Saturday, May 28, 2011

Legends of Flight

Big Engine

While Shaw's Lido is getting all the attention for its IMAX hall, one shouldn't forget another similar evolution happening to the West of our island where the Science Centre is, with its Omnimax theatre also retrofitted with a new seamless dome, meaning no more lines in between segments of the screen as experienced previously, and the result is simply great.

The title Legends of Flight is a little peculiar, given the use of the word Legends you'll probably under the impression that this has got something to do with the history of flight, and the milestones achieved through various recognizable aircrafts which leave their stamp of quality in air travel. Unfortunately that is not the case, and as this turned out it would be more appropriately named Boeing's Dreamliner 787, because essentially this is just about that, from conception of the idea right down to manufacture and test flights made, no doubt on the big screen which brings forth the sheer scale of such a project, and of the aircraft itself.

At least one got to peek inside Boeing's manufacturing facility, which is one of the largest building structures in the world having to roll off wide bodied aircraft from an assembly line, but as a trade off we have got to sit through some very strange recreation of board room drama where designers and engineers get to pretend once again what happened during the early years of their dreaming of a new, larger, and more efficient plane. It's also quite something to see how man's inspiration for flight, the bird, got to be studied a little more thoroughly to understand the mechanics of flight, and to adopt what little knowledge is gleaned to be incorporated into the design, as much as the Dreamliner goes.

To exploit the IMAX presentation, we get to at least see an airshow, as well as the flight of the Airbus A380, the largest commercial liner currently in operation. There's also the Harrier fighter jet that got showcased, but as mentioned, for its title, the number of aircraft on display was surprisingly woeful, if not for the technical details and behind the scenes look at the 787 conception. Some snazzy graphics and visual effects were utilized to spruce up the thin narrative that also had a side track to examine various propulsion units in striped down detail, but I have expected more from the film.

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