The James Bond Film " The World is Not Enough " was the second Bond film that Sky Science had the opportunity to work on, unlike " Tomorrow Never Dies ", this time we worked with the stunt department
Allan Hewitt was the parachute co-ordinator on this project visiting powered parachute manufacturers with Simon Crane and Vic Armstrong in the USA and Canada
With Simon's guidance we worked on the initial concept through to the design, manufacture, test flights and performance. We then selected the crew and organised all the training in Florida before moving to France for the filming.
We evaluated the capabilities of the aircraft and increased the performance of the system to be able to complete the unusual requests required for these stunts
We designed and manufactured the deployment system for the powered parachutes to be deployed from a C130 Hercules aircraft
We decided to change the canopy to a smaller size and change the angle of attack for a faster descent rate during the downhill ski chase and have larger canopies for the formation flying sequence.
We Increased the engine size to compensate for the extreme weather at high altitude in the Alps
We found a canopy manufacturer who had a parachute for a the heavier stress factor as the existing one was built for gentle flights and not the dynamic and aggressive actions we intended
We modified all components to assist the art department with the design to get there required look.
When Vic and Simon agreed that it was a viable project they chose the machine that would give them the best options. Simon employed Allan to oversee the aircraft construction, co-ordinate the machine manufacturer, canopy manufacture and the studio's various departments. This ensured that the final machine was built to the standard required to provide the action footage needed by the studio.
We organised the selection and the training of five pilots who would be able to make the machines perform as required. It had become evident that the powered parachute industry would not be able to provide pilots of the right caliber. Allan selected a team that included himself and other skydivers who had various skills that would ensure the successful completion of the project. Simon endorsed Allan's selection.
During the filming the director decided that various new options needed to be arranged. These were all handled by our team and included:
The rigging and deployment of the BASE jump of a powered parachute creating the effect that the director required.
Part of the sequence involved a hole to be made in the parachute. The art department originally did this, however as it was not successful we suggested cutting an actual hole in the canopy approximately 3 feet by 2 feet. Allan did the first test flight, which was successful with the result that the director again got the sequence he wanted.
The crash sequences required a great deal of rigging with the Special Effects people to ensure that the canopies deployed as required.
Components were quickly built in the field. This solved some unplanned changes to the script.
Miniature parachutes were built with the model department. These were later used, as the real Hercules was cancelled, as it had not received permission to fly.
A high-speed parachute drogue brake chute was built for the boat chase scene on the Thames.
Our extensive supplier network was able to provide the right equipment on time, even though this often required manufacturers to halt normal production runs and priorities our requirements.
Parachute Stunts: Allan Hewitt - John Rix - Pete Mac - Julian Spencer - Tim Lablanc
Powered Parachute Equipment: Sky Science, Blue Heron & Performance Designs
If you're a qualified or experienced skydiver, who can be available for TV or Film work at short notice, then please register your interest.