-boat sinks his aircraft carrier in the freezing Atlantic. But Brown's skill at landing on carriers - even when they pitch 60 feet - has been spotted. He is removed from combat to become a test pilot. And so begins a 30 year test career in which he will fly 489 different aircraft types and make 2,407 deck landings. These remain world records. In 1944 his test work enables the legendary 8th USAAF to find the best escort to stop its bombers being shot down over Germany. He's also made CO of Captured Enemy Flight, where his job is to fly all the German aircraft the Allies capture - including the Me262 and 163 rocket plane. In 1945 he enters Belsen and interrogates the vile Irma Griese. These are the sort of people one can find in a country, he says in this film. He interviews Goering - a charismatic rogue. In Britain that year he is first to land one of the new jet planes on a carrier, then deemed impossible. And in 1946, he's chosen to fly Britain's pioneer supersonic aircraft, the M.52 - and become the first pilot through the sound barrier. Yet the M.52 is mysteriously cancelled... . In the 1950s, Brown returns to Germany, to train its naval pilots so they can integrate with NATO. It can be a tricky job, especially when Karl Doenitz turns up at a funeral Brown's attending in 1957 - and is cheered by German sailors. Sadly, Brown's attempt to persuade Germany to buy a British fighter and not the Lockheed Starfighter fails. The latter plane becomes known in Germany as the widowmaker due to its terrible safety record. In 1965 Brown returns to Germany as a diplomat. He meets Adenauer and Erhart and accompanies the Queen on her state visit there. His delightful photographs of this event demonstrate why Eric Brown - A Pilot's Story is such a richly illustrated film. It tells a story both of war - and of reconciliation, as seen through the life of the 20th century's last flying legend.
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