THE SWITCHBLADE

An unidentified stunt double for actress Halle Berry and Actor Pierce Brosnan, is fitted into a one person glider called "Switchblade", used in the new James Bond movie "Die Another Day". 

Right down the road a ways and en route to the Oregon Coast from Bend OR, home of Electrifying Times, Jack McCornack of Cave Junction, and president & co-owner Dave Rogers of  Kinetic Aerospace, designed the "Switchblade." 

Their aviation company built this one and other workable models of the PHASST glider (Programmable High Altitude Single Soldier Transport.)

McCornack and co-owner Dave Rogers, are also developing other aircraft for the next Bond movie.

The sleek pearl crescent craft glides fast and silently through the clouds high above the foreign landscape. Its mission is to safely deliver the pilot, agent 007, undetected into enemy territory. 

The "Switchblade" has electrically powered retractable wings that control the speed and trajectory of the the most minimal one person aircraft on planet earth. 

In the movie Allen Hewit, a former British military stunt team parachutist, serves as 007's double to pilot the Switchblade, as it is launched from the back of a helicopter, to glide the agent undetected into North Korea. 

You see the Switchblade for only about 23 seconds in the movie, but Kinetic Aerospace is still proud of their revolutionary craft. 

Last summer during tests over the Arizona desert, Kinetic Aerospace determined the switchblade will glide at nearly 200 mph and in stealth mode.

In 1999 they worked on the Parahawks for "The World is Not Enough". Parahawks were hybrid snowmobiles and ultra light vehicles that used parachutes instead of fixed wings to keep the machines running and flying in freezing temperatures and blizzards. 

"It's a stealth glider" said engineering assistant Sharon Wescott, and it really flies just like in the movie. "From the original concept to the finished design, it all worked." McCornack designed and tested the glider at his Illinois Valley Airport shop. 

The body in constructed of a carbon filament and epoxy fiberglass, weighs about 50 lbs and has a wing span of 8 ft. The pilot who lies face down atop the glider with feet tucked between the tail wings, uses hand controls to engage a small electric motor that extends the wings. Other controls, patterned after those used to glide parachutes, steer the glider so only an experienced parachutist can fly the Switchblade.

Also when you land, at no less that 1500 ft, the pilot must disengage from the glider and deploy a parachute. the 2nd chute, attached to the glider, also opens to bring it down gently, although in a military application, the glider would be allowed to crash. "Once you get where you are going, you just throw it away" McCormick said. "it's a BIC airplane."

McCormick initially contacted the movie's producers in August 2001, but it wasn't till Jan 2002 that they ordered up the gliders for the film. "The big challenge was getting everything done in time," he said. He also indicated he was unable to get additional shop space at the local airport. so he rented additional at the Creswell, Oregon airport where six Switchblades were built. 

Specialty wooden boxes were built by Crate Ideas of Cave Junction, OR, and the gliders were shipped to England in time for the filming in February 2002. McCornack and Westcott accompanied the Switchblades to London, where the gliders were reassembled

McCornack and Westcott weren't even sure that the final cut of the film would include their efforts. "We didn't know until we saw a trailer," Westcott said, of the movie advertisement. On Nov 11th, McCornack and Westcott got a special treat as invited guests to what they thought was to be a cast and crew showing of the film. 

When the pair arrived at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, they realized the movie's showing was actually its world premier, complete with all the film's stars, producers and other special guests. 

for more information contact:
Kinetic Aerospace Inc.
P.O. Box 50103
Eugene, OR 97405
queries@kineticaerospace.com
541-683-0927 

Dave Rogers
drogers@kineticaerospace.com
850-668-6363

Flash and QuickTime movies are available on http://www.jamesbond.com and http://www.mgm.com 

For more information regarding Switchblades, email bond20project@kineticaerospace.com

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Definitely go see the Bond movie and the Switchblade and subscribe to Electrifying Times to get more information about this revolutionary flying machine in our upcoming issue. Bruce Meland

This article originally appeared in the weekly paper called the Bend Bugle. Dec 20- 27th 2002, B8. http://www.bendbugle.com 

829 NW Delaware Ave. Bend, OR 97701

Source: 
Barbara Hahn, 
bhahn@thedailycourier.com
The Daily Courier
409 S.E. 7th Street, 
Grants Pass, OR 97526-3003
(541) 474-3700