Aviation Historian 10
M.Hiscock - Alias Thunderbird 6
Hughes at the controls of Doug Bianchi’s Santos-Dumont Demoiselle reproduction during the making of Those Magnificent Men ... in 1965.
Tiger Moth G-ANFM in its garish film livery but without the polystyrene passengers added for the bridge sequence. The red sections of the paint scheme are remnants of the Tiger Moth’s previous solid red scheme with a bare-metal engine cowling. For the film the top wing’s upper surface had a “sunburst”-type pattern applied.
“Thunderbird 6” in the rather more tasteful colour scheme it wears today with the Reading Flying Group, which operates from White Waltham. The Tiger Moth is something of a film veteran, having also appeared in The Little Prince in 1974, The Awakening of Emily (1976), Agatha (1979) and, most recently, The King’s Speech in 2010.
Joan Hughes flies through the gap between the Bigmore Lane bridge and the roadway on the M40 in G-ANFM on May 21, 1967. She was supposed to land and taxy under the bridge, but as she explained to the court: “It was a little turbulent as I came in and I considered it was not advisable to land when I was 150-200yd from the bridge. I decided to fly rather than touch down. There was positively no danger”.
Tiger Moth G-ANFM, probably at Booker, in its distinctive red and yellow Thunderbird 6 colours and with life-size dummies clinging to the wing struts and undercarriage structure. The aircraft, D.H.82A c/n 83604, was built in 1941 and served with the RAF as T5888, before being put on the civil register as G-ANFM in October 1953.
A piece in the March 22, 1968, edition of the Bucks Free Press, reporting the court case brought about by Joan Hughes flying Tiger Moth G-ANFM under a bridge on the M40 for the filming of Thunderbird 6 in May 1967. The report states that after a 2 1/2-day hearing, the jury took a mere 40min to reach a verdict of not guilty on all 13 counts of the indictment.