Sunday, March 14, 2010


Flyboys is a film that shows the the experiences of a group of young Americans who volunteer to become fighter pilots in the Lafayette Escadrille.The squadron consisted of five French officers and thirty eight American volunteers who wanted to fight in World War I before the United States joined the war in 1917. The film mainly deals with the struggles that each pilot faces while flying during the war. It also deals with the multiple aerial fights during World War I.
Although this was an excellent movie, it has been criticized greatly for its lack of historical accuracy. One historical inaccuarcy was the fact that the Lafayette Escadrille was conjoined with the Lafayette Flying Corps, a unit where Eugene Bullard actually served. Another inaccuracy were the details of the World War I fighter aircraft technology. For example, the aircraft engines in some scenes are pictured as not moving. However, the rotary engines used in aircrafts during World War I rotated with the propeller. This mistake is because the Nieuport and Fokker aircraft used in the movie were flying replicas built with new engines.
Another inaccuracy in the film is the singular use of Fokker Triplanes, which were not widely used during World War I . Also, in the movie, the RMS Aquitania is depicted as a luxury liner. But in 1914, it was converted to use as an armed merchant cruiser, and by 1915 had been put into use as a troop transport ship. But it is believed that the film might have used it to demonstrate the style of transport ships during the war.
The use of weapons and ordnance was also inaccurate and exaggerated. Anti-aircraft artillery shown in use by the Germans was not used by any side in World War I. If any of the flak bursts in the movie came as close as they appeared in the film, the aircraft would have been most likely destroyed. This special efffect was obviously used to make the movie more interesting and dramatic, and was not historically accurate. Also, one scene describes the Germans as using a new 9 mm calibre machine gun, but no German machine gun was ever produced in 9 mm.

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