Saturday, March 5, 2011

Aalto Airlines Elgin 474 in "Flightplan": Before the Emirates A380

Note: If you are looking for the post about Afdal Airlines and the plane featured in "Sex and the City 2", click HERE. That portion of the article has been separated into an individual article. This post now covers only the plane featured in the film "Flightplan".

Photo advertising the fictional Aalto Airlines Elgin 474 jet:
"The Alto Promise: Luxury service, always on time flights and
the best prices in the skies come standard. Experience the E424
to feel the difference that size can make."
"At 250 feet from nose to tail, Aalto Air E424 is as long as
five F-16 fighter planes."
"Ten professional basketball players standing on each other's
shoulders could barely reach the roof of the E424."
"Weighing in at 240 tons, the Aalto Air E424 is as heavy as
a pair of blue whales.
The Airbus A380 was part of the inspiration for the Jodie Foster film "Flightplan" released in 2005. Though the A380 was not yet in service and the film makes no reference that it's an Airbus jet (calling it instead an Elgin 474), the film does indicate the plane is two stories and plays the action in what appears to be every corner of the jet including portions of the planes passengers never see.

Jodie Foster runs up the aisle of the airplane set.
In the film, Foster's character has lost her daughter mid-flight on the fictional Aalto Airlines and is desperately searching for her on the jet. The problem is the crew and other passengers never saw the daughter whose name does not appear on the passenger list. Is the Foster character going crazy putting the jet and those on board in jeopardy?

Foster on the set's rear cabin stairway
The film's designers took creative license producing a generously sized interior. Although a chunk of the action takes place in the coach cabin on the upper deck, the story takes the action to the cockpit, galleys, restroom, crawl spaces, avionics and three stairways one of which is curved at the rear of the plane. The DVD documentary reveals that only one level of the plane's interior was designed. After filming was completed on one deck, the interior was refitted for scenes on the second deck.

Foster viewing the floor plan of the double decker jet.
Sean Bean and Peter Sarsgaard in the cockpit
Foster in the airplane set's galley.
Actress Erika Christensen (left) plays a flight attendant of the fictional
airline. Foster, center, with producer Brian Grazer, right.
Foster with director Robert Schwentke.
Foster and the film's crew take a break in filming. 
(above images: Touchstone Pictures)


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